Media players close on start...

All Gurus once were Newbies
Forum rules
There are no such things as "stupid" questions. However if you think your question is a bit stupid, then this is the right place for you to post it. Please stick to easy to-the-point questions that you feel people can answer fast. For long and complicated questions prefer the other forums within the support section.
Before you post please read how to get help
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2009 10:40 am

Media players close on start...

Postby alx » Thu Mar 12, 2009 10:55 am

This is problem I've been facing with Mint from the time I installed it. None of the media players seem to be playing any songs or media. I can see the thumbnails...but when I click on them, it plays for a millisecond and then the player closes. Only rythmbox plays MP3s. Totem and Mplayer always close. I'm using Linux Mint 6 Felicia. I have an onboard ATI 1200, 512 MB RAM, AMD 64 X2 2200. On one random occasion Mplayer played a video when I logged in as root. But it only worked that one time.Please advice.

User avatar
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 403
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 4:54 pm
Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: Media players close on start...

Postby locutus » Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:46 pm

Try either or both, VLC or kaffeine. Both often work when mplayer and it's offshoots don't.
Resistance [to Linux] is futile.

Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 2:56 am

Re: Media players close on start...

Postby goldstein » Sat Mar 14, 2009 6:26 am

I have an ATI card in my desktop and have encountered problems similar to yours. MP3s would play but no video files would. After looking through a bunch of sites and trying different stuff I solved it by installing the proprietary drivers for ATI cards. You can do this by calling up the "Hardware Drivers" app in the Linux Mint Menu from the taskbar:

Menu > Administration > Hardware Drivers

A window should pop up allowing you to activate the proprietary ATI drivers.

Another possibility is that the codecs have not yet been installed.

Now why did this work? I do not claim to be an expert and have been playing with Linux Mint for a couple weeks but this is what I have found. Apparently there are two video play modes in Linux: hardware accelerated (xv mode) and software emulated (X11 mode). The open source ATI drivers do not seem to support hardware accelerated playback which is what Linux Mint defaults to when attempting to play video files. So when you try to play a video file it would hit a driver problem then quit right out. The vlc player can be configured to playback video using X11 mode through its configuration menus. The CPU is used to render the video instead of the video card (software rendering mode). CPU usage would hit 50% on my system when playing video in X11 mode. To get totem to select X11 mode for playback requires editing a text configuration file since it doesn't include playback settings in its configuration menus according to forums I've read but haven't actually tried it since I use vlc for all of my video playback. I then tried installing the proprietary ATI drivers and switching vlc's video playback settings to xv mode and it worked. CPU usage stayed below 10% when playing videos. This was done without having to run anything a root.

There is also a "Multimedia Systems Selector" app from the Preferences menu in the Linux Mint menu but I found that vlc, totem and mplayer would ignore whatever was set for video playback.


Playing videos under xv mode would cause bad flickering to occur when compiz is turned on using the ATI proprietary drivers. No problems occurred when playing videos under X11 mode with compiz turned on however.

Anyone with ATI cards able to play video in hardware accelerated mode and have compiz effects on at the same time without bad flickering occurring? This flickering also occurs under WoW (under wine) in opengl mode. Would be nice to use compiz along with hardware accelerated apps....

Return to “Newbie Questions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 15 guests