Problems installing mplayer

Bob Hentges bob at
Sun Jul 3 18:54:47 UTC 2005

John Greene wrote:
> On Sun, 2005-07-03 at 13:51 +0200, Bob Hentges wrote:
>>John Greene wrote:
>>>On Sun, 2005-07-03 at 13:15 +0530, Manish Chakravarty wrote:
>>>>I have been a fan of Mplayer for a long time now.
>>>>However, i am facing problems installing mplayer in Ubuntu.
>>>> <snip>
>>>Have you tried following the Ubuntu guide ?  If
>>>not, try it as it shows explicitly how to get mplayer working (check
>>>your sources.list to make sure you have the right repos listed from the
> >
>>Well, all I can say is that I installed mplayer, just the way I was told 
>>at Nevertheless I am experiencing a strange bug. 
>>Everything seems to work fine, but whatever I do, either the movie 
>>window stays black, or it reproduces the background (supposedly xroot, 
>>but I am not sure what background is used in nautilus).
>>I really do not know what I am doing wrong, as the error log isn't 
>>reporting anything useful either. If somebody got a clue, I really would 
>>be glad to try something, even if the chance of success is limited, to 
>>get the whole thing to a working point.
> What kind of video are you trying to watch (mp4, quicktime, real, dvd,
> etc.)?  Have you apt-get installed w32codecs?  If you have and are still
> experiencing problems then I don't know what else to tell you :(  

Well, here is what I did. After I read that I couldn't get the w32codecs 
package from a ubuntu repository, I went ahead and got it from [1] where 
the package can be found in the pool directory, subdirectory w, even 
though I wasn't sure if that was the right one or not.

Installing it didn't resolve my problem. I double checked whether I had 
multiverse in my sources.list because after all, I wasn't too sure on 
whether or not, the package couldn't be found there either. But I seem 
to have enabled multiverse before. "sudo apt-get update" tells me:

Hit hoary/multiverse Packages
Hit hoary/multiverse Sources

which clearly means that indeed, everything works as expected. Removing 
(with and without purging) and reinstalling afterwards the mplayer 
packages as well as the codecs package doesn't help the situation either.

Interestingly I have the a similar problem with totem, who seems not to 
be able to play _any_ video file, even though I installed tons of 
different gstreamer codec packages (in the hope that that is what was to 
be done).

At that time, I remembered that some time back, I used vlc. So I went 
ahead and installed vlc, with some codecs as well. But alas, the problem 
persists. Now guess what - that was the time I began to wonder what 
could be causing my problem. I googled _a bit_, but couldn't find a 
decent answer to my problem.

The following day, when syncing my mailbox I see this lovely post on 
mplayer, and I thought: "Boy - that's your chance", and asked my question.

Anyhow, I don't complain if nobody can help my precise problem here, it 
actually doesn't matter for I seldom look at videos on my notebook. If I 
stumble across an answer, I shall post it on the mailing list.

Bob Hentges a.k.a. maradong

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