Fight for the Internet 1!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

MPlayer / SMPlayer problems in Ubuntu 10.10

I'm current having some small problems with SMPlayer in Ubuntu 10.10. I'm not sure what the cause is but I'm fairly certain it relates to the recent switch to Kernel Direct-Rendering-Management (DRM) and Nvidia drivers. I say this partly because I am noticing other small video glitches but for the most part they are not worth even mentioning.

However specifically there seems to be problems with trying to use VDPAU. (If you don't know what that is, in a nutshell it is letting your videocard's CPU, often called a GPU, do video playback/decoding for you, which is faster than using your main CPU as well as leaving the system CPU free for other tasks.)

While the problems with VDPAU are hard to pin down (I'm having trouble finding an exact bug report to list here), I have found a small fix to help with my other SMPlayer problems.

I have started using daily compiled MPlayer packages from this PPA.

It seems to have helped with smoothing playback in other areas where I might get lockups when I would use some more exotic SMPlayer/MPlayer feature.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Rip Subtitles from YouTube (and Google Video)

Rip Subtitles from YouTube (and Google Video)

Today I needed to extract some subtitles from a cute video I found on YouTube, and I tracked down this piece of software that lets you do it.

It's a very simple program, but it does the job. Simply give it the URL of the target video, optionally give it a file-path to where you want the output SRT (subtitle) file to be saved, and hit Read. It will present you with a list of the subtitles it can find at that URL address. Check the subs you want, and hit GO. It will save them for you.

It saves the subs in SRT, which is a generic and well supported Subtitle format. In the case of most video players, if you name the SRT file exactly the same name as the video file, when opening the video in a media-player the program usually automatically detects the subs and enables them for you. (Or if your media-player doesn't, you should get a better one that does, like SMPlayer or VLC.)