With a computer like the raspberry pi, a relatively weak cpu makes it essential for a satisfactory web experience involving media or for playing locally stored media, that the gpu decode and render as much as possible. With this constraint in mind it is handy to have a variety of tools and tricks in the raspberry pi's arsenal.
Of course Omxplayer- pi's native media player, is indispensible and uses minimal cpu and memory resources. A good idea to create a desktop shortcut icon which will open and stay open in teminal ( so that keyboard controls will work ) ( See http://jeffhoogland.blogspot.ca/2012/08 ... a-gui.html) This permits dragging and dropping a media file to the icon to activate omxplayer in full screen with keyboard control of playback. However it is also useful to have a gui so that you can open omxplayer in a resizable draggable window with volume, seeking , aspect., and other controls. This need is admirably fufilled by Guenter Kreidl's ingenious, well documented and scrupously maintained Omxplayergui which is a separate but integrated component downloaded as part of Kweb (Minimal Kiosk Browser) low resource,fast browser with some unique features and again an essential tool in the Pi's quiver.
(viewtopic.php?f=66&t=40860&sid=1a7b993f ... 513518675b).
It also has the additional benefit of integrating youtube-dl into Omxplayergui..
As is probably well known to most users of these forums kusti8 has devised an extension for chromium which will invoke omxplayergui when playing a youtube video. oir other supported sites. Another interesting and useful app for chromium using omxplayer to play you tube, can be found here: viewtopic.php?f=38&t=132460&p=882933
( these two chromium extensions/apps can peacefully coexist.)
However it is useful to have still more tools for the different challenges presented by demanding web multimedia. For a while now I have been using a hardware accelerated mpv media player on raspbian.
A precompiled installable binary version can be downloaded here :
https://nwgat.ninja/installing-mpv-with ... -2-3-zero/
and/or instructions for compiling can be found here
https://nwgat.ninja/compiling-mpv-with- ... -3-zero-2/
This includes a compiled version of ffmpeg.(As an aside another thing i did afterward was to download winff from the repository for transcoding hoping to get hardware accelerated transcoding but the winff presets in the repository vesion apparently don't match the compiled ffmpeg version)
Again it is useful to create a desktop shortcut icon for mpv which will open and stay open in terminal so as to retain keyboard control( using sudo pcmanfm to open icon in desktop go to properties/ desktop entry and check appropriate boxes.) This enables you to drop local media files directly onto the mpv icon and and mpv will spring into action. I used this version of mpv to play without a hiccup and without a mpeg license a 1920x1080p mpeg2 transport stream encoded at 17225 kbps . However it wouldn't seek- presumably because a transport stream would not be indexed.. It also played the sample hevc 720p encoded video entitled surfing found at : http://www.elecard.com/en/download/videos.html
and of course the big buck bunny video smoothly.
The best known most widely used gui for mpv player and mplayer is smplayer. The repository version of smplayer is old and does not support mpv but rather only mplayer. The repository version of smplayer using the mplayer version also in the repository is pretty good if properly configured in preferences using user defined ,xv as the video output and alsa for audio output and 4 threads under performance.etc. It allows you to drag and drop hd youtube videos into the player and plays them well in a resizable draggable window or full screen with fast keyboard control and seeking options. It is fairly easy on cpu but uses considerably more cpu resources than omxplayer and omxplayer gui. One very annoying drawback to the repository version of smplayer is that I at least could't get it to hardware scale a low resolution eg320x240 video to full screen but rather would play it postage stamp size albeit in proper aspect ratio surrounded by black borders. My search for solutions led me to stumble upon this hardware accelated mpv.
There are more recent versions of smplayer (a gui for mplayer//mpv player) than the version of smplayer found in raspbian's repository. These have an advantage over the repository version in that they allow smplayer to use either the mplayer found in raspbian or mpv player as its version of mplayer and thereby utilize mpv's enhanced qualitly and it's support for youtube-dl. Using this hardware accelerated version of mpv lowers cpu resource usage considerably. A precompiled installable binary of smplayer version 16.10 that works in raspbian and/or instructions for compiling can be found here :
http://ubuntu-mate.community/t/tutorial ... pport/3888
In smplayers preferences under the general tab you pick mpv as player, giving path to mpv executable found under local binaries and rpi or default as video output. I found smplayer using this mpv hardware scales standard definition videos to full screen in proper aspect ratio (press f on keyboard to get full screen with black borders.) This version of smplayer using both mplayer or mpv also supports dragging and dropping youtube videos. Unfortunately I with my almost zero knowledge of linux (something I must try to remedy one of these days) was not able to configure mpv in smplayer so as to use youtube-dl and its support for numerous other video sites.
Mpv has a configuration file located at : /home/pi/.config/mpv/mpv.conf. Instructions for using the configuration file can be found at the mpv website:
One in someways unfortunate aspect of this hardware acclerated version of mpv is that is compiled using the very efficient mmal (whatever that is !) which has the unfortunate result that the video is rendered in a full screen overlay which removes the visibilty of the gui controls in smplayer. I was able to somewhat remedy this conundrum by a rather imperfect but useable hack specifing the following in smplayer preferences.: I am using a television with 1360x768 native resolution ,overscan disabled ,so i specified in smplayer preferences advanced tab options for mplayer/mpv “ --autofit=1360x720 “ -without apostophes. This enabled smplayer to output in almost full screen aspect ration preserved but allowed smplayers animated floating control to appear when the mouse is dragged to the bottom of the screen.
I was not able presumably because of mmal and overlay to use mpv's configuration file to get mpv to display osd and osc information which i believe are normally enabled by default. However Omxplayer also outputs an overlay video yet still shows osd info like time position etc. Any solutions.? The new version of Ubuntu 16.04 also has an accelerated version of mpv and newer smplayer in its repository .I tried ubuntu 16.04 and the video played by it's mpv wasn't displayed in the correct aspect ratio and for some reason did not seem as fast or efficient as the mpv player I have referenced here..
Note If at some point you lose keyboard control of full screen omxplayer or mpv you might try pressing alt-tab to regain control
As final digression that may or may not be helpful to other pi users I had a few multimedia ideas i stumbled upon partcularly with regard to using flashgot in firefox/iceweasel and the chromium url media internals for ferreting out the true urls of embedded web videos that I referenced in this post other users may find these ideas useful or have better suggestions