avplay Man page



ffplay – FFplay media player


ffplay [options] [input_file]


FFplay is a very simple and portable media player using the FFmpeg
libraries and the SDL library. It is mostly used as a testbed for the
various FFmpeg APIs.


All the numerical options, if not specified otherwise, accept a string
representing a number as input, which may be followed by one of the SI
unit prefixes, for example: ‘K’, ‘M’, or ‘G’.

If ‘i’ is appended to the SI unit prefix, the complete prefix will be
interpreted as a unit prefix for binary multiples, which are based on
powers of 1024 instead of powers of 1000. Appending ‘B’ to the SI unit
prefix multiplies the value by 8. This allows using, for example: ‘KB’,
‘MiB’, ‘G’ and ‘B’ as number suffixes.

Options which do not take arguments are boolean options, and set the
corresponding value to true. They can be set to false by prefixing the
option name with “no”. For example using “-nofoo” will set the boolean
option with name “foo” to false.

Stream specifiers
Some options are applied per-stream, e.g. bitrate or codec. Stream
specifiers are used to precisely specify which stream(s) a given option
belongs to.

A stream specifier is a string generally appended to the option name
and separated from it by a colon. E.g. “-codec:a:1 ac3” contains the
“a:1” stream specifier, which matches the second audio stream.
Therefore, it would select the ac3 codec for the second audio stream.

A stream specifier can match several streams, so that the option is
applied to all of them. E.g. the stream specifier in “-b:a 128k”
matches all audio streams.

An empty stream specifier matches all streams. For example, “-codec
copy” or “-codec: copy” would copy all the streams without reencoding.

Possible forms of stream specifiers are:

Matches the stream with this index. E.g. “-threads:1 4” would set
the thread count for the second stream to 4.

stream_type[:stream_index] stream_type is one of following: ‘v’ or ‘V’ for video, ‘a’ for
audio, ‘s’ for subtitle, ‘d’ for data, and ‘t’ for attachments. ‘v’
matches all video streams, ‘V’ only matches video streams which are
not attached pictures, video thumbnails or cover arts. If
stream_index is given, then it matches stream number stream_index
of this type. Otherwise, it matches all streams of this type.

p:program_id[:stream_index] If stream_index is given, then it matches the stream with number
stream_index in the program with the id program_id. Otherwise, it
matches all streams in the program.

#stream_id or i:stream_id
Match the stream by stream id (e.g. PID in MPEG-TS container).

m:key[:value] Matches streams with the metadata tag key having the specified
value. If value is not given, matches streams that contain the
given tag with any value.

u Matches streams with usable configuration, the codec must be
defined and the essential information such as video dimension or
audio sample rate must be present.

Note that in ffmpeg, matching by metadata will only work properly
for input files.

Generic options
These options are shared amongst the ff* tools.

-L Show license.

-h, -?, -help, –help [arg] Show help. An optional parameter may be specified to print help
about a specific item. If no argument is specified, only basic (non
advanced) tool options are shown.

Possible values of arg are:

Print advanced tool options in addition to the basic tool

Print complete list of options, including shared and private
options for encoders, decoders, demuxers, muxers, filters, etc.

Print detailed information about the decoder named
decoder_name. Use the -decoders option to get a list of all

Print detailed information about the encoder named
encoder_name. Use the -encoders option to get a list of all

Print detailed information about the demuxer named
demuxer_name. Use the -formats option to get a list of all
demuxers and muxers.

Print detailed information about the muxer named muxer_name.
Use the -formats option to get a list of all muxers and

Print detailed information about the filter name filter_name.
Use the -filters option to get a list of all filters.

Show version.

Show available formats (including devices).

Show available devices.

Show all codecs known to libavcodec.

Note that the term ‘codec’ is used throughout this documentation as
a shortcut for what is more correctly called a media bitstream

Show available decoders.

Show all available encoders.

Show available bitstream filters.

Show available protocols.

Show available libavfilter filters.

Show available pixel formats.

Show available sample formats.

Show channel names and standard channel layouts.

Show recognized color names.

-sources device[,opt1=val1[,opt2=val2]…] Show autodetected sources of the intput device. Some devices may
provide system-dependent source names that cannot be autodetected.
The returned list cannot be assumed to be always complete.

ffmpeg -sources pulse,server=

-sinks device[,opt1=val1[,opt2=val2]…] Show autodetected sinks of the output device. Some devices may
provide system-dependent sink names that cannot be autodetected.
The returned list cannot be assumed to be always complete.

ffmpeg -sinks pulse,server=

-loglevel [repeat+]loglevel | -v [repeat+]loglevel
Set the logging level used by the library. Adding “repeat+”
indicates that repeated log output should not be compressed to the
first line and the “Last message repeated n times” line will be
omitted. “repeat” can also be used alone. If “repeat” is used
alone, and with no prior loglevel set, the default loglevel will be
used. If multiple loglevel parameters are given, using ‘repeat’
will not change the loglevel. loglevel is a string or a number
containing one of the following values:

quiet, -8
Show nothing at all; be silent.

panic, 0
Only show fatal errors which could lead the process to crash,
such as and assert failure. This is not currently used for

fatal, 8
Only show fatal errors. These are errors after which the
process absolutely cannot continue after.

error, 16
Show all errors, including ones which can be recovered from.

warning, 24
Show all warnings and errors. Any message related to possibly
incorrect or unexpected events will be shown.

info, 32
Show informative messages during processing. This is in
addition to warnings and errors. This is the default value.

verbose, 40
Same as “info”, except more verbose.

debug, 48
Show everything, including debugging information.

trace, 56

By default the program logs to stderr, if coloring is supported by
the terminal, colors are used to mark errors and warnings. Log
coloring can be disabled setting the environment variable
AV_LOG_FORCE_NOCOLOR or NO_COLOR, or can be forced setting the
environment variable AV_LOG_FORCE_COLOR. The use of the
environment variable NO_COLOR is deprecated and will be dropped in
a following FFmpeg version.

Dump full command line and console output to a file named
“program-YYYYMMDD-HHMMSS.log” in the current directory. This file
can be useful for bug reports. It also implies “-loglevel

Setting the environment variable FFREPORT to any value has the same
effect. If the value is a ‘:’-separated key=value sequence, these
options will affect the report; option values must be escaped if
they contain special characters or the options delimiter ‘:’ (see
the “Quoting and escaping” section in the ffmpeg-utils manual).

The following options are recognized:

set the file name to use for the report; %p is expanded to the
name of the program, %t is expanded to a timestamp, “%%” is
expanded to a plain “%”

set the log verbosity level using a numerical value (see

For example, to output a report to a file named ffreport.log using
a log level of 32 (alias for log level “info”):

FFREPORT=file=ffreport.log:level=32 ffmpeg -i input output

Errors in parsing the environment variable are not fatal, and will
not appear in the report.

Suppress printing banner.

All FFmpeg tools will normally show a copyright notice, build
options and library versions. This option can be used to suppress
printing this information.

-cpuflags flags (global)
Allows setting and clearing cpu flags. This option is intended for
testing. Do not use it unless you know what you’re doing.

ffmpeg -cpuflags -sse+mmx …
ffmpeg -cpuflags mmx …
ffmpeg -cpuflags 0 …

Possible flags for this option are:

Specific Processors
This option is used to benchmark all available OpenCL devices and
print the results. This option is only available when FFmpeg has
been compiled with “–enable-opencl”.

When FFmpeg is configured with “–enable-opencl”, the options for
the global OpenCL context are set via -opencl_options. See the
“OpenCL Options” section in the ffmpeg-utils manual for the
complete list of supported options. Amongst others, these options
include the ability to select a specific platform and device to run
the OpenCL code on. By default, FFmpeg will run on the first device
of the first platform. While the options for the global OpenCL
context provide flexibility to the user in selecting the OpenCL
device of their choice, most users would probably want to select
the fastest OpenCL device for their system.

This option assists the selection of the most efficient
configuration by identifying the appropriate device for the user’s
system. The built-in benchmark is run on all the OpenCL devices and
the performance is measured for each device. The devices in the
results list are sorted based on their performance with the fastest
device listed first. The user can subsequently invoke ffmpeg using
the device deemed most appropriate via -opencl_options to obtain
the best performance for the OpenCL accelerated code.

Typical usage to use the fastest OpenCL device involve the
following steps.

Run the command:

ffmpeg -opencl_bench

Note down the platform ID (pidx) and device ID (didx) of the first
i.e. fastest device in the list. Select the platform and device
using the command:

ffmpeg -opencl_options platform_idx=:device_idx=

-opencl_options options (global)
Set OpenCL environment options. This option is only available when
FFmpeg has been compiled with “–enable-opencl”.

options must be a list of key=value option pairs separated by ‘:’.
See the “OpenCL Options” section in the ffmpeg-utils manual for
the list of supported options.

These options are provided directly by the libavformat, libavdevice and
libavcodec libraries. To see the list of available AVOptions, use the
-help option. They are separated into two categories:

These options can be set for any container, codec or device.
Generic options are listed under AVFormatContext options for
containers/devices and under AVCodecContext options for codecs.

These options are specific to the given container, device or codec.
Private options are listed under their corresponding

For example to write an ID3v2.3 header instead of a default ID3v2.4 to
an MP3 file, use the id3v2_version private option of the MP3 muxer:

ffmpeg -i input.flac -id3v2_version 3 out.mp3

All codec AVOptions are per-stream, and thus a stream specifier should
be attached to them.

Note: the -nooption syntax cannot be used for boolean AVOptions, use
-option 0/-option 1.

Note: the old undocumented way of specifying per-stream AVOptions by
prepending v/a/s to the options name is now obsolete and will be
removed soon.

Main options
-x width
Force displayed width.

-y height
Force displayed height.

-s size
Set frame size (WxH or abbreviation), needed for videos which do
not contain a header with the frame size like raw YUV. This option
has been deprecated in favor of private options, try -video_size.

-fs Start in fullscreen mode.

-an Disable audio.

-vn Disable video.

-sn Disable subtitles.

-ss pos
Seek to pos. Note that in most formats it is not possible to seek
exactly, so ffplay will seek to the nearest seek point to pos.

pos must be a time duration specification, see the Time duration
section in the ffmpeg-utils manual.

-t duration
Play duration seconds of audio/video.

duration must be a time duration specification, see the Time
duration section in the ffmpeg-utils manual.

Seek by bytes.

Disable graphical display.

-f fmt
Force format.

-window_title title
Set window title (default is the input filename).

-loop number
Loops movie playback times. 0 means forever.

-showmode mode
Set the show mode to use. Available values for mode are:

0, video
show video

1, waves
show audio waves

2, rdft
show audio frequency band using RDFT ((Inverse) Real Discrete
Fourier Transform)

Default value is “video”, if video is not present or cannot be
played “rdft” is automatically selected.

You can interactively cycle through the available show modes by
pressing the key w.

-vf filtergraph
Create the filtergraph specified by filtergraph and use it to
filter the video stream.

filtergraph is a description of the filtergraph to apply to the
stream, and must have a single video input and a single video
output. In the filtergraph, the input is associated to the label
“in”, and the output to the label “out”. See the ffmpeg-filters
manual for more information about the filtergraph syntax.

You can specify this parameter multiple times and cycle through the
specified filtergraphs along with the show modes by pressing the
key w.

-af filtergraph
filtergraph is a description of the filtergraph to apply to the
input audio. Use the option “-filters” to show all the available
filters (including sources and sinks).

-i input_file
Read input_file.

Advanced options
-pix_fmt format
Set pixel format. This option has been deprecated in favor of
private options, try -pixel_format.

Print several playback statistics, in particular show the stream
duration, the codec parameters, the current position in the stream
and the audio/video synchronisation drift. It is on by default, to
explicitly disable it you need to specify “-nostats”.

Non-spec-compliant optimizations.

Generate pts.

-sync type
Set the master clock to audio (“type=audio”), video (“type=video”)
or external (“type=ext”). Default is audio. The master clock is
used to control audio-video synchronization. Most media players use
audio as master clock, but in some cases (streaming or high quality
broadcast) it is necessary to change that. This option is mainly
used for debugging purposes.

-ast audio_stream_specifier
Select the desired audio stream using the given stream specifier.
The stream specifiers are described in the Stream specifiers
chapter. If this option is not specified, the “best” audio stream
is selected in the program of the already selected video stream.

-vst video_stream_specifier
Select the desired video stream using the given stream specifier.
The stream specifiers are described in the Stream specifiers
chapter. If this option is not specified, the “best” video stream
is selected.

-sst subtitle_stream_specifier
Select the desired subtitle stream using the given stream
specifier. The stream specifiers are described in the Stream
specifiers chapter. If this option is not specified, the “best”
subtitle stream is selected in the program of the already selected
video or audio stream.

Exit when video is done playing.

Exit if any key is pressed.

Exit if any mouse button is pressed.

-codec:media_specifier codec_name
Force a specific decoder implementation for the stream identified
by media_specifier, which can assume the values “a” (audio), “v”
(video), and “s” subtitle.

-acodec codec_name
Force a specific audio decoder.

-vcodec codec_name
Force a specific video decoder.

-scodec codec_name
Force a specific subtitle decoder.

Automatically rotate the video according to file metadata. Enabled
by default, use -noautorotate to disable it.

Drop video frames if video is out of sync. Enabled by default if
the master clock is not set to video. Use this option to enable
frame dropping for all master clock sources, use -noframedrop to
disable it.

Do not limit the input buffer size, read as much data as possible
from the input as soon as possible. Enabled by default for realtime
streams, where data may be dropped if not read in time. Use this
option to enable infinite buffers for all inputs, use -noinfbuf to
disable it.

While playing
q, ESC

f Toggle full screen.

p, SPC

a Cycle audio channel in the current program.

v Cycle video channel.

t Cycle subtitle channel in the current program.

c Cycle program.

w Cycle video filters or show modes.

s Step to the next frame.

Pause if the stream is not already paused, step to the next video
frame, and pause.

Seek backward/forward 10 seconds.

Seek backward/forward 1 minute.

page down/page up
Seek to the previous/next chapter. or if there are no chapters
Seek backward/forward 10 minutes.

mouse click
Seek to percentage in file corresponding to fraction of width.


ffplay-all(1), ffmpeg, ffprobe, ffserver, ffmpeg-utils,
ffmpeg-scaler(1), ffmpeg-resampler(1), ffmpeg-codecs(1),
ffmpeg-bitstream-filters(1), ffmpeg-formats(1), ffmpeg-devices(1),
ffmpeg-protocols, ffmpeg-filters(1)

The FFmpeg developers.

For details about the authorship, see the Git history of the project
(git://source.ffmpeg.org/ffmpeg), e.g. by typing the command git log in
the FFmpeg source directory, or browsing the online repository at

Maintainers for the specific components are listed in the file
MAINTAINERS in the source code tree.


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