QUI: Simple MPlayer GUI for Ubuntu Linux

Mainly due its versatile features and playback optimizations, MPlayer is one of my favorite multimedia players to this day. Unlike many others, MPLayer has a very efficient multimedia playback libraries and usually uses less CPU and other system resources when running.

If you don’t like its command-line based interface, there are a reasonable amount GUI tools for MPlayer such as SMPlayer for example (which gives you a lot of tweaks and options) too. But, if you don’t need all those features and think that front-ends such as SMPlayer are too complex for your simple needs ;-), then “QUI” might suite your needs.

It’s written in Python and Qt4, has very little options, plus really a new project as well. But thanks to MPlayer, it played almost anything that I threw at it and has a playlist window embedded and, well, what can I say, it’s kinda pleasure to use ;-).


Few main features …

*. As said, since it uses MPlayer as the playback engine, it’ll play almost all the popular formats such as: MP3, Ogg Vorbis, AVI, MPEG1/2/4, Xvid, Divx, Vob, H.263/264, MKV, OGM, FLAC etc.

*. Built in playback control buttons in fullscreen (show/hide automatically).


*. Has a simple playlist which shows the song names and the duration.

*. You can add or save playlists, can drag-n-drop or use the built in “Open” dialog for adding files.

*. Has a progress bar and a volume controller.

*. Two buttons for controlling the playback (Play/Pause & Next).

*. Supports showing them pretty “Now playing” notifications 😀 (disabled by default).

*. Enable/Disable Video De-interlacing.

*. Open DVD or VCDs (what is that?! ;-)).

*. Loop or Random file playback.


*. Has a notification icon for controlling the playback. Though it has the ability to dock the player window into the notification area, but according to the developers, that might be dangerous.

*. Stops the Screensaver while playing a video.

*. Shows the MPlayer’s log output.

Well, that’s pretty much “QUI” at the moment.

Installing in Ubuntu Linux …

The installation is not that hard once we have the dependencies installed (only two actually).

I can confirm that “QUI” works under Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot, and I did manually check for those two dependencies and they are totally satisfiable for Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin, 11.04 Natty Narwhal, 10.10 and 10.04. So the below method should let you use it under those versions too (hopefully).

1. First we have to install its dependencies. For that, please use the below command in your Terminal window.

sudo apt-get install python-qt4 mplayer

2. Now go to this “QUI” home page and download the latest package. It’s compressed, so after the download completes, extract its content to your “Home” folder.

3. Now open your Terminal window and enter the below command to change directory (“cd”) to that extracted folder.

cd QUI\ for\ MPlayer-2.2

Please note that you might have to replace the “2.2” part, depending on the downloaded file’s version (who knows, you might get a never version that the developer just updated, you lucky geek! ;-)).

4. Then enter the below command to install it.

sudo ./setup.py install

5. Although for some reason the Ubuntu “Dash” does not find it (perhaps because it’s installed in “/usr/local/bin” rather than “/usr/bin”). So at this time, you’ll have to use its name in the command-line whenever you want to open it.

For that, please use the below command.


You can also add a shortcut to your desktop by using the below command (as a temporary fix).

ln -s /usr/local/bin/qui /home/gayan/Desktop

Just replace “gayan” with your user name. Whenever you double click on this file it’ll open a new dialog box. From that, please choose “Run”, that’s it.


Well, in few occasions, the “Actions” button stopped working. And when playing videos files, it used somewhat higher CPU cycles than the command-line based MPlayer did. That’s because, by default, it enables a video filtering method known as “Deinterlacing” (a video enhancing filter, sort of). But we can easily fix that by using the below trick.

After opening “QUI”, click on the “Actions” button, from the menu choose “Options…”.

From the next window you get (under the “mplayer” tab), make sure to remove the check mark of the “Deinterlace” option as shown below.


Then click the “OK” button and it’ll ask to restart the player, confirm that too, now you’re done!.

So, as a little ending note, if you’ve been looking for a very simple & a clean looking MPlayer GUI that can be used in Ubuntu Linux, and okay with its somewhat limited functionality, then “QUI” is a pretty elegant application that is worth trying (totally!).

An RHCE, 'Linux' user with 14+ years of experience. Extreme lover of Linux and FOSS. He is passionate to test every Linux distribution & compare with the previous release to write in-depth articles to help the FOSS community.

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