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This tip will tell you how to check media files (movies, songs...) for errors.


We will use MPlayer for checking movies:

# emerge -av mplayer

If you want to analyze both the video and the audio streams of a certain movie, you can issue the following command:

$ mplayer -vo null -ao null -speed <speed> <file>

Set <speed> value depending on how fast your system can decode the movie without slowing down.

When MPlayer finishes, you have to read the output text displayed in the console and look for suspicious errors or warnings.

Note: In order to obtain reliable results, it is better to run the analysis when the system is in an idle state, and possibly without X running.

Errors list

Here you are some common errors messages you can come across:

Cannot sync MAD frame
a52: error at resampling
[mpeg4 @ 0x85b65e8]frame skip
[mpeg4 @ 0x85b65e8]Error, header damaged or not MPEG4 header
[mpeg4 @ 0x85b65e8]header damaged
Error while decoding frame!
[msmpeg4 @ 0x85b65e8]ac-tex damaged at
[msmpeg4 @ 0x85b65e8]
error while decoding block:
[msmpeg4 @ 0x85b65e8]Error at MB:
[mpeg4 @ 0x85b6948]slice end not reached but screenspace end
[mpeg4 @ 0x85b6948]concealing
[msmpeg4 @ 0x85b6948]dc overflow- block:

The following is not an error message, but just a warning you can safely ignore:

[mpeg4 @ 0x85b65e8]looks like this file was encoded with (divx4/(old)xvid/opendivx) -> forcing low_delay flag

If you are not sure the movie is broken, ask MPlayer's folks in IRC (channel #mplayer, server FreeNode) or through the mailing lists.



mpck will check mp3 files for us:

# emerge -av mpck

This tool is pretty easy to use. Just:

$ mpck <mp3song>


$ mpck *.mp3

I suggest the following options:

Ogg Vorbis

If you want to check Ogg Vorbis files you can use the ogginfo tool which come to you with vorbis-tools package:

# emerge -av vorbis-tools

This tool is pretty easy to use. Just:

$ ogginfo <oggvorbissong>


$ ogginfo *.ogg

I suggest the option -q for printing essential informations only.


Musepack songs can be checked with the mppdec tool from musepack-tools package:

# emerge -av musepack-tools

This tool is pretty easy to use, too. Just:

$ mppdec <musepacksong> /dev/null


$ mppdec *.mpc /dev/null


From Gentoo Forums:

From MPLayer users mailing list:


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Last modified: Fri, 26 May 2006 08:00:00 +0000 Hits: 12,886