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This page last modified: Oct 24 2007
title:Hints about MPlayer codecs and streaming problems
description:Hints about MPlayer especially streaming Quicktime video.

Table of contents
Additional codecs
Hints for streaming settings

Additional codecs

Mplayer was willing to play a .wmv with the base installation via yum
(rpm) from Livna with Fedora. However, it claimed not to be able to
find a certain codec that it wanted for the .wmv file. 

1) Go to the Mplayer download page:

2) Scroll down to the "Binary Codec Packages" section. Get the Linux codec file

I su'd to root and used wget:


3) Decompress

bzip2 -d essential-20071007.tar.bz2

4) Untar

tar -xvf essential-20071007.tar

5) cd into the new directory, and read the README, move the files.

cd essential-20071007
mv * /usr/lib/codecs/

Now when I run mplayer (as a non-root user of course) the .wmv plays
with no messages about codecs that Mplayer can't find. The image
quality was the same when Mplayer couldn't find the codec and when it
could, so I guess whatever substitute codec was originally used was
ok. None the less, this hint might help in some cases. The download
above includes a large number of codecs, so I now may be able to play
Real media files too (which I seem to remember don't play on my

Hints for streaming settings

These settings seem to help make streaming video and sound smoother:
-autosync 30

mplayer rtsp:// -autosync 30 -framedrop

This applies to mplayer SVN-r23545 mplayer-1.0-0.73.20070612svn.lvn6
under Fedora Core 6.

If when using MPlayer to view streaming Quicktime your session hangs
at these lines:

Initiated "audio/MPEG4-GENERIC" RTP subsession on port 33104
Initiated "video/H264" RTP subsession on port 33106

then you almost certainly have a firewall issue. The quick way I
diagnosed this problem was to temporarily disable my firewall.

That this was not a "hard" hang in that ^C was able to kill

This is a terminal session from an example MPlayer:

[zeus ~]$ mplayer rtsp://
MPlayer SVN-r23545 (C) 2000-2007 MPlayer Team
CPU: Intel(R) Xeon(TM) CPU 2.40GHz (Family: 15, Model: 2, Stepping: 9)
CPUflags:  MMX: 1 MMX2: 1 3DNow: 0 3DNow2: 0 SSE: 1 SSE2: 1
Compiled with runtime CPU detection.
mplayer: could not connect to socket
mplayer: No such file or directory
Failed to open LIRC support. You will not be able to use your remote control.

Playing rtsp://
Resolving for AF_INET6...
Couldn't resolve name for AF_INET6:
Resolving for AF_INET...
Connecting to server[]: 554...
A single media stream only is supported atm.
rtsp_session: unsupported RTSP server. Server type is 'DSS/5.5.5 (Build/489.16; Platform/Linux; Release/Darwin; state/beta; )'.
STREAM_LIVE555, URL: rtsp://
Stream not seekable!
 file format detected.
Initiated "audio/MPEG4-GENERIC" RTP subsession on port 33104
Initiated "video/H264" RTP subsession on port 33106
demux_rtp: Guessed the video frame rate as 6 frames-per-second.
        (If this is wrong, use the "-fps <frame-rate>" option instead.)
VIDEO:  [H264]  0x0  0bpp  6.000 fps    0.0 kbps ( 0.0 kbyte/s)
Opening video decoder: [ffmpeg] FFmpeg's libavcodec codec family
Selected video codec: [ffh264] vfm: ffmpeg (FFmpeg H.264)
Opening audio decoder: [faad] AAC (MPEG2/4 Advanced Audio Coding)
FAAD: compressed input bitrate missing, assuming 128kbit/s!
AUDIO: 44100 Hz, 2 ch, s16le, 128.0 kbit/9.07% (ratio: 16000->176400)
Selected audio codec: [faad] afm: faad (FAAD AAC (MPEG-2/MPEG-4 Audio) decoder)
AO: [alsa] 48000Hz 2ch s16le (2 bytes per sample)
Starting playback...
[h264 @ 0x8788f60]warning: first frame is no keyframe
VDec: vo config request - 160 x 120 (preferred colorspace: Planar YV12)
VDec: using Planar YV12 as output csp (no 0)
Movie-Aspect is undefined - no prescaling applied.
VO: [xv] 160x120 => 160x120 Planar YV12