Mplayer Script For Struggling Macs

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Dronecatcher, Jan 8, 2015.

  1. Dronecatcher, Jan 8, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2016

    Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #1
    After trying various video players to establish the best performer, I've found VLC to be the most all round efficient and capable and on my G5, H264 files up to and including 1080p are fine.
    However, on my 1.25 Powerbook, 720p H264 are a no-no (less intensive codecs are fine), so after some web trawling I've found a solution using mplayer. I've used MPlayerOSX before and whilst effective, it's less capable than VLC - on my machines anyway. But I knew using the mplayer binary from Terminal was efficient albeit a little unwieldy in ease of use. So what I've done is wrapped some mplayer Terminal commands together into an Apple Script, compiled it as an app and designed an icon to make it look presentable :)
    To use it you need the mplayer binary in your Applications folder and then simply drop a movie file onto the icon wherever you've placed it - you can use an alias or put it in the dock too.
    The script opens the movie full screen and from there on all normal mplayer keyboard shortcuts control playback. Apart from being more efficient because there's no slick GUI to accommodate, there're commands in the script to cache the file and skip/drop frames which make unplayable 720p H264s now workable.

    To get the mplayer binary I extracted it from this version of MPlayerOSX:

    http://www.mplayerhq.hu/MPlayer/releases/MPlayerOSX_1.0rc1.dmg

    I tried a few versions but this is the one that worked.

    To extract mplayer, mount the dmg, right click the ppc pkg to show package contents, open Contents folder, copy and paste Archive.pax.gz to another location, double click to extract it. Right click the MPlayer app to show package contents, open Contents folder, open Resources folder, open External_Binaries folder, right click to show package contents of mplayer_ppc, open Contents folder, open MacOS folder and inside is the mplayer binary which you copy and paste to the Applications folder.

    I've only tested this on my Powerbook under Tiger, so can't guarantee an improvement on every Mac, though I'd imagine all single processor G4s should benefit.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. bse5150 macrumors 6502

    bse5150

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2014
    #2
    I use MPlayer on my Linux boxen and it rocks.
     
  3. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #3
    Thank you for this. I now have an entire series of Babylon 5 I can watch without stuttering!!!

    This will work awesome with Quicksilver! Maybe I can make a trigger…
     
  4. Dronecatcher thread starter macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #4
    Hope it's of some use. Here's the original script in case needed for Quicksilver...which I hadn't heard of before, so thanks for mentioning it.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #5
    Oh it works!

    Before, watching the episodes through Quicktime was a real exercise in frustration. Your method (and script) means the episodes play without stuttering or dropped frames. I've noticed it's maybe a tad slower than normal play, but I can handle that if it doesn't skip.

    I got a QS trigger set up last night. Had to enable a proxy option I don't normally use, but once I did that it all works.

    Now, all I have to do is select a movie and press a keyboard command and Quicksilver sends the movie directly to the script.

    Quicksilver is a launcher (like Spotlight can be used) so it's always running in the background on my Mac so this works for me.

    Thanks!
     
  6. Dronecatcher thread starter macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #6
    Yes, Quicktime is pretty poor for playback when compared to VLC, Mplayer, XBMC etc - bizarre really, considering it's "made by Apple for Apple."
    Quicksilver sounds handy - I'll download and try it out later.
     
  7. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #7
    It is. Call it up via a shortcut, type in the first few letters of the app or item you want to open, hit Return and whatever it is opens.

    I use CTRL+SPACEBAR for my shortcut. QS will open files, folders, apps, just about anything that is openable. You can even call it up, type in an app name and then drag/drop a file on to the app icon and QS will immediately open that file.

    If you have multiple items that start with the same letters, a quick press on the down arrow will allow you to scroll through a list of those names and select the appropriate one you want to open.

    Triggers are even more awesome. I have a trigger here at work that calls an Applescript app I made to move our ad proofs from one server share to another. All I have to do is select the file, hit the shortcut and the file copies. This is the same methodology I used to make a trigger for your script for MPlayer.

    I used to abhore quick launchers (there's the dock right?) but once I realized I didn't even have to touch the mouse and that QS predicted my selections I was sold.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. asph macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2014
    Location:
    Canada
    #8
    Following Erik's kind suggestion to give installing this a try in order to make my MKVs viewable on my Sawtooth under Tiger, I DLed the mplayer .dmg linked to above, and followed the steps until I got to this:

    open External_Binaries folder

    I don't see any such folder in Resources, and a search of the mounted .dmg with File Buddy brought up no results for that term, nor for "mplayer_ppc".

    Any suggestions?
     
  9. Dronecatcher thread starter macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #9
    Can't explain that - I downloaded the .dmg from that web link and found the mplayer again by the described method no problem. I've attached it here for reference though.
    I think even mplayer will struggle with the MKV files you're trying to play though - in my experience, these files are the most taxing on hardware due to the high quality and compression used. The sad fact is, the PPC hardware we are using was designed before these video codecs became standard. A work around would be to convert the files to codecs and bitrates more sympathetic to your hardware - doing that, you can watch video even on a G3.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Dronecatcher thread starter macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #10
    Further to this - I've just found MKVs aren't compatible with mplayer.
    Your best option would be to use VLC 0.9.10 which is pretty close in efficiency to mplayer anyway.
     
  11. asph macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2014
    Location:
    Canada
    #11
    As I just found out when I tried to play one using View/mplayer and the program crashed. I do use VLC for MKVs, but I have many that simply will not play properly on this machine. I guess I'll just have to get something newer to play them on if/when I want to watch them.

    Anyway, thank you for sharing your script (and for upping the mplayer executable for me!). I'll give it a try next time I meet an H264 which VLC doesn't like. BTW, would you happen to have a list of mplayer keyboard shortcuts handy, by any chance?
     
  12. Dronecatcher thread starter macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #12
    I have on my other machine...but google was quicker :)

    http://www.keyxl.com/aaa2fa5/302/MPlayer-keyboard-shortcuts.htm

    Yes, new hardware is easier option - maybe a C2D mac mini as a dedicated media hub - I did that for a while - now I have an old broken netbook hooked up to a screen, external HD, wireless keyboard and running XBMC - all works great.
     
  13. asph macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2014
    Location:
    Canada
    #13
    Great, thanks for that shortcut link!

    And yes, it looks like a cheap C2D mac mini might be the best option for my video needs, since I would probably keep using the Sawtooth for everything else.
     
  14. iModFrenzy macrumors 6502a

    iModFrenzy

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2015
    Location:
    501st Legion
    #14
    I can play 720p in VLC fine, no lag. Im gonna test 1080p on it.
     
  15. Dronecatcher thread starter macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

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    Jun 17, 2014
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    Lincolnshire, UK
  16. 128keaton macrumors 68020

    128keaton

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    #16
    Nice job man, ya know what, I'll try it on my TiBook and report back, but I doubt it will work well. I hope I'm proven wrong nonetheless.
     
  17. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    #17
    I want this to be a stickie! I reprted it to the Admins. Lets see if they make it a stickie.
     
  18. MacinDan macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    #18
    The OP linked to a version of Mplayer from 2006, but there's a newer binary in the app package found here:

    http://kujok.dk/filer/mplayer/

    It should do better playing AVC encoded MKVs.
     

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