You can start xine with or without command-line parameters. If you wish to play a VCD or DVD, the simplest method is to invoke xine with the following command:
Then click on the DVD or VCD button on the xine control panel. This causes Xine to scan for a DVD or VCD as appropriate. If xine finds one, you can press the `play' button to start the movie.
When xine first starts up, the main Xine window will be displayed (black with the xine logo in it). Clicking the right mouse button in the window will toggle the display of the xine control panel.
The xine control panel has a selection of familiar VCR-type controls for playing, pausing, stopping and moving to the beginning or end of file as appropriate.
For a usage summary, use the following command-line
$ xine --help
xine specifies video sources using a media resource locater (MRL). Valid MRLs are:
file://some/file.vob- Specifies the file
fifo://[[mpeg1:mpeg2]:/]some/fifo- xine gets the video from the special FIFO pipe
/some/fifo. By default, xine assumes the stream is mpeg-2, use
mpeg2in the MRL to specify it explicitly.
stdin://[mpeg1:mpeg2]- xine takes the video stream from stdin. As with the
fifo://MRL, xine assumes mpeg2 unless told otherwise.
dvd://VTS_xx_y.VOB- Use the VOB file specified on a DVD. This is different to using the
file://MRL as xine reads the data directly from the DVD rather than using the Unix file system.
vcd://track- Plays the track specified on a VCD.
html://server.somewhere.tld/foo/bar.mpg- Streams the specified URL and attempts to play it.
mms://server/dir/file- An streaming protocol developed by some obscure company in Washington. Sometimes used for videos on news sites.
In all cases, xine is invoked by
$ xine <mrl>
For example, to play the file
$ xine file://some/where/foo.vob
In addition to the above methods, you can specify a file directly, for example:
$ xine /some/where/foo.vob
You may also imply the MRL
$ xine -
The following both play the file
$ xine /path/foo.vob $ xine file://path/foo.vob
xine supports the xdnd protocol (Version 3) so if you have a file browser application supporting that protocol (e.g. gmc) you can drop video files on xine for playback.
Playing track 3 from a VCD:
$ xine vcd://3
Example for direct DVD access:
$ xine dvd://VTS_01_1.VOB
Some video files can have multiple audio tracks (e.g. DVDs). There are two ways to select audio tracks. The simplest is to use the arrows next to the audio track icon on the xine control panel (usually a speaker).
Alternatively, you can use the
-a command line parameter. For example to play the
third audio track in the file
$ xine -a 3 /path/foo.mpg
For MPEG-1 video, only mpeg audio (layer 1, 2 and 3) is supported.
MPEG-2 streams can have different types of audio streams, though. xine supports AC3 (dolby digital), mpeg and LPCM sound. These are mapped to the following tracks:
Track selected audio stream 0- 7 AC3 stream 0-7 8-15 MPG audio stream 0-7 16-23 PCM audio stream 0-7
For example, to play PCM stream 0 use
$ xine -a 16 file.vob
xine supports skinning (like the XMMS or Winamp programs). The skin may be changed by clicking on its name in the `control' dialogue box. To identify the correct button on the main xine control panel, hover your mouse over the buttons for a short while and a small window pops up to identify each button.
DVDs and VOB files may contain subtitle information within them that xine can use to display subtitles over the video. This feature is by default off but one can enable it by changing the subtitle track number to the right of the subtitle icon on the xine control panel.
Alternatively, you may use the
-u command-line parameter. For
example, to display the subtitles with id 0, use:
$ xine -u 0 <file or MRL>
To change the method of video output, use the
-V command line
parameter. For example to start using the MIT-SHM (XShm) output method, use
$ xine -V XShm
and to use the XVideo (Xv) output:
$ xine -V Xv
xine `remembers' changes to the video output so your change will still take effect after exiting and restarting xine.
-A command-line parameter can be used to select the OSS
oss), ALSA 0.9 (
esd), ARTS (
arts) or NULL
null) output driver. For example,
to force the use of the ALSA driver:
$ xine -A oss /path/file.mpg
The NULL driver does not use any sound hardware and is best used for testing purposes.
xine `remembers' changes to the audio output so your change will still take effect after exiting and restarting xine.
xine can be set to automatically play when it starts through the use of
command-line parameter. For example:
$ xine -p /path/file.mpg
-p parameter also accepts an optional single character to
control xine farther:
f- Start xine in Fullscreen mode (Xv only).
h- Hide the control panel.
q- Quit xine when finished playing the video.
d- Attempt to retrieve playlist from DVD.
v- Attempt to retrieve playlist from VCD.
For example, to auto-play, in fullscreen mode and attempt to retrieve the playlist from a DVD:
$ xine -pfhd
xine is a highly configurable program. This configuration may be performed from the settings window (locate the correct button in the GUI as above for the control window).
More information on a particular setting may usually be found by examining the
comments in the
The following are some tips and tricks for getting the most out of xine.
As xine is still in its developmental stage, it outputs a lot of information to the console when it runs. To remove this output start xine like this:
$ xine mrl 2>&1 >/dev/null
You can use this simple shell script to automatically do this when loading xine.
#!/bin/sh xine "$@" 2>&1 >/dev/null
The xine config file (
~/.xine/config) has a number of useful options.
They can be changed from the xine stup dialogue box (click the 'spanner' icon on