Thursday, 23 October 2008

How To Watch Any Video In ASCII

Okay, so I got bored at college, and had a play around with some things.. and what I came up with was amazing

First, make sure you have mplayer & LibAA installed:
sudo apt-get install mplayer
sudo apt-get install libaa-bin

Okay, so now here is the cool bit!
(You'll need an AVI video for this... you can download youtube videos from in AVI format)

Once you have an AVI file downloaded and ready to use, you can play the video in ASCII mode using the following command:

mplayer -vo aa xxxxx.avi

Just change xxxxx.avi to your video name .avi

Nice huh?

And if you want to view the video in color, you will need to download and install Caca-Utils:
sudo apt-get install caca-utils

And to paly the video:
mplayer -vo caca xxxxx.avi

Have a look at some of the settings using
mplayer -vo --help

to find how to change the contrast and many other options of the video.

If you have any problems with install or using any of these applications, then please do leave a comment to you, and I will help you as much as I can do.


  1. very cool. do you have any idea how to save the resulting rendered video as a .avi? (or any video format)

  2. This is very very nice... i've been looking for this for a while.

  3. I have a mac and I don't have apt-get but I have aalib, libcaca, and mplayer(through macports). mplayer doesn't seem to recognize that I have libcaca or aalib and so whenever I try to use them as my video output, it fails. Theyre in the standard places, but is there anything extra I have to do to mplayer or my path to tell them where they are?

  4. You obviously dont know how to use your package manager, dont use Linux