Why MPlayer Beats VLC

Posted by Garth on Friday, November 6, 2009

I was going to make this a comparison with a fore drawn conclusion, but instead I'm just going to mention the deal breakers with VLC and the deal makers with MPlayer OSX Extended.


  • Crashes when I load certain subtitles using Thai fonts (like all SSA files from
  • Hangs sometimes when I'm playing a movie, pause it the try to exit or load a new movie, requiring me to kill the process.
  • Bookmarks don't work.
  • Has an option for always on top, but not always on top while playing.
  • Always on top option causes Dock mouseover names to appear underneath the player.
  • Postprocessing only has a quantitative quality ranking (1-6) and is not granular. 
  • I hate VLC's icon.  Seriously, a pylon?  How is that related to multimedia?

MPlayer OSX Extended
  • Handles all subtitles I've thrown at it so far.
  • Has never hung or crashed on me.
  • Option for always on top while playing.
  • Always on top option allows Dock mouseover names to appear above the player
  • Video postprocessing equalizer allows granular control over video settings.

Sure, MPlayer doesn't seem to have bookmarks or a functional playlist, but since I'm only using it for video the playlist function is moot.  Bookmarks would be really nice (as in, the ability to mark a timestamp in a particular file to resume from there later), but I can live without it.  The continued crashing/hanging of VLC is really what did me in, and I'm glad it did as MPlayer, so far at least, seems much nicer.  VLC also appears to have a ton more options, but none of them concern me right now.  Though I'm sure if I needed to change my output module to Color ASCII Art or add a Telnet interface to my video player, I'd switch back to VLC.  Until then, MPlayer is it.


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