Playing a movie using ASCII art is probably the ultimate in anti-eyecandy, but it’s a cool trick for impressing your friends, or if you’re stuck in a tty, can’t start X, and just have to watch the latest episode of Lost. Mplayer has the ability to display movies in ASCII art.

To play a movie in ASCII art, you’ll need mplayer and a library called aalib & libcaca. Mplayer (along with xine) is one of the more popular video player/engines for Linux, and therefore should be installed by default in Ubuntu. aalib & libcaca is also commonly included in distribution repositories. If not you’ll have to compile it from source. To play a movie in ASCII art, change to your video directory and run the following command in a terminal:
  • $ mplayer -vo caca movie.avi
This will give you an output something like this

To play movie in Black & White you can use the following command
$ mplayer -vo aa movie.avi

Have Fun!