MplayerX: Grand Central Dispatch, OpenCL, Multi-Touch Powered Alternative to Movist and VLC

In the past months we covered some interesting alternatives to VLC for Mac, like Movist and Mplayer OS X Extended, which sported really interesting features and playback support for almost every format out there.

Today I’d like to talk about another similar app, found on Google Code once again, which is an evolution of Mplayer OS X Extended: meet MplayerX.

To better introduce you to MPlayerX I’d like to quote a few paragraphs from the Google Code official project page:

“Well, I was really tired of MPlayer OSX.It runs OK but, it looks like ninety years old man. And also, the new technology Apple prevailed, such as Core Animation, Grand-Central Dispatch, even OpenCL, pushed me to give them a try.

So I started without even knowing how to program under Mac, came to know Xcode, Objective-C 2.0, Cocoa and the Core family.”

Being a project started from someone who didn’t even know what Cocoa and Core Animation was, MplayerX is a great achievement. Unlike the other media player applications we reviewed in the past, this one utilizes some of the Mac OS X core components like Grand Central Dispatch and OpenCL to bring support for multi touch, multi threaded ffmpeg (for Macs with multiple cores) and multi screen fullscreen support. Indeed, you can swipe with three fingers to forward / backward, pinch and zoom with two fingers to resize the window while a movie is playing. Everything happens “live”, even when you change speed, audio delay and sub delay the app takes less than a second to adjust the settings. Speaking of subtitles, MplayerX can auto detect the encode method of subtitle file using Universal Charset Detector, change the subtitle size during playback, load subs while playing with either drag and drop or double click, insert letterbox for them. Other features include support for Apple Remote, video snapshot, video tuner for brightness and saturation adjustments, multiple audio tracks. You can also get a basic overview and support over at the Wiki page here.

MplayerX Mac

MplayerX Mac

MplayerX Mac

MplayerX Mac

MplayerX Mac

MplayerX Mac

I’ve played with it for a few hours now, and I’ve already replaced Movist with it in my dock. I haven’t encountered any specific problems with playback, the app is fast and lightweight, the multitouch support alone is worth downloading it. Now, let’s see what its “competitors” will come up with, but MPlayerX is no doubt a huge leap forward.