Command line video player
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README.md

mpv logo

mpv

Overview

mpv is a free (as in freedom) media player for the command line. It supports a wide variety of media file formats, audio and video codecs, and subtitle types.

There is a FAQ.

Releases can be found on the release list.

System requirements

  • A not too ancient Linux (usually, only the latest releases of distributions are actively supported), Windows 10 or later, or macOS 10.15 or later.
  • A somewhat capable CPU. Hardware decoding might help if the CPU is too slow to decode video in realtime, but must be explicitly enabled with the --hwdec option.
  • A not too crappy GPU. mpv's focus is not on power-efficient playback on embedded or integrated GPUs (for example, hardware decoding is not even enabled by default). Low power GPUs may cause issues like tearing, stutter, etc. On such GPUs, it's recommended to use --profile=fast for smooth playback. The main video output uses shaders for video rendering and scaling, rather than GPU fixed function hardware. On Windows, you might want to make sure the graphics drivers are current. In some cases, ancient fallback video output methods can help (such as --vo=xv on Linux), but this use is not recommended or supported.

mpv does not go out of its way to break on older hardware or old, unsupported operating systems, but development is not done with them in mind. Keeping compatibility with such setups is not guaranteed. If things work, consider it a happy accident.

Downloads

For semi-official builds and third-party packages please see mpv.io/installation.

Changelog

There is no complete changelog; however, changes to the player core interface are listed in the interface changelog.

Changes to the C API are documented in the client API changelog.

The release list has a summary of most of the important changes on every release.

Changes to the default key bindings are indicated in restore-old-bindings.conf.

Compilation

Compiling with full features requires development files for several external libraries. Mpv requires meson to build. Meson can be obtained from your distro or PyPI.

After creating your build directory (e.g. meson setup build), you can view a list of all the build options via meson configure build. You could also just simply look at the meson_options.txt file. Logs are stored in meson-logs within your build directory.

Example:

meson setup build
meson compile -C build
meson install -C build

For libplacebo, meson can use a git check out as a subproject for a convenient way to compile mpv if a sufficient libplacebo version is not easily available in the build environment. It will be statically linked with mpv. Example:

mkdir -p subprojects
git clone https://code.videolan.org/videolan/libplacebo.git --depth=1 --recursive subprojects/libplacebo

Essential dependencies (incomplete list):

  • gcc or clang
  • X development headers (xlib, xrandr, xext, xscrnsaver, xpresent, libvdpau, libGL, GLX, EGL, xv, ...)
  • Audio output development headers (libasound/ALSA, pulseaudio)
  • FFmpeg libraries (libavutil libavcodec libavformat libswscale libavfilter and either libswresample or libavresample)
  • libplacebo
  • zlib
  • iconv (normally provided by the system libc)
  • libass (OSD, OSC, text subtitles)
  • Lua (optional, required for the OSC pseudo-GUI and youtube-dl integration)
  • libjpeg (optional, used for screenshots only)
  • uchardet (optional, for subtitle charset detection)
  • nvdec and vaapi libraries for hardware decoding on Linux (optional)

Libass dependencies (when building libass):

  • gcc or clang, yasm on x86 and x86_64
  • fribidi, freetype, fontconfig development headers (for libass)
  • harfbuzz (required for correct rendering of combining characters, particularly for correct rendering of non-English text on macOS, and Arabic/Indic scripts on any platform)

FFmpeg dependencies (when building FFmpeg):

  • gcc or clang, yasm on x86 and x86_64
  • OpenSSL or GnuTLS (have to be explicitly enabled when compiling FFmpeg)
  • libx264/libmp3lame/libfdk-aac if you want to use encoding (have to be explicitly enabled when compiling FFmpeg)
  • For native DASH playback, FFmpeg needs to be built with --enable-libxml2 (although there are security implications, and DASH support has lots of bugs).
  • AV1 decoding support requires dav1d.
  • For good nvidia support on Linux, make sure nv-codec-headers is installed and can be found by configure.

Most of the above libraries are available in suitable versions on normal Linux distributions. For ease of compiling the latest git master of everything, you may wish to use the separately available build wrapper (mpv-build) which first compiles FFmpeg libraries and libass, and then compiles the player statically linked against those.

If you want to build a Windows binary, you either have to use MSYS2 and MinGW, or cross-compile from Linux with MinGW. See Windows compilation.

Release cycle

Once or twice a year, a release is cut off from the current development state and is assigned a 0.X.0 version number. No further maintenance is done, except in the event of security issues.

The goal of releases is to make Linux distributions happy. Linux distributions are also expected to apply their own patches in case of bugs.

Releases other than the latest release are unsupported and unmaintained.

See the release policy document for more information.

Bug reports

Please use the issue tracker provided by GitHub to send us bug reports or feature requests. Follow the template's instructions or the issue will likely be ignored or closed as invalid.

Using the bug tracker as place for simple questions is fine but IRC is recommended (see Contact below).

Contributing

Please read contribute.md.

For small changes you can just send us pull requests through GitHub. For bigger changes come and talk to us on IRC before you start working on them. It will make code review easier for both parties later on.

You can check the wiki or the issue tracker for ideas on what you could contribute with.

License

GPLv2 "or later" by default, LGPLv2.1 "or later" with -Dgpl=false. See details.

History

This software is based on the MPlayer project. Before mpv existed as a project, the code base was briefly developed under the mplayer2 project. For details, see the FAQ.

Contact

Most activity happens on the IRC channel and the GitHub issue tracker.

  • GitHub issue tracker: issue tracker (report bugs here)
  • User IRC Channel: #mpv on irc.libera.chat
  • Developer IRC Channel: #mpv-devel on irc.libera.chat