mplayer headaches with alsa solved (hopefully)

Lately I had a problem with my gentoo. I could not get HR video files with mplayer to work smoothly. In order to test what was going on I downloaded ExperienceMP10_1280x720_8mbps.wmv from .

Whenever I tried playing it the result was choppy video and sound. Mplayer gave me a banner that said: Your system is too SLOW to play this!. Hey my pc is based on an Athlon XP 2800+! It’s NOT slow! So the problem was surely not cpu power. I tried playing around with mplayers’ -vo options. In fact -vo gl gave me some more fps…but it was still unwatchable. Then it was time to play aroung with -ao options. I tried them all… alsa, oss, sdl, alsa:mmap, alsa:noblock, nothing…each one was worse than the other. Then I tried -ao null. And what a surprise…when audio was disabled video stopped being choppy. It was playing just fine! So the problem was surely audio related. I have the latest alsa installed from portage and other programs play really ok with it, so I thought maybe there a newer mplayer version could do the trick. I first checked on gentoo forums where I found this very helpfull thread about multimedia overlay in portage. I installed it in my portage overlay dir, unmerged mplayer from normal portage tree and emerged mplayer-cvs from the new overlay. After some compile time it was finally ready. The results ? amazing 🙂
It works with every video format I’ve tried! No sloppy playback, no lagging sound, just perfect.

I hate using custom solutions and ebuilds to cure my problems, but at least I have not compiled anything by “./configure;make;make install” yet. Long live the gentoo community. Thnx a lot to all 🙂

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