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cVLC as Default Video Player



I love MPlayer. I’ve been using it for years. Whenever I needed to watch a video from my camera or downloaded something from YouTube it always did great. However, I revisited recently trying to play a DVD with MPlayer after having gone through a lengthy setup process a ways back and discovered MPlayer still cannot play DVD’s reliably. From the examples I tried it seemed as error-prone as before.

MPlayer always ran dependably and with almost no resources, videos would pop rightup. Learning to use the keyboard to navigate Mplayer was likely having one big remote control. However, I came to the decision that I cannot deal with the quirks of MPlayer anymore (there is good work on the mplayer2 project that is trying to fix a lot of the internal plumbing problems of MPlayer) but I needed something more-reliable. So when I decided just to use VLC, I accidentally learned about clvc.

I don’t normally use VLC because I use GNOME. Having MPlayer open up immediately was a big plus, but with clvc (which is part of the VLC package) videos open just like they did with MPlayer. And the playback quality is good. To play a DVD:

cvlc dvd://

The big thing is I’m going to have to learn all the key mappings again for cvlc, so a made a reference sheet:

Key Mappings

Desktop Recognition

To have clvc be recognized by the desktop a .desktop needs to be created:

and put in ~/.local/share/applications.

sudo update-desktop-database -q

Warning: I had to put it in /usr/share/applications/ for GNOME 3.6 to be able to recognize it in Default Applications and Removable media. This is likely a bug.

To have all known video types that VLC knows and define them to cVLC as the default application do:

xdg-mime default cvlc.desktop $(grep -oP 'video.*?;' /usr/share/applications/vlc.desktop | tr ';\n' ' ')

Load on DVD Insertion

I have yet to find out how to do this. This probably isn’t the correct way to do it, but it should work (note: my install is busted a bit right now so unable to test). Put in /usr/share/applications/clvc-dvd.desktop:)

[Desktop Entry]
Type=Application
Name=cVLC
GenericName=Media Player
GenericName[ca]=Reproductor multimèdia
GenericName[de]=Medienwiedergabe
GenericName[fr]=Lecteur multimédia
GenericName[it]=Lettore multimediale
GenericName[ja]=メディアプレーヤー
X-GNOME-FullName=Command Line VLC
Comment=Play movies and songs
Icon=vlc
TryExec=cvlc dvd://
Exec=cvlc dvd:// %U
Terminal=false
Type=Application
Categories=AudioVideo;Player;Recorder;
MimeType=video/dv;video/mpeg;video/x-mpeg;video/msvideo;video/quicktime;video/x-anim;video/x-avi;video/x-ms-asf;video/x-ms-wmv;video/x-msvideo;video/x-nsv;video/x-flc;video/x-fli;video/x-flv;video/vnd.rn-realvideo;video/mp4;video/mp4v-es;video/mp2t;application/ogg;application/x-ogg;video/x-ogm+ogg;audio/x-vorbis+ogg;application/x-matroska;audio/x-matroska;video/x-matroska;video/webm;audio/webm;audio/x-mp3;audio/x-mpeg;audio/mpeg;audio/x-wav;audio/x-mpegurl;audio/x-scpls;audio/x-m4a;audio/x-ms-asf;audio/x-ms-asx;audio/x-ms-wax;application/vnd.rn-realmedia;audio/x-real-audio;audio/x-pn-realaudio;application/x-flac;audio/x-flac;application/x-shockwave-flash;misc/ultravox;audio/vnd.rn-realaudio;audio/x-pn-aiff;audio/x-pn-au;audio/x-pn-wav;audio/x-pn-windows-acm;image/vnd.rn-realpix;audio/x-pn-realaudio-plugin;application/x-extension-mp4;audio/mp4;audio/amr;audio/amr-wb;x-content/video-vcd;x-content/video-svcd;x-content/video-dvd;x-content/audio-cdda;x-content/audio-player;application/xspf+xml;x-scheme-handler/mms;x-scheme-handler/rtmp;x-scheme-handler/rtsp;
X-KDE-Protocols=ftp,http,https,mms,rtmp,rtsp,sftp,smb
Keywords=Player;Capture;DVD;Audio;Video;Server;Broadcast;
NoDisplay=True

and then point to it in Removable Media > DVD.

YouTube videos

VLC has it’s own parser to be able to extract URL’s from YouTube so running is all that is needed to get the job done:

cvlc "http://www.youtube.com/..."
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About Todd Partridge (Gently)

Good times, good people, good fun.

One comment on “cVLC as Default Video Player

  1. Hmm, like this person http://superuser.com/questions/596277/using-hot-keys-with-vlcs-dummy-interface my Ubuntu (within tmux) is not catching my hotkeys by default.

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