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MPlayer and Arachne

    MPlayer, the open-source multi-media player for Linux (and Windows), has been ported to DOS by Michael Kostylev. You used to be able to get hold of it from his website, about a 5 MB download, but that website has disappeared.
You will also need the DOS port of 7za to unzip the archive. Get it at this website.

    Mik's port is no longer being kept up to date with the original sources, so look for the other (newer) versions, and check regularly for updates.

    So, what does it do ?

    It will play multimedia files - more kinds of multimedia files than has ever been possible in DOS before. It plays video (e.g. avi, mov, qt, mpeg, wmv, rm, asf, viv, flv, Ogg-Theora and more), and audio files (e.g. mp3, ogg, ra, wma, wav).

    And it can download and play streaming media ! That has also not been possible in DOS before !
(And you can save the streamed media.)

    So, does it work with Arachne ?

    Yep !!!

    And here is how to do it.

    You will need:

Note: The APM is now available, get it here.

Manual Installation

NOTE: As an alternative to the APM, here are some instructions on how to do that manually.

Streaming Media

    Once you have MPlayer working on local media files, might be time to have a go at streaming media from the internet.

Here is a screenshot of MPlayer downloading a streaming .ra file.
Here is a screenshot of MPlayer downloading a streaming .wmv file.


    There are some websites that have their media files with advertising to play first. If this is the case, then it is likely that ONLY the advertisement will play. An example is the BBC website in UK. (Or, was !! See below !)

But there is a way around that. :)

    You will notice, if you hover the mouse over the link, that the URL ends with something other than .asx, in fact it has a ? and some other code after the .asx.
So, right click on the link to place the complete URL into clip.tmp.
Move the mouse cursor to the URL line at the top of your screen, clear it with Ctrl+Y, then load the media URL with Ctrl+V.
Erase the far right of the loaded URL including the ?, leaving the address ending in .asx.
Then press ENTER, and MPlayer will download, then play, the media file as usual.

NEWS UPDATE: The BBC is moving its media files to Flash-only and guarding them by javascript !
If you find this annoying, then by all means tell them so !

RTSP:// Links

For Arachne 1.93 (or higher) this is handled by core.exe, which passes the address directly to MPlayer.

For older Arachne versions, this is easiest handled with an .OOK file:
    Right-click on the URL to place it in clip.tmp.
    Invoke the .OOK file, either with a user-defined hotkey combination, or by going through Arachne_desktop\Your_Applications\mp_rm.ook - thus feeding the rtsp:// URL directly to MPlayer.

Something to Read

    For extensive documentation on MPlayer itself, here it is. But be aware that this documentation is written for Linux users, and not all of the features or functions are available in DOS.
    The same applies to the man page.

    For saving a streamed media file, see here.

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