How to Install Gnome Mplayer in Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal?

As I've said before, if you want the ultimate multimedia player for GNU/Linux, then there aren't that many which are capable of competing against MPLayer. But the apparent problem is that, if you have no intentions of learning GNU/Linux commands a little bit ;-), then playing multimedia files with all those excellent features of MPLayer ain't gonna be that easy.

In that case our only hope is to find a GUI that uses the MPLayer as the " multimedia engine". Although I've written about few in the past such as SMPlayer (one of the best), UMPlayer (not bad at all) and Gnome media player are just a few to name.

But there is a GTK+ written GUI called Gnome MPlayer, which is developed by a serious dude :D who really seems to get what the users want. I mean, seriously, Totem, the default player that comes with Gnome desktop.. it ain't bad... but can it let you adjust the subtitle delay?, audio/video delays?, gain audio?... seriously, other than "just play" which is its philosophy, it's pretty much useless, unless you're living in a error-free, perfect world where audio/video files have no errors, etc :/.

Anyhow, once installed Gnome MPlayer you'll be able to do things like...

*. Adjust subtitle delays, change font, change colours, font scaling, add drop shadows, etc.

*. Gain audio.

Amazingly simple but...

*. Playlist (GUI).

*. Add post processing effects which can enhance videos (especially if they have low bitrates - low quality ones by default, etc).

Right there!, that's twice the "Totem" :D...
*. Add/remove displays information on screen such as playback time/ remaining time, etc.

*. Directly open DVD/CD/VCD/ISO images or a copied DVD in your HDD.

*. Play your TV Card (if you have one) directly from the GUI.

*. Take screenshots.

The "tempting" options window for the computer Geeks!...

*. Change video and audio output.

*. Display live audio/video details (bitrate, frame rate, resolution, codec type, etc).

*. Adjust video brightness/hue/Saturation. 

*. Enable video cache. 

*. Enable/disable multiple instance of the player (you know running more than one window simultaneously).

*. Load external audio file... and a lot more when you enter the preference window.

As you can see, this MPlayer front-end does enable almost all the useful features of the command line based MPLayer multimedia engine. If you're new to this (I am :D) and after reading these "features" you might be thinking "okay, this is another *too many options = confusing GUI* type application".

NO, as you can see from the screenshots, the developer has done an extremely smart thing by making the default GUI so easy to use because it's so simple yet if you're a power user and need additional controlability over the player, then the "preference" window is just for you. So, the player is aimed at both newbies ;-) and the expert users, which is something that is very rare in applications these days. 

Anyway, you can install Gnome MPlayer in Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal by entering the below command in your GNU/Linux terminal window.
sudo apt-get install gnome-mplayer
My only complaint was that, in few occasions the video screen seemed a bit sluggish (few dropped frames, etc) but I don't think the application have anything to do with it (hopefully) since my old Ati GPU is fighting with Compiz really hard to keep up at the moment. But luckily I changed the "video output" from the preference window and everything works really fine, at least for me :D.

So as an ending note, if you want a very powerful GUI that enables a lot of features of the excellent MPLayer, then I highly recommend the Gnome Mplayer, oh it's something special :D.

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