Opera Video Cache player
Opera Video Cache player (OVCp) is a specialized front-end (GUI) for mplayer that allows to look through Opera 11 cache folder and try to play files that looks like video (i.e. cached flash video files) with mplayer. With this application you can play cached (or partially cached!) files outside browser window and save them for later (cached files are deleted when browser window is closed). Using mplayer instead of browser plugin significantly reduces CPU usage - that may be important when playing H.264 encoded files with 720p or higher resolution.
Opera 10 and older stored all cached files inside profile/cache folder thus making it fairly easy look into that folder and sort files by modification date to find lately cached flash video files (or files that are currently downloading but still possible to play outside Opera/flash plugin i.e. with mplayer). Since Opera 11 cached files are spread across 128 subdirectories that are used in a circular way. I believe this change was motivated by performance loss with large numbers of files inside single directory causing delays visible i.e. when trying to list/sort over 20000 files cached after few days without closing browser. This change made it more difficult to get access to cached files outside browser.
OVCp consumes minimal amount of desktop space when playing files and keeps
specified by user size and position allowing to work
with i.e. editor while simultaneously playing partially or fully cached video files.
To use this application you have to download mplayer for Windows
(i.e. bundled with SMplayer).
Configuration requires selecting mplayer instance that will be used and Opera cache directory.
Application - in theory - could used with other browsers - uncheck "Scan only g_xxxx subdirectories (Opera 11)" and select folder used by browser, most likely C:\Documents and Settings\[user]\Local Settings\Temp directory. If you are looking for files cached by DivX player check for "DivX Movies" inside My Documents/My Video folder. Unfortunately when using Firefox 4 temporary files are locked and cannot be shared with other application. When trying to use Unlocker application to unlock file while it is buffered buffering stops immediately. I have no idea what is causing this behavior, only option is to copy file using Unlocker after it is completely buffered.
Problems with HTML5 and VP8/WebM (October 2012)
From few months youtube is testing HTML5 video.
Unfortunately I couldn't find any mplayer build supporting cached Opera files with VP8/WebM
video. I suppose that it will change with time, but for now simplest solution is to turn off HTML5 video on youtube.
Go to context menu on HTML5 video and click "About HTML5" to leave test program.
In my subjective opinion Flash video quality is significantly better than HTML5 when comparing low and middle resolution youtube videos (no H.264 support in Opera). Also Opera 12.02 often can't start HTML5 video (no reaction to play/pause) and the only way to start it is to reload page or use rewind option. Playing HTML5 in "true" full screen requires also switching browser to full screen and it is quite inconvenient.
Flash video buffering problems on youtube (2012.12)
Lately (staring in April 2012 depending on location) the way that youtube Flash videos
buffer was changed - they are downloaded in 1.7MB chunks and are unplayable by mplayer or VLC.
Additionaly when video playback is paused buffering also pauses. One remedy for this
problem is switching video resolution to 480p or higher - apparently they buffer in a old way.
It seems that some changed was made to WebM/VP8 video encoding in meantime - most of them is recognized by mplayer (unchanged version) now. Thus enabling HTML5 would be second way to get around Flash video chunking problem.
Old buffering method is also applied if movie resolution is switched while playing video (regardless of target resolution value).
Changelog and downloads
- 2011.04.02 Initial release. Graphical user interface
it very minimalistic, but if you have used MPlayer previously you may feel at home as this
application mimics default MPlayer keyboard shortcuts:
- space - pause/resume
- F - toggle fullscreen
- left, right, up, down arrows - seek
- O - toggle OSD options
- Esc - quit
- mouse scroll - volume control
- FIXED: cached files list keeps previously selected and focused item after refreshing and sorting
- added "Go to file" and "Copy file to..." to context menu of opera cached files list
- Enter used to stop playing (or start if used on cached files list)
- added button toggling fullscreen mode (duplicating 'F' shortcut)
- added "Minimize" button
- file dropped to window or passed by command line goes to "Other" tab and is played immediately
- clicking on the player screen with the right mouse button toggles OSD level (same as with MPlayer)
- FIXED: play button stayed down when clicked but no file was selected
- added "Pause" button
- added mplayer output log window (see "Settings")
- FIXED: possible hangup when playing damaged files (caused by not handling mplayer output pipe)
- FIXED: some annoying behavior related to toolbar auto hiding
- most mplayer-style hotkeys are active only during playback (problems when entering filename to "Other" tab")
- removed borlndmm.dll and cc3270mt.dll dependencies
- changed Escape action: if application is maximized it goes to normal mode, otherwise it is closing
- added option to automatically exit fullscreen when playing is stopped
- changed mplayer key color (less chance of accelerated mplayer window to showing through other windows on top)
- setting default extension to flv for files copied from cache
- added software volume amplification control (mplayer sofvol and softvol-max) to help with quiet video files
- software-controlled volume level is stored in settings
- default extension for saved files changed to mp4
- added audio/video bitrate display to main window