In the spirit of
You can never have sufficiently many
media players, I now have Helix Player working under
I can now run Helix Player without having to start up X. This is
useful because there are still media streams on the Web that
sometimes fail with
mplayer, and from the minimal
testing I've done so far, Helix Player is successful in those
What Is It?
HelixPlayer --- installable on modern Linux
hxplay from package
HelixPlayer is the community-supported version of
RealPlayer 10. The well-distributed and documented client,
is capable of playing a wide variety of audio and video formats
over HTTP and RTSP/RTP, and specifically, can handle RealPlayer10
formats which includes support for 5.1 audio.
A lesser known set of tools available from Helix ---
Helix DNA Client is a bare-bones UI-less player which can be
used effectively at the shell. You can download pre-built
binaries for your flavor of Linux (GCC3.2 or later vs GCC 2.95
note that these are
nightly builds. You can also download a source zip archive. Note
that all of these requires you to accept a
End Users License Agreement (
before being taken to the download link.
The links on the page above can be confusing; Here are pointers to the specific packages you need to grab if you want a player that has all of the functionality described above.
Using The Binary Distribution
Here is what I did you set up the binary distribution on my Ubuntu 6.0.6 (Dapper) machine
- Unpacked binary
- Created a symlink
/usr/lib/splayto point to the directory created by unpacking the binary package.
- Created the following shell script
/usr/bin/hsplayto launch the player:
#!/bin/sh #Use Simple Helix Player: # SPLAY_LIB=/usr/lib/splay export HELIX_LIBS=$SPLAY_LIB exec /usr/bin/aoss $SPLAY_LIB/splay -iss -s "$@"
- The above script assumes you have the
alsa-osspackage nstalled; you will need this to have Helix Player use ALSA --- something that is essential if you want to be able to use your sound card with other applications while playing media streams.
With this setup, you can launch one or more media streams
(both local, as well as remote HTTP/RTSP/RTP streams)
from a shell.
This player successfully plays the
BBC Radio4 LW
fails to play on my Ubuntu box.