The most important ones above all:
MPEG-1 (VCD) and MPEG-2 (DVD) video
native decoders for all DivX variants, 3ivX, M$ MPEG-4 v1, v2 and other MPEG-4 variants
native decoder for Windows Media Video 7/8 (WMV1/WMV2), and Win32 DLL decoder for Windows Media Video 9 (WMV3), both used in .wmv files
native Sorenson 1 (SVQ1) decoder
native Sorenson 3 (SVQ3) decoder
3ivx v1, v2 decoder
Cinepak and Intel Indeo codecs (3.1,3.2,4.1,5.0)
MJPEG, AVID, VCR2, ASV2 and other hardware formats
VIVO 1.0, 2.0, I263 and other H.263(+) variants
RealVideo 1.0 & 2.0 from
RealVideo 3.0 & 4.0 codecs using
native decoder for HuffYUV
Various old simple RLE-like formats
If you have a Win32 codec not listed here which is not supported yet, please read the codec importing HOWTO and help us add support for it.
libavcodec, the leading
open source video and audio codec library. It is capable
of decoding most multimedia formats, usually at higher speeds
than the alternatives, and aims to add support for
the rest of them eventually. It is the default decoder for
the majority of codecs that MPlayer
supports. Encoding is also possible for some formats and
supported in MEncoder.
Just run ./configure and compile.
Xvid is a free software MPEG-4 ASP compliant video codec, which features two pass encoding and full MPEG-4 ASP support, making it a lot more efficient than the well-known DivX codec. It yields very good video quality and good performance due to CPU optimizations for most modern processors.
It began as a forked development of the OpenDivX codec. This happened when ProjectMayo changed OpenDivX to closed source DivX4, and the non-ProjectMayo people working on OpenDivX got angry, then started Xvid. So both projects have the same origin.
Note that Xvid is not necessary to decode Xvid-encoded video.
libavcodec is used by
default as it offers better speed.
Like most open source software, it is available in two flavors:
and the CVS version.
The CVS version is usually stable enough to use, as most of the time it
features fixes for bugs that exist in releases.
Here is what to do to make
CVS work with MEncoder (you need at least
automake and libtool):
cvs -z3 -d:pserver:email@example.com:/xvid login
cvs -z3 -d:pserver:firstname.lastname@example.org:/xvid co xvidcore
You may have to add some options (examine the output of ./configure --help).
make && make install
If you specified --enable-divxcompat, copy ../../src/divx4.h to /usr/local/include/.
Recompile MPlayer with
is a library for creating H.264 video streams.
It is not 100% complete, but currently it has at least some kind
of support for most of the H.264 features which impact quality.
There are also many advanced features in the H.264 specification
which have nothing to do with video quality per se; many of these
are not yet implemented in
Intra: all macroblock types (16x16, 8x8, and 4x4 with all predictions)
Inter P: all partitions (from 16x16 down to 4x4)
Inter B: partitions from 16x16 down to 8x8 (including SKIP/DIRECT)
Ratecontrol: constant quantizer, constant bitrate, single or multipass ABR, optional VBV
Scene cut detection
Adaptive B-frame placement
B-frames as references / arbitrary frame order
8x8 and 4x4 adaptive spatial transform
Custom quantization matrices
Parallel encoding of multiple slices
H.264 is one name for a new digital video codec jointly developed by the ITU and MPEG. It can also be correctly referred to by the cumbersome names of "ISO/IEC 14496-10" or "MPEG-4 Part 10". More frequently, it is referred to as "MPEG-4 AVC" or just "AVC".
Whatever you call it, H.264 may be worth trying because it can typically match the quality of MPEG-4 ASP with 5%-30% less bitrate. Actual results will depend on both the source material and the encoder. The gains from using H.264 do not come for free: Decoding H.264 streams seems to have steep CPU and memory requirements. For instance, on a 1733 MHz Athlon, a DVD-resolution 1500kbps H.264 video requires around 35% CPU to decode. By comparison, decoding a DVD-resolution 1500kbps MPEG-4 ASP stream requires around 10% CPU. This means that decoding high-definition streams is almost out of the question for most users. It also means that even a decent DVD rip may sometimes stutter on processors slower than 2.0 GHz or so.
At least with
encoding requirements are not much worse than what you are used to
with MPEG-4 ASP.
For instance, on a 1733 MHz Athlon a typical DVD encode would run
This document is not intended to explain the details of H.264, but if you are interested in a brief overview, you may want to read The H.264/AVC Advanced Video Coding Standard: Overview and Introduction to the Fidelity Range Extensions.
libavcodec's H.264 decoder.
libavcodec has had at
least minimally usable H.264 decoding since around July 2004,
however major changes and improvements have been implemented since
that time, both in terms of more functionalities supported and in
terms of improved CPU usage.
Just to be certain, it is always a good idea to use a recent Subversion
If you want a quick and easy way to know whether there have been
recent changes to
H.264 decoding, you might keep an eye on
FFmpeg Subversion repository's web interface.
If you have the subversion client installed, the latest x264 sources can be gotten with this command:
svn co svn://svn.videolan.org/x264/trunk x264
MPlayer sources are updated whenever
x264 API change
occurs, so it is always suggested to use
MPlayer from Subversion as well.
Perhaps this situation will change when and if an
x264 "release" occurs.
be considered very unstable, in the sense that its programming
interface is subject to change.
x264 is built and
installed in the standard way:
./configure && make && sudo make install
This installs libx264.a in /usr/local/lib and x264.h is placed in
and header placed in the standard locations, building
x264 support is easy.
Just run the standard:
./configure && make && sudo make install
The ./configure script will autodetect that you have
satisfied the requirements for