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MPlayer is a free and open source media player. The program is available for all major operating systems, including Linux and other Unix-like systems, Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. Versions for OS/2, Syllable, AmigaOS and MorphOS are also available. The Windows version works, with some minor problems, also in DOS using HX DOS Extender. A port for DOS using DJGPP is also available. A version for the Wii Homebrew Channel has also emerged. 
MPlayer supports a wide variety of media formats . In addition to its wide range of supported formats MPlayer can also save all streamed content to a file.
MPlayer is a command line application which has different optional GUIs for each of its supported operating systems. Commonly used GUIs are gMplayer written in GTK+ (the default GUI for Unix-like systems), MPlayer OS X (for Mac OS X), MPUI (for Windows) and WinMPLauncher (also for Windows). Several other GUI frontends are also available for each platform.
Development of MPlayer began in 2000. The original author, Árpád Gereöffy (known as A'rpi / Astral in the demoscene), was soon joined by many other programmers. The project was started because A'rpi was unable to find any satisfactory video players for Linux. The first version was titled mpg12play v0.1 and was hacked together in a half hour using libmpeg3 from http://www.heroinewarrior.com/. After mpg12play v0.95pre5, the code was merged with an AVI player based on avifile's Win32 DLL loader to form MPlayer v0.3 in November 2000. In the beginning most developers were from Hungary, but currently the developers are located worldwide. Alex Beregszászi has maintained MPlayer since 2003 when Árpád Gereöffy left MPlayer development to begin work on a second generation MPlayer. The MPlayer G2 project is currently paused for a number of reasons.
MPlayer was previously called "MPlayer - The Movie Player for Linux" by its developers but this was later shortened to "MPlayer - The Movie Player" after it became commonly used on multiple operating systems.
MPlayer also supports a variety of different output drivers for displaying video, including X11, OpenGL, DirectX, Quartz Compositor, VESA, Framebuffer, SDL and rarer ones such as ASCII art and Blinkenlights. It can also be used to display TV from a TV card using the device
tv://channel, or play and capture radio channels via
Since version 1.0RC1, decent built-in support for the ASS/SSA subtitle format is present by the use of libass, though it still has issues rendering some languages (such as those requiring Complex text layout).
Most video and audio formats are supported natively through the libavcodec library of the FFmpeg project. For those formats where no open source decoder has been made yet MPlayer relies on binary codecs. It can use Windows DLLs directly with the help of a DLL loader forked from avifile (which itself forked its loader from the Wine project).
The combination of CSS decryption software and use of formats covered by software patents places a fully-functional MPlayer in the legal bind shared by most open source multimedia players. In the past MPlayer used to include OpenDivX, a GPL-incompatible decoder library. This has since been removed, making MPlayer itself completely free software. Usage of patented codecs in free software however is a still pending potential problem affecting FFmpeg, MPlayer and similar software when used in countries where software patents apply.
In January 2004 the Mplayer website was updated with an allegation that the Danish DVD player manufacturer, KISS Technology, were marketing DVD players with firmware that included parts of MPlayer's GPL-licensed code. The implication was that KISS was violating the GPL License, since KISS did not release its firmware under the GPL license. The response from the managing director of KISS, Peter Wilmar Christensen, indicated that the MPlayer team was lying and offered as explanation of the similarities that the MPlayer team had in fact used code stolen from KISS's firmware.