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GNU/Linux, Terminal, Ubuntu

Play Videos in ASCII Mode !!

Bored of watching videos in HD ..Wanna have some fun?? Watch the same video in ‘ASCIIfied’ format.This can be done with MPlayer which is a Open Source software available under GNU GPL

MPlayer makes use of ‘libcaca’ which is a Color ASCII Art library ..libcaca outputs text instead of pixels.It supports 2048 colors(Depends on the device)..The pic below will give u an idea of what am talking.

MPlayer comes as preinstalled in ubuntu 10.10 but if u r using a distro which doesnt have it then install it using the following command.

$ sudo apt-get install mplayer

Now u can play the video using the command

$ mplayer -vo caca filename.flv

here filename.flv is the source file

If u want more information about the Caca Labs – libcaca Graphics Library click here its available under ‘Do What The Fuck You Want To Public License‘ !!

MPlayers documentation pertaining to this section is available here

The pic below shows ‘SouthPark’ playing in Terminal ASCII Mode

Difference between the normal video and ASCII style of video can be clearly seen in the picture belelow

UPDATE : To do all of the above stuff in Black and White please read this post .Thank You 🙂


I got the Idea for this post from How-To Geek thank you guys 🙂 🙂


About Suhas Dwarakanath

Embedded Engineer interested in Electronics and GNU/Linux


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