Baka-MPlayer, mpv based media player supports hardware acceleration

Baka-MPlayer, a mpv based open source, cross platform media player supports almost any media format. It’s built with Qt5 toolkit and features a simple dark colored user interface.

Some useful features –

  1. Mouse/Touchpad gesture support, increase or decrease volume with touchpad.
  2. Hardware accelerated playback with vdpau or vaapi.
  3. Youtube playback support through youtube-dl.
  4. Less startup time than VLC and Mplayer.
  5. Dim desktop feature, darken the display.
  6. Multilingual support.

baka-mplayer ubuntu debian linux

Baka-MPlayer is not directly a mpv frontend, instead it uses the libmpv as backend.

As mpv supports hardware accelerated video decoding, so Baka-MPlayer also could be configured to use hardware acceleration.


Installing Baka-MPlayer

Source code is available at Baka-MPlayer’s github repository, there is a simple manual if you want to compile and install from source.

If you are using Debain, Ubuntu, Linux Mint etc. etc then precompiled debian packages are available in this github repository, this method is much easier than compiling from source. Just download the deb proper deb file and install it with dpkg.

Note: You may need to install some Qt5 shared libraries depending on your system for installing the baka-mplayer debian package. Look at the example bellow,

 sudo apt-get install libmpv1 
 sudo dpkg -i ~/Downloads/baka-mplayer_2.0.4-1_amd64.deb 

You may need to run the command bellow to fix error while installing baka-mplayer.

 sudo apt-get install -f 


Enable hardware acceleration in Baka-Mplayer

To enable hardware acceleration you could use VAAPI for Intel GPU and VDPAU for high end nvidia or radeon GPU.

I’hv tested only VAAPI hardware accelerated decoding for intel GPUs.

So if you have a intel GPU, follow the guide. First install intel GPU VAAPI driver.

 sudo apt-get install i965-va-driver 

Now edit the baka-mplayer configuration file which is located at ~/.config/bakamplayer.ini , i.e. under the current user’s  .config folder. Edit it with your favorite text editor,

 nano ~/.config/bakamplayer.ini 

Now put this line bellow there under the mpv section, only and only these words, putting a single wrong character will disable hardware acceleration.

 "hwdec": "vaapi", 

For a more clear idea see the examle configuration bellow

"mpv": {
       "hwdec": "vaapi",
       "msg-level": "status",
       "screenshot-directory": ".",
       "screenshot-format": "",
       "screenshot-template": "screenshot%#04n",
       "speed": 1,
       "vo": "",
       "volume": 100

While playing 1080p videos with software decoding only, CPU load was about 14-15 %. But hardware accelerated video decoding with VAAPI reduced CPU load to just around 3-4%.

I used the top command to monitor CPU usage.

 top -d 0.5 


Sometimes it may be necessary to use hardware accelerated video decoding, i.e. a PC with weak CPU, like old Intel Atom series laptop CPUs, so you may want to use Baka-MPlayer, though VLC already supports that.

I’ll like to hear your feedback, suggestion or question, please leave comments and share the knowledge.

2 Responses

  1. Hershey says:

    Having some trouble here… Tried every method out there, but it seems the ‘libmpv1’ package in debian doesn’t exist (or is possibly defunct/broken)? I keep getting errors messages no matter how/where I try to get this to work. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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