MPlayer OS X and MEncoder binaries

Update (2009-12-22): New binaries, including mencoder x264 support (hopefully) and a link to the MPlayer Extended frontend.

Update: I’ve overhauled this article to reflect the various changes that have happened since its creation. I’ve also finally re-added the binary downloads (built from the trunk as of 2008-09-08), please leave a comment letting me know if they work for you (or not)!

If you’re a Mac user, like me, at some point you’ll probably have had the misfortune to trying to play Windows Media Videos (WMVs). You’ll have discovered that the options are limited: there’s the “official” choice of Microsoft’s awful Windows Media Player for Mac, which they’ve now stopped developing, or its successor in the limited-but-free Flip4Mac components, which work through Quicktime. so by default won’t play full-screen thanks to Apple’s cheap-ass decision to cripple its media player. (Seriously, what is up with that? You’ve just spent a large chunk of money on a machine and they won’t let you play a movie full-screen easily without shelling out more cash? Sheesh.)
However, there is a better way…

You can get round Apple’s hamstrung Quicktime Player by using NicePlayer along with the Perian and Flip4Mac components, though Windows Media support is still less than satisfactory as Flip4Mac has to index the entire file before it can seek through it, using plenty of CPU while it’s indexing, so expect jerky video if you’re playing HD content or your Mac’s over a year old, and forget about skipping forward. Then there’s the lovely VLC media player, which is generally fantastic and comes highly recommended, its only flaw being weak Windows Media support: the Mac version won’t play WM9/VC1 files, for instance.

So all of these still pose the problem of poor WMV playback. Surely there’s something out there that does a half-decent job? Enter, stage right: MPlayer.

Originally written as a Linux commandline movie player and then ported to other systems including Windows and OS X, it supports many different video codecs including 3ivx, DivX, H.263, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, Indeo, MJPEG, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, RealVideo, Xvid and others. And WMV, including WMV9. On the audio side it supports AAC, FLAC, MP3, RealAudio, Vorbis, WMA and others.

Some lovely people wrote a native OS X front-end but unfortunately haven’t updated it in several years so it’s well out of date. There’s also an unofficial Mac OS X build at, which also seems to be rather old, but the one to go for now is MPlayer OSX Extended (the latest version requires Leopard, but the previous revision works under Tiger).

? Downloads ?

The following binaries below are command-line only! They’re provided for advanced usage, and are NOT SUPPORTED. For a front-end, please try MPlayer OSX Extended.

MPlayer dev-SVN-4.2.1 for Intel (2009-12-22):

I also did an MEncoder binary as I couldn’t find an updated one anywhere (this may be useful for FFmpegX users):

MEncoder dev-SVN-4.2.1 for Intel (2009-12-22):

I’m afraid I offer NO SUPPORT for these builds, they were purely done for personal use and distributed here on the off chance that someone else may find it useful. I’m no mplayer expert, I just compiled it (via MacPorts) on my Mac ;) If you need help, try the official MPlayer mailing lists. They’re released under the GPL Licence, code is available from the official MPlayer site or through the MacPorts project.


  1. Stef

    The downloads are offline temporarily while I fix some codec issues — think I’ll have to supply parts of the Binary Codec Packages to get Real support working, for instance.

  2. Ian Roberts

    Is there any chance you can repost the binaries? I’m desperately looking for a straight-up mencoder binary for osx that isn’t hideously out of date.

    The mplayer site only has mplayer compiled and I need the mencoder binary for some command line stuff.

    Many thanks!

  3. Stef

    Ahh, sorry about that, I’ve been meaning to get around to updating that article and the binaries for ages! (Had trouble getting them working reliably on a second machine so ended up giving up.) I’m currently sailing around Greece so bandwidth’s somewhat tight ? on GPRS at the moment ? but I’ll see if I can coax something usable out of the MacPorts mplayer/mencoder package. Can’t guarantee anything, but I’ll give it a shot now and see what I can come up with ? cheers!

  4. Stef

    I’ve reposted the binaries, which should be free of dependencies and work with a standard OS X install. Please let me know if they work for you (or not)! Thanks.

  5. mhanney

    Thanks for making these binaries available. Mencoder works great on my macbook pro 2.33 intel core 2 duo running Mac OS X 10.5.6 Leopard.

  6. Stef

    You’re welcome, glad they’re of use. Thanks for the confirmation that they work, by the way, much appreciated.

  7. Sid

    Oh my gosh! I’ve been surfing and testing the results for ages, but only by now I’ve found ur hand made and up-to-date mencoder binaries.
    Thanks to you I can go on living now…!

  8. TheElf

    Ouch! leopard only binaries… a version for tiger would be perfect, given that users with G3 can not use leopard , and mplayer is the best option for slower processors

  9. Stef

    I’m fairly sure my system’ll only build Leopard-compatible binaries, sorry! I’ll investigate and see if I can figure out a way to build for Tiger PPC later today, though.

  10. Ollie

    A Leopard PPC build would also be wonderful!

  11. Adam

    I agree, i’m killing for a OSX PPC build of mencoder… also the guys at this site seem to need it, too !

  12. Thomas

    Great job! I’m making a DVD compilation for a chick I’m hanging out with, but have noticed with ffmpegX and mpeg2enc that if you “Decode with QuickTime,” encoding footage with a running time longer than about 30 minutes gets you weird stutter effects in the latter part of the m2v stream. I traced this to QuickTime decoding (Perian at fault, perhaps?), so I instead used mplayer to decode but with the old binary versions. These fixed the stuttering, but still created that annoying green frame at frame 1. Your versions fixed that, so everything works perfectly now! My girl is gonna be thrilled! Thanks!

  13. Stef

    @TheElf, Ollie and Adam: sorry for the delay, I’ve tried compiling this a few times but can’t seem to produce a PPC binary (or one for Tiger). I’m getting my old Mac Mini back shortly ? lent it to a starving musician ? so hopefully that’ll have more success, seeing as it’s both PPC and Tiger.

    @Thomas Glad it helped!

  14. lomenoldur

    Many thanks, both binaries work beautifuly on Mac OS X 10.5.6 i386. You’re a star.

  15. TheElf

    Hi, i compile the mplayer version from macports ( in booth Panther/Tiger

    Mplayer version 1.0rc2 Is the fastest version in my G3 900 I can even watch 640×480 x264 videos, and even up 940×520 divx without noticeable frameskip!!

    …too bad im not a programmer, im sure is posible to optimize more the compilation to work best in PPC G3/G4 processors

    Mencoder works great in G3/Panther/Tiger with macports

    The only problem is that the binary made with macports is not portable

    sorry my bad english :)

  16. rich

    mplayer for G3:

    go build from sources or DL Tiger release of MPlayerOSX.

    Forewarning: G3 WILL NOT SUPPORT HD content.
    AKA: no x264 support[extremely choppy]

    Everthing else plays fine.

  17. misha


    Seems, tho, mencoder isn’t built with x264. Here’s output of mencoder -ovc help:

    Available codecs:
    copy – frame copy, without re-encoding. Doesn’t work with filters.
    frameno – special audio-only file for 3-pass encoding, see DOCS.
    raw – uncompressed video. Use fourcc option to set format explicitly.
    lavc – libavcodec codecs – best quality!
    vfw – VfW DLLs, read DOCS/HTML/en/encoding-guide.html.
    qtvideo – QuickTime DLLs, currently only SVQ1/3 are supported.

  18. Stef

    Update: New binaries (built on 2009-12-22), including mencoder x264 support (hopefully), and a link to the MPlayer Extended frontend.

    I haven’t had any luck with PowerPC (PPC) builds, though, I’m afraid. Sorry.

    I’ve kept the previous binaries here, just in case:

    Let me know if you have any problems with the new ones.

  19. Tariq

    Are these binaries FFmpegx compatible?

    Many thanks

  20. Stef

    Hi Tariq. Hmm, I’m not sure, to be honest. As ffmpegX hasn’t been updated for a couple of years, it depends on whether the mencoder & mplayer commandline options that ffmpegX calls have changed or not.

    At a guess, they’ll probably work fine, but the best way to find out is to try them yourself.

  21. drh

    I have an old version of mplayer and mencoder for OSX.

    The file sizes are around 16Mb.

    I downloaded your compiled versions above but when I try to run them, I get the following error:

    dyld: Library not loaded: /opt/local/lib/libfaac.0.dylib

  22. Stef

    drh ? thanks for letting me know. Seems they’re looking for a dynamic library that was compiled along with the rest of it all through MacPorts, which they can’t find. I should’ve tested for this by renaming the /opt/ main MacPorts directory to see if they’d work or not before posting them up ? sorry!

    I’ll switch the downloads back to the older known-working files and see if I can get MacPorts to compile static versions with everything wrapped inside the binaries.

  23. Robin

    hi stef… i was trying to download your latest mencoder build to use with MKVTools (2.2.5.b1) from Emm Gunn… when i click on the download link i seem to get a file with a creation date of September 7, 2008, 6:49pm… is that correct?

    downloading the ‘previous’ release link seems to give the exact same file.

    many thanks!

  24. Stef

    Hiya Robin. As per my reply to drh, unfortunately the updated ones weren’t functioning without additional MacPorts libraries so I’m afraid I’ve had to switch back to the previous builds, hence the old creation date.

    I’m currently struggling with MacPorts, trying to create some new builds that are fully self contained (i.e. ‘static’). If all goes well, I’ll have them done in the next few days. I’ll keep you posted!

  25. Mike Carrington

    Thanks for the binary, I didn’t want to build it myself :)

  26. Tom

    Hi guys,

    If some of you are still interested in using a PPC w/tiger binaries, you can find them here

    Also, if your PPC is not fast enough to do live transcoding, you can use this guy python’s script… Thanks to the authors… (his site seems up/down)

    • Stef

      Thanks, Tom!

  27. Dom

    i was looking for a recent mencoder binary to join two .avi files on OSX. i didnt find any, so i compiled it overnight via macports using the mplayer-devel +mencoder_extras variant.
    so this is snow leopard compatible.

    MEncoder UNKNOWN-4.2.1 (C) 2000-2010 MPlayer Team
    150 audio & 337 video codecs (3,8 MB)

    maybe someone needs it…

    • Stef

      @Dom ? thanks. The problem with offering MacPorts builds, as I mention a few comments up, is that they have external dependencies (other libraries) which mean that anything compiled won’t work as a standalone binary on other machines. Doing a ‘port info mplayer-devel’ shows the following:

      Library Dependencies: jpeg, lame, libiconv, libmad, libogg, libpng, libtheora, libvorbis, lzo2, ncurses, zlib, bzip2, liboil

      Unfortunately MacPorts doesn’t provide the option to compile the lot into statically-linked binaries, which would roll everything up into a single binary that would work for non-MacPorts users. It does offer the option to generate standard Mac installer packages, though, which will install the required libraries into the appropriate locations. There’s more on this here (see 3.4.2 Binary Packages):

      I’d be happy to create and offer up an mplayer-devel (with mencoder) package if anyone needs it, but this way’s not really as clean or advantageous as installing MacPorts and doing it through their system instead.

  28. derek

    would it be possible to get an update for mencoder to work with OSX 10.5.8?

  29. Will

    Hi Stef – your versions of mencoder and mencoder-prev appear to be identical

    $ mencoder -ovc help
    MEncoder dev-SVN-r27545-4.0.1 (C) 2000-2008 MPlayer Team
    CPU: Genuine Intel(R) CPU 1500 @ 2.00GHz (Family: 6, Model: 14, Stepping: 8)
    CPUflags: Type: 6 MMX: 1 MMX2: 1 3DNow: 0 3DNow2: 0 SSE: 1 SSE2: 1
    Compiled for x86 CPU with extensions: MMX MMX2 SSE SSE2

    Available codecs:
    copy – frame copy, without re-encoding. Doesn’t work with filters.
    frameno – special audio-only file for 3-pass encoding, see DOCS.
    raw – uncompressed video. Use fourcc option to set format explicitly.
    lavc – libavcodec codecs – best quality!
    vfw – VfW DLLs, read DOCS/HTML/en/encoding-guide.html.
    qtvideo – QuickTime DLLs, currently only SVQ1/3 are supported.

  30. skolman_mws

    MPlayer (with MEncoder) 1.0-SVN-r34310 (06.11.2011) PowerPC

    MorphOS for eMac, Mac mini G4, Power Mac G4

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

© 2024

Theme by Anders NorénUp ↑