MPlayer plays mp4 video too fast on Ubuntu 14.04 [Solved]

mediaIn case you have upgraded to Ubuntu Trusty Beta you might have noticed that the some mp4 video files play too fast using MPlayer or SMPlayer. The problem is with incorrect FPS detection. The View info and properties… option in SMPlayer shows the Frames per second as -nan.

Some mp4 and 3gp files play too fast on Trusty. Here are some workarounds.

Update

The solution is to install a newer version of MPlayer either by compiling the latest source from SVN or by installing it from this up-to-date PPA (you may lose mencoder if you have it installed):

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mc3man/mplayer-test
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install mplayer

Other workarounds

This seems to be a temporary bug in MPlayer and there is a quick workaround. The problem is that it is a per file issue, some files may play fine without any workaround.

  • MPlayer: run the video with -fps option. For example of the correct FPS for a video is 23.976 (should work for most videos), use
    $ mplayer -fps 23.976 myvideo.mp4
  • SMPlayer: you can pass the same option in runtime and it will take effect without restart. Add -fps 23.976 to Options ▸ Preferences ▸ Advanced ▸ Options for MPlayer ▸ Options text field.

Another way to counter it is to add the following in your ~/.mplayer/config file:

[extension.mp4]
fps=23.976

But this will now affect all mp4 files. Fortunately most high-def videos use 23.976 fps which is scientifically correct.

15 thoughts on “MPlayer plays mp4 video too fast on Ubuntu 14.04 [Solved]”

  1. Thanks for the FPS hint!

    I have a number of 30fps videos, so the workaround is a bit problematic. I have to admit I don’t understand the packaging, but the “mplayer2” package doesn’t have the FPS detection problem.

    AFAICT they are both in the main repo.

  2. Love the fix, but it introduces a new problem: mp4s that played okay without the fix have their audio out of synch with the video when playing with the fix.

    1. It might not always be 23.976 and more importantly if something plays fine already, you do not need to change the fps… it’s per file, unfortunately.

        1. Me too! It’s irritating at the least. 🙂
          But being a open source contributer myself I know how hard it is for devs to find time to do something completely free of cost out of our regular chores… I’ll be patient. It’s still a great multimedia player.
          I’ll report a bug for it now in case it’s not there already. 🙂

          1. I raised the bug yesterday and you have a better solution today! See the ‘Update’ section above. The problem is with Trusty. The Tahr needs to hop to a newer MPlayer version ;).

          2. Well, thank you! I also had to get rid of ogmrip. Not sure why, but I’ll play along. Thanks again!

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