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The mpv core can be controlled with commands and properties. A number of ways to interact with the player use them: key bindings (input.conf), OSD (showing information with properties), JSON IPC, the client API (libmpv), and the classic slave mode.


The input.conf file consists of a list of key bindings, for example:

s screenshot      # take a screenshot with the s key
LEFT seek 15      # map the left-arrow key to seeking forward by 15 seconds

Each line maps a key to an input command. Keys are specified with their literal value (upper case if combined with Shift), or a name for special keys. For example, a maps to the a key without shift, and A maps to a with shift.

The file is located in the mpv configuration directory (normally at ~/.config/mpv/input.conf depending on platform). The default bindings are defined here:

A list of special keys can be obtained with

mpv --input-keylist

In general, keys can be combined with Shift, Ctrl and Alt:

ctrl+q quit

mpv can be started in input test mode, which displays key bindings and the commands they're bound to on the OSD, instead of executing the commands:

mpv --input-test --force-window --idle

(Only closing the window will make mpv exit, pressing normal keys will merely display the binding, even if mapped to quit.)

input.conf syntax

[Shift+][Ctrl+][Alt+][Meta+]<key> [{<section>}] <command> ( ; <command> )*

Note that by default, the right Alt key can be used to create special characters, and thus does not register as a modifier. The option --no-input-right-alt-gr changes this behavior.

Newlines always start a new binding. # starts a comment (outside of quoted string arguments). To bind commands to the # key, SHARP can be used.

<key> is either the literal character the key produces (ASCII or Unicode character), or a symbolic name (as printed by --input-keylist).

<section> (braced with { and }) is the input section for this command.

<command> is the command itself. It consists of the command name and multiple (or none) commands, all separated by whitespace. String arguments need to be quoted with ". Details see Flat command syntax.

You can bind multiple commands to one key. For example:

a show-text "command 1" ; show-text "command 2"

It's also possible to bind a command to a sequence of keys:

a-b-c show-text "command run after a, b, c have been pressed"

(This is not shown in the general command syntax.)

If a or a-b or b are already bound, this will run the first command that matches, and the multi-key command will never be called. Intermediate keys can be remapped to ignore in order to avoid this issue. The maximum number of (non-modifier) keys for combinations is currently 4.

Flat command syntax

This is the syntax used in input.conf, and referred to "input.conf syntax" in a number of other places.

<command> ::= [<prefixes>] <command_name> (<argument>)* <argument> ::= (<string> | " <quoted_string> " )

command_name is an unquoted string with the command name itself. See List of Input Commands for a list.

Arguments are separated by whitespace. This applies even to string arguments. For this reason, string arguments should be quoted with ". If a string argument contains spaces or certain special characters, quoting and possibly escaping is mandatory, or the command cannot be parsed correctly.

Inside quotes, C-style escaping can be used. JSON escapes according to RFC 8259, minus surrogate pair escapes, should be a safe subset that can be used.

Commands specified as arrays

This applies to certain APIs, such as mp.commandv() or mp.command_native() (with array parameters) in Lua scripting, or mpv_command() or mpv_command_node() (with MPV_FORMAT_NODE_ARRAY) in the C libmpv client API.

The command as well as all arguments are passed as a single array. Similar to the Flat command syntax, you can first pass prefixes as strings (each as separate array item), then the command name as string, and then each argument as string or a native value.

Since these APIs pass arguments as separate strings or native values, they do not expect quotes, and do support escaping. Technically, there is the input.conf parser, which first splits the command string into arguments, and then invokes argument parsers for each argument. The input.conf parser normally handles quotes and escaping. The array command APIs mentioned above pass strings directly to the argument parsers, or can sidestep them by the ability to pass non-string values.

Sometimes commands have string arguments, that in turn are actually parsed by other components (e.g. filter strings with vf add) - in these cases, you you would have to double-escape in input.conf, but not with the array APIs.

For complex commands, consider using Named arguments instead, which should give slightly more compatibility. Some commands do not support named arguments and inherently take an array, though.

Named arguments

This applies to certain APIs, such as mp.command_native() (with tables that have string keys) in Lua scripting, or mpv_command_node() (with MPV_FORMAT_NODE_MAP) in the C libmpv client API.

Like with array commands, quoting and escaping is inherently not needed in the normal case.

The name of each command is defined in each command description in the List of Input Commands. --input-cmdlist also lists them.

Some commands do not support named arguments (e.g. run command). You need to use APIs that pass arguments as arrays.

Named arguments are not supported in the "flat" input.conf syntax, which means you cannot use them for key bindings in input.conf at all.

List of Input Commands

Commands with parameters have the parameter name enclosed in < / >. Don't add those to the actual command. Optional arguments are enclosed in [ / ]. If you don't pass them, they will be set to a default value.

Remember to quote string arguments in input.conf (see Flat command syntax).

Use this to "block" keys that should be unbound, and do nothing. Useful for disabling default bindings, without disabling all bindings with --no-input-default-bindings.
seek <target> [<flags>]

Change the playback position. By default, seeks by a relative amount of seconds.

The second argument consists of flags controlling the seek mode:

relative (default)
Seek relative to current position (a negative value seeks backwards).
Seek to a given time (a negative value starts from the end of the file).
Seek to a given percent position.
Seek relative to current position in percent.
Always restart playback at keyframe boundaries (fast).
Always do exact/hr/precise seeks (slow).

Multiple flags can be combined, e.g.: absolute+keyframes.

By default, keyframes is used for relative, relative-percent, and absolute-percent seeks, while exact is used for absolute seeks.

Before mpv 0.9, the keyframes and exact flags had to be passed as 3rd parameter (essentially using a space instead of +). The 3rd parameter is still parsed, but is considered deprecated.

revert-seek [<flags>]

Undoes the seek command, and some other commands that seek (but not necessarily all of them). Calling this command once will jump to the playback position before the seek. Calling it a second time undoes the revert-seek command itself. This only works within a single file.

The first argument is optional, and can change the behavior:

Mark the current time position. The next normal revert-seek command will seek back to this point, no matter how many seeks happened since last time.

Using it without any arguments gives you the default behavior.

Play one frame, then pause. Does nothing with audio-only playback.

Go back by one frame, then pause. Note that this can be very slow (it tries to be precise, not fast), and sometimes fails to behave as expected. How well this works depends on whether precise seeking works correctly (e.g. see the --hr-seek-demuxer-offset option). Video filters or other video post-processing that modifies timing of frames (e.g. deinterlacing) should usually work, but might make backstepping silently behave incorrectly in corner cases. Using --hr-seek-framedrop=no should help, although it might make precise seeking slower.

This does not work with audio-only playback.

set <name> <value>
Set the given property or option to the given value.
add <name> [<value>]
Add the given value to the property or option. On overflow or underflow, clamp the property to the maximum. If <value> is omitted, assume 1.
cycle <name> [<value>]
Cycle the given property or option. The second argument can be up or down to set the cycle direction. On overflow, set the property back to the minimum, on underflow set it to the maximum. If up or down is omitted, assume up.
multiply <name> <value>
Similar to add, but multiplies the property or option with the numeric value.
screenshot <flags>

Take a screenshot.

Multiple flags are available (some can be combined with +):

<subtitles> (default)
Save the video image, in its original resolution, and with subtitles. Some video outputs may still include the OSD in the output under certain circumstances.
Like subtitles, but typically without OSD or subtitles. The exact behavior depends on the selected video output.
Save the contents of the mpv window. Typically scaled, with OSD and subtitles. The exact behavior depends on the selected video output, and if no support is available, this will act like video.
Take a screenshot each frame. Issue this command again to stop taking screenshots. Note that you should disable frame-dropping when using this mode - or you might receive duplicate images in cases when a frame was dropped. This flag can be combined with the other flags, e.g. video+each-frame.

Older mpv versions required passing single and each-frame as second argument (and did not have flags). This syntax is still understood, but deprecated and might be removed in the future.

If you combine this command with another one using ;, you can use the async flag to make encoding/writing the image file asynchronous. For normal standalone commands, this is always asynchronous, and the flag has no effect. (This behavior changed with mpv 0.29.0.)

screenshot-to-file <filename> <flags>

Take a screenshot and save it to a given file. The format of the file will be guessed by the extension (and --screenshot-format is ignored - the behavior when the extension is missing or unknown is arbitrary).

The second argument is like the first argument to screenshot and supports subtitles, video, window.

If the file already exists, it's overwritten.

Like all input command parameters, the filename is subject to property expansion as described in Property Expansion.

playlist-next <flags>

Go to the next entry on the playlist.

First argument:

weak (default)
If the last file on the playlist is currently played, do nothing.
Terminate playback if there are no more files on the playlist.
playlist-prev <flags>

Go to the previous entry on the playlist.

First argument:

weak (default)
If the first file on the playlist is currently played, do nothing.
Terminate playback if the first file is being played.
loadfile <url> [<flags> [<options>]]

Load the given file or URL and play it.

Second argument:

<replace> (default)
Stop playback of the current file, and play the new file immediately.
Append the file to the playlist.
Append the file, and if nothing is currently playing, start playback. (Always starts with the added file, even if the playlist was not empty before running this command.)

The third argument is a list of options and values which should be set while the file is playing. It is of the form opt1=value1,opt2=value2,... Not all options can be changed this way. Some options require a restart of the player.

loadlist <url> [<flags>]

Load the given playlist file or URL (like --playlist).

Second argument:

<replace> (default)
Stop playback and replace the internal playlist with the new one.
Append the new playlist at the end of the current internal playlist.
Clear the playlist, except the currently played file.
playlist-remove <index>
Remove the playlist entry at the given index. Index values start counting with 0. The special value current removes the current entry. Note that removing the current entry also stops playback and starts playing the next entry.
playlist-move <index1> <index2>
Move the playlist entry at index1, so that it takes the place of the entry index2. (Paradoxically, the moved playlist entry will not have the index value index2 after moving if index1 was lower than index2, because index2 refers to the target entry, not the index the entry will have after moving.)
Shuffle the playlist. This is similar to what is done on start if the --shuffle option is used.
run <command> [<arg1> [<arg2> [...]]]

Run the given command. Unlike in MPlayer/mplayer2 and earlier versions of mpv (0.2.x and older), this doesn't call the shell. Instead, the command is run directly, with each argument passed separately. Each argument is expanded like in Property Expansion.

This command has a variable number of arguments, and cannot be used with named arguments.

The program is run in a detached way. mpv doesn't wait until the command is completed, but continues playback right after spawning it.

To get the old behavior, use /bin/sh and -c as the first two arguments.


run "/bin/sh" "-c" "echo ${title} > /tmp/playing"

This is not a particularly good example, because it doesn't handle escaping, and a specially prepared file might allow an attacker to execute arbitrary shell commands. It is recommended to write a small shell script, and call that with run.


Similar to run, but gives more control about process execution to the caller, and does does not detach the process.

This has the following named arguments. The order of them is not guaranteed, so you should always call them with named arguments, see Named arguments.


Array of strings with the command as first argument, and subsequent command line arguments following. This is just like the run command argument list.

The first array entry is either an absolute path to the executable, or a filename with no path components, in which case the PATH environment variable. On Unix, this is equivalent to posix_spawnp and execvp behavior.

playback_only (MPV_FORMAT_FLAG)
Boolean indicating whether the process should be killed when playback terminates (optional, default: yes). If enabled, stopping playback will automatically kill the process, and you can't start it outside of playback.
capture_size (MPV_FORMAT_INT64)
Integer setting the maximum number of stdout plus stderr bytes that can be captured (optional, default: 64MB). If the number of bytes exceeds this, capturing is stopped. The limit is per captured stream.
capture_stdout (MPV_FORMAT_FLAG)
Capture all data the process outputs to stdout and return it once the process ends (optional, default: no).
capture_stderr (MPV_FORMAT_FLAG)
Same as capture_stdout, but for stderr.

The command returns the following result (as MPV_FORMAT_NODE_MAP):

status (MPV_FORMAT_INT64)

The raw exit status of the process. It will be negative on error. The meaning of negative values is undefined, other than meaning error (and does not necessarily correspond to OS low level exit status values).

On Windows, it can happen that a negative return value is returned even if the process exits gracefully, because the win32 UINT exit code is assigned to an int variable before being set as int64_t field in the result map. This might be fixed later.

Captured stdout stream, limited to capture_size.
Same as stdout, but for stderr.
error_string (MPV_FORMAT_STRING)

Empty string if the process exited gracefully. The string killed if the process was terminated in an unusual way. The string init if the process could not be started.

On Windows, killed is only returned when the process has been killed by mpv as a result of playback_only being set to yes.

killed_by_us (MPV_FORMAT_FLAG)
Set to yes if the process has been killed by mpv as a result of playback_only being set to yes.

Note that the command itself will always return success as long as the parameters are correct. Whether the process could be spawned or whether it was somehow killed or returned an error status has to be queried from the result value.

This command can be asynchronously aborted via API.

In all cases, the subprocess will be terminated on player exit. Only the run command can start processes in a truly detached way.

quit [<code>]
Exit the player. If an argument is given, it's used as process exit code.
quit-watch-later [<code>]
Exit player, and store current playback position. Playing that file later will seek to the previous position on start. The (optional) argument is exactly as in the quit command.
sub-add <url> [<flags> [<title> [<lang>]]]

Load the given subtitle file or stream. By default, it is selected as current subtitle after loading.

The flags argument is one of the following values:


Select the subtitle immediately (default).


Don't select the subtitle. (Or in some special situations, let the default stream selection mechanism decide.)


Select the subtitle. If a subtitle with the same filename was already added, that one is selected, instead of loading a duplicate entry. (In this case, title/language are ignored, and if the was changed since it was loaded, these changes won't be reflected.)

The title argument sets the track title in the UI.

The lang argument sets the track language, and can also influence stream selection with flags set to auto.

sub-remove [<id>]
Remove the given subtitle track. If the id argument is missing, remove the current track. (Works on external subtitle files only.)
sub-reload [<id>]

Reload the given subtitle tracks. If the id argument is missing, reload the current track. (Works on external subtitle files only.)

This works by unloading and re-adding the subtitle track.

sub-step <skip>
Change subtitle timing such, that the subtitle event after the next <skip> subtitle events is displayed. <skip> can be negative to step backwards.
sub-seek <skip>

Seek to the next (skip set to 1) or the previous (skip set to -1) subtitle. This is similar to sub-step, except that it seeks video and audio instead of adjusting the subtitle delay.

For embedded subtitles (like with Matroska), this works only with subtitle events that have already been displayed, or are within a short prefetch range.

print-text <text>
Print text to stdout. The string can contain properties (see Property Expansion). Take care to put the argument in quotes.
show-text <text> [<duration>|-1 [<level>]]

Show text on the OSD. The string can contain properties, which are expanded as described in Property Expansion. This can be used to show playback time, filename, and so on.

The time in ms to show the message for. By default, it uses the same value as --osd-duration.
The minimum OSD level to show the text at (see --osd-level).
expand-text <string>
Property-expand the argument and return the expanded string. This can be used only through the client API or from a script using mp.command_native. (see Property Expansion).
Show the progress bar, the elapsed time and the total duration of the file on the OSD.
Write the resume config file that the quit-watch-later command writes, but continue playback normally.
Stop playback and clear playlist. With default settings, this is essentially like quit. Useful for the client API: playback can be stopped without terminating the player.
mouse <x> <y> [<button> [<mode>]]

Send a mouse event with given coordinate (<x>, <y>).

Second argument:

The button number of clicked mouse button. This should be one of 0-19. If <button> is omitted, only the position will be updated.

Third argument:

<single> (default)
The mouse event represents regular single click.
The mouse event represents double-click.
keypress <name>
Send a key event through mpv's input handler, triggering whatever behavior is configured to that key. name uses the input.conf naming scheme for keys and modifiers. Useful for the client API: key events can be sent to libmpv to handle internally.
keydown <name>
Similar to keypress, but sets the KEYDOWN flag so that if the key is bound to a repeatable command, it will be run repeatedly with mpv's key repeat timing until the keyup command is called.
keyup [<name>]
Set the KEYUP flag, stopping any repeated behavior that had been triggered. name is optional. If name is not given or is an empty string, KEYUP will be set on all keys. Otherwise, KEYUP will only be set on the key specified by name.
audio-add <url> [<flags> [<title> [<lang>]]]
Load the given audio file. See sub-add command.
audio-remove [<id>]
Remove the given audio track. See sub-remove command.
audio-reload [<id>]
Reload the given audio tracks. See sub-reload command.
rescan-external-files [<mode>]

Rescan external files according to the current --sub-auto and --audio-file-auto settings. This can be used to auto-load external files after the file was loaded.

The mode argument is one of the following:

<reselect> (default)
Select the default audio and subtitle streams, which typically selects external files with the highest preference. (The implementation is not perfect, and could be improved on request.)
Do not change current track selections.

Input Commands that are Possibly Subject to Change

af <operation> <value>
Change audio filter chain. See vf command.
vf <operation> <value>

Change video filter chain.

The first argument decides what happens:

Overwrite the previous filter chain with the new one.
Append the new filter chain to the previous one.

Check if the given filter (with the exact parameters) is already in the video chain. If yes, remove the filter. If no, add the filter. (If several filters are passed to the command, this is done for each filter.)

A special variant is combining this with labels, and using @name without filter name and parameters as filter entry. This toggles the enable/disable flag.

Remove the given filters from the video chain. Unlike in the other cases, the second parameter is a comma separated list of filter names or integer indexes. 0 would denote the first filter. Negative indexes start from the last filter, and -1 denotes the last filter.
Remove all filters. Note that like the other sub-commands, this does not control automatically inserted filters.

The argument is always needed. E.g. in case of clr use vf clr "".

You can assign labels to filter by prefixing them with @name: (where name is a user-chosen arbitrary identifier). Labels can be used to refer to filters by name in all of the filter chain modification commands. For add, using an already used label will replace the existing filter.

The vf command shows the list of requested filters on the OSD after changing the filter chain. This is roughly equivalent to show-text ${vf}. Note that auto-inserted filters for format conversion are not shown on the list, only what was requested by the user.

Normally, the commands will check whether the video chain is recreated successfully, and will undo the operation on failure. If the command is run before video is configured (can happen if the command is run immediately after opening a file and before a video frame is decoded), this check can't be run. Then it can happen that creating the video chain fails.

Example for input.conf

  • a vf set flip turn video upside-down on the a key
  • b vf set "" remove all video filters on b
  • c vf toggle gradfun toggle debanding on c

Example how to toggle disabled filters at runtime

  • Add something like vf-add=@deband:!gradfun to mpv.conf. The @deband: is the label, an arbitrary, user-given name for this filter entry. The ! before the filter name disables the filter by default. Everything after this is the normal filter name and possibly filter parameters, like in the normal --vf syntax.
  • Add a vf toggle @deband to input.conf. This toggles the "disabled" flag for the filter with the label deband when the a key is hit.
cycle-values [<"!reverse">] <property> <value1> [<value2> [...]]

Cycle through a list of values. Each invocation of the command will set the given property to the next value in the list. The command will use the current value of the property/option, and use it to determine the current position in the list of values. Once it has found it, it will set the next value in the list (wrapping around to the first item if needed).

This command has a variable number of arguments, and cannot be used with named arguments.

The special argument !reverse can be used to cycle the value list in reverse. The only advantage is that you don't need to reverse the value list yourself when adding a second key binding for cycling backwards.

enable-section <name> [<flags>]

Enable all key bindings in the named input section.

The enabled input sections form a stack. Bindings in sections on the top of the stack are preferred to lower sections. This command puts the section on top of the stack. If the section was already on the stack, it is implicitly removed beforehand. (A section cannot be on the stack more than once.)

The flags parameter can be a combination (separated by +) of the following flags:

All sections enabled before the newly enabled section are disabled. They will be re-enabled as soon as all exclusive sections above them are removed. In other words, the new section shadows all previous sections.
This feature can't be used through the public API.
disable-section <name>
Disable the named input section. Undoes enable-section.
define-section <name> <contents> [<flags>]

Create a named input section, or replace the contents of an already existing input section. The contents parameter uses the same syntax as the input.conf file (except that using the section syntax in it is not allowed), including the need to separate bindings with a newline character.

If the contents parameter is an empty string, the section is removed.

The section with the name default is the normal input section.

In general, input sections have to be enabled with the enable-section command, or they are ignored.

The last parameter has the following meaning:

<default> (also used if parameter omitted)
Use a key binding defined by this section only if the user hasn't already bound this key to a command.
Always bind a key. (The input section that was made active most recently wins if there are ambiguities.)

This command can be used to dispatch arbitrary keys to a script or a client API user. If the input section defines script-binding commands, it is also possible to get separate events on key up/down, and relatively detailed information about the key state. The special key name unmapped can be used to match any unmapped key.

overlay-add <id> <x> <y> <file> <offset> <fmt> <w> <h> <stride>

Add an OSD overlay sourced from raw data. This might be useful for scripts and applications controlling mpv, and which want to display things on top of the video window.

Overlays are usually displayed in screen resolution, but with some VOs, the resolution is reduced to that of the video's. You can read the osd-width and osd-height properties. At least with --vo-xv and anamorphic video (such as DVD), osd-par should be read as well, and the overlay should be aspect-compensated.

This has the following named arguments. The order of them is not guaranteed, so you should always call them with named arguments, see Named arguments.

id is an integer between 0 and 63 identifying the overlay element. The ID can be used to add multiple overlay parts, update a part by using this command with an already existing ID, or to remove a part with overlay-remove. Using a previously unused ID will add a new overlay, while reusing an ID will update it.

x and y specify the position where the OSD should be displayed.

file specifies the file the raw image data is read from. It can be either a numeric UNIX file descriptor prefixed with @ (e.g. @4), or a filename. The file will be mapped into memory with mmap(), copied, and unmapped before the command returns (changed in mpv 0.18.1).

It is also possible to pass a raw memory address for use as bitmap memory by passing a memory address as integer prefixed with an & character. Passing the wrong thing here will crash the player. This mode might be useful for use with libmpv. The offset parameter is simply added to the memory address (since mpv 0.8.0, ignored before).

offset is the byte offset of the first pixel in the source file. (The current implementation always mmap's the whole file from position 0 to the end of the image, so large offsets should be avoided. Before mpv 0.8.0, the offset was actually passed directly to mmap, but it was changed to make using it easier.)

fmt is a string identifying the image format. Currently, only bgra is defined. This format has 4 bytes per pixels, with 8 bits per component. The least significant 8 bits are blue, and the most significant 8 bits are alpha (in little endian, the components are B-G-R-A, with B as first byte). This uses premultiplied alpha: every color component is already multiplied with the alpha component. This means the numeric value of each component is equal to or smaller than the alpha component. (Violating this rule will lead to different results with different VOs: numeric overflows resulting from blending broken alpha values is considered something that shouldn't happen, and consequently implementations don't ensure that you get predictable behavior in this case.)

w, h, and stride specify the size of the overlay. w is the visible width of the overlay, while stride gives the width in bytes in memory. In the simple case, and with the bgra format, stride==4*w. In general, the total amount of memory accessed is stride * h. (Technically, the minimum size would be stride * (h - 1) + w * 4, but for simplicity, the player will access all stride * h bytes.)


Before mpv 0.18.1, you had to do manual "double buffering" when updating an overlay by replacing it with a different memory buffer. Since mpv 0.18.1, the memory is simply copied and doesn't reference any of the memory indicated by the command's arguments after the commend returns. If you want to use this command before mpv 0.18.1, reads the old docs to see how to handle this correctly.

overlay-remove <id>
Remove an overlay added with overlay-add and the same ID. Does nothing if no overlay with this ID exists.
script-message [<arg1> [<arg2> [...]]]

Send a message to all clients, and pass it the following list of arguments. What this message means, how many arguments it takes, and what the arguments mean is fully up to the receiver and the sender. Every client receives the message, so be careful about name clashes (or use script-message-to).

This command has a variable number of arguments, and cannot be used with named arguments.

script-message-to <target> [<arg1> [<arg2> [...]]]

Same as script-message, but send it only to the client named <target>. Each client (scripts etc.) has a unique name. For example, Lua scripts can get their name via mp.get_script_name().

This command has a variable number of arguments, and cannot be used with named arguments.

script-binding <name>

Invoke a script-provided key binding. This can be used to remap key bindings provided by external Lua scripts.

The argument is the name of the binding.

It can optionally be prefixed with the name of the script, using / as separator, e.g. script-binding scriptname/bindingname.

For completeness, here is how this command works internally. The details could change any time. On any matching key event, script-message-to or script-message is called (depending on whether the script name is included), with the following arguments:

  1. The string key-binding.
  2. The name of the binding (as established above).
  3. The key state as string (see below).
  4. The key name (since mpv 0.15.0).

The key state consists of 2 letters:

  1. One of d (key was pressed down), u (was released), r (key is still down, and was repeated; only if key repeat is enabled for this binding), p (key was pressed; happens if up/down can't be tracked).
  2. Whether the event originates from the mouse, either m (mouse button) or - (something else).
Cycle through A-B loop states. The first command will set the A point (the ab-loop-a property); the second the B point, and the third will clear both points.
Drop audio/video/demuxer buffers, and restart from fresh. Might help with unseekable streams that are going out of sync. This command might be changed or removed in the future.
screenshot-raw [<flags>]

Return a screenshot in memory. This can be used only through the client API. The MPV_FORMAT_NODE_MAP returned by this command has the w, h, stride fields set to obvious contents. The format field is set to bgr0 by default. This format is organized as B8G8R8X8 (where B is the LSB). The contents of the padding X are undefined. The data field is of type MPV_FORMAT_BYTE_ARRAY with the actual image data. The image is freed as soon as the result mpv_node is freed. As usual with client API semantics, you are not allowed to write to the image data.

The flags argument is like the first argument to screenshot and supports subtitles, video, window.

vf-command <label> <command> <argument>

Send a command to the filter with the given <label>. Use all to send it to all filters at once. The command and argument string is filter specific. Currently, this only works with the lavfi filter - see the libavfilter documentation for which commands a filter supports.

Note that the <label> is a mpv filter label, not a libavfilter filter name.

af-command <label> <command> <argument>
Same as vf-command, but for audio filters.
apply-profile <name>

Apply the contents of a named profile. This is like using profile=name in a config file, except you can map it to a key binding to change it at runtime.

There is no such thing as "unapplying" a profile - applying a profile merely sets all option values listed within the profile.

load-script <filename>
Load a script, similar to the --script option. Whether this waits for the script to finish initialization or not changed multiple times, and the future behavior is left undefined.
change-list <name> <operation> <value>

This command changes list options as described in `List Options`_. The <name> parameter is the normal option name, while <operation> is the suffix or action used on the option.

Some operations take no value, but the command still requires the value parameter. In these cases, the value must be an empty string.


change-list glsl-shaders append file.glsl

Add a filename to the glsl-shaders list. The command line equivalent is --glsl-shaders-append=file.glsl or alternatively --glsl-shader=file.glsl.

Undocumented commands: tv-last-channel (TV/DVB only), ao-reload (experimental/internal).


Hooks are synchronous events between player core and a script or similar. This applies to client API (including the Lua scripting interface). Normally, events are supposed to be asynchronous, and the hook API provides an awkward and obscure way to handle events that require stricter coordination. There are no API stability guarantees made. Not following the protocol exactly can make the player freeze randomly. Basically, nobody should use this API.

The C API is described in the header files. The Lua API is described in the Lua section.

The following hooks are currently defined:

Called when a file is to be opened, before anything is actually done. For example, you could read and write the stream-open-filename property to redirect an URL to something else (consider support for streaming sites which rarely give the user a direct media URL), or you could set per-file options with by setting the property file-local-options/<option name>. The player will wait until all hooks are run.
Called after after a file has been opened, but failed to. This can be used to provide a fallback in case native demuxers failed to recognize the file, instead of always running before the native demuxers like on_load. Demux will only be retried if stream-open-filename was changed.

Called after a file has been opened, and before tracks are selected and decoders are created. This has some usefulness if an API users wants to select tracks manually, based on the set of available tracks. It's also useful to initialize --lavfi-complex in a specific way by API, without having to "probe" the available streams at first.

Note that this does not yet apply default track selection. Which operations exactly can be done and not be done, and what information is available and what is not yet available yet, is all subject to change.

Run before closing a file, and before actually uninitializing everything. It's not possible to resume playback in this state.

Legacy hook API


The legacy API is deprecated and will be removed soon.

There are two special commands involved. Also, the client must listen for client messages (MPV_EVENT_CLIENT_MESSAGE in the C API).

hook-add <hook-name> <id> <priority>

Subscribe to the hook identified by the first argument (basically, the name of event). The id argument is an arbitrary integer chosen by the user. priority is used to sort all hook handlers globally across all clients. Each client can register multiple hook handlers (even for the same hook-name). Once the hook is registered, it cannot be unregistered.

When a specific event happens, all registered handlers are run serially. This uses a protocol every client has to follow explicitly. When a hook handler is run, a client message (MPV_EVENT_CLIENT_MESSAGE) is sent to the client which registered the hook. This message has the following arguments:

  1. the string hook_run
  2. the id argument the hook was registered with as string (this can be used to correctly handle multiple hooks registered by the same client, as long as the id argument is unique in the client)
  3. something undefined, used by the hook mechanism to track hook execution

Upon receiving this message, the client can handle the event. While doing this, the player core will still react to requests, but playback will typically be stopped.

When the client is done, it must continue the core's hook execution by running the hook-ack command.

hook-ack <string>
Run the next hook in the global chain of hooks. The argument is the 3rd argument of the client message that starts hook execution for the current client.

Input Command Prefixes

These prefixes are placed between key name and the actual command. Multiple prefixes can be specified. They are separated by whitespace.

Use the default behavior for this command. This is the default for input.conf commands. Some libmpv/scripting/IPC APIs do not use this as default, but use no-osd instead.
Do not use any OSD for this command.
If possible, show a bar with this command. Seek commands will show the progress bar, property changing commands may show the newly set value.
If possible, show an OSD message with this command. Seek command show the current playback time, property changing commands show the newly set value as text.
Combine osd-bar and osd-msg.
Do not expand properties in string arguments. (Like "${property-name}".) This is the default for some libmpv/scripting/IPC APIs.
All string arguments are expanded as described in Property Expansion. This is the default for input.conf commands.
For some commands, keeping a key pressed doesn't run the command repeatedly. This prefix forces enabling key repeat in any case.
Allow asynchronous execution (if possible). Note that only a few commands will support this (usually this is explicitly documented). Some commands are asynchronous by default (or rather, their effects might manifest after completion of the command). The semantics of this flag might change in the future. Set it only if you don't rely on the effects of this command being fully realized when it returns. See Synchronous vs. Asynchronous.
Allow synchronous execution (if possible). Normally, all commands are synchronous by default, but some are asynchronous by default for compatibility with older behavior.

All of the osd prefixes are still overridden by the global --osd-level settings.

Synchronous vs. Asynchronous

The async and sync prefix matter only for how the issuer of the command waits on the completion of the command. Normally it does not affect how the command behaves by itself. There are the following cases:

  • Normal input.conf commands are always run asynchronously. Slow running commands are queued up or run in parallel.
  • "Multi" input.conf commands (1 key binding, concatenated with ;) will be executed in order, except for commands that are async (either prefixed with async, or async by default for some commands). The async commands are run in a detached manner, possibly in parallel to the remaining sync commands in the list.
  • Normal Lua and libmpv commands (e.g. mpv_command()) are run in a blocking manner, unless the async prefix is used, or the command is async by default. This means in the sync case the caller will block, even if the core continues playback. Async mode runs the command in a detached manner.
  • Async libmpv command API (e.g. mpv_command_async()) never blocks the caller, and always notify their completion with a message. The sync and async prefixes make no difference.
  • In all cases, async mode can still run commands in a synchronous manner, even in detached mode. This can for example happen in cases when a command does not have an asynchronous implementation. The async libmpv API still never blocks the caller in these cases.

Before mpv 0.29.0, the async prefix was only used by screenshot commands, and made them run the file saving code in a detached manner. This is the default now, and async changes behavior only in the ways mentioned above.

Currently the following commands have different waiting characteristics with sync vs. async: sub-add, audio-add, sub-reload, audio-reload, rescan-external-files, screenshot, screenshot-to-file.

Input Sections

Input sections group a set of bindings, and enable or disable them at once. In input.conf, each key binding is assigned to an input section, rather than actually having explicit text sections.

See also: enable-section and disable-section commands.

Predefined bindings:

Bindings without input section are implicitly assigned to this section. It is enabled by default during normal playback.
Section which is active in encoding mode. It is enabled exclusively, so that bindings in the default sections are ignored.


Properties are used to set mpv options during runtime, or to query arbitrary information. They can be manipulated with the set/add/cycle commands, and retrieved with show-text, or anything else that uses property expansion. (See Property Expansion.)

The property name is annotated with RW to indicate whether the property is generally writable.

If an option is referenced, the property will normally take/return exactly the same values as the option. In these cases, properties are merely a way to change an option at runtime.

Property list


Most options can be set as runtime via properties as well. Just remove the leading -- from the option name. These are not documented. Only properties which do not exist as option with the same name, or which have very different behavior from the options are documented below.

audio-speed-correction, video-speed-correction

Factor multiplied with speed at which the player attempts to play the file. Usually it's exactly 1. (Display sync mode will make this useful.)

OSD formatting will display it in the form of +1.23456%, with the number being (raw - 1) * 100 for the given raw property value.

Return whether --video-sync=display is actually active.

Currently played file, with path stripped. If this is an URL, try to undo percent encoding as well. (The result is not necessarily correct, but looks better for display purposes. Use the path property to get an unmodified filename.)

This has a sub-property:

Like the filename property, but if the text contains a ., strip all text after the last .. Usually this removes the file extension.
Length in bytes of the source file/stream. (This is the same as ${stream-end}. For segmented/multi-part files, this will return the size of the main or manifest file, whatever it is.)

Total number of frames in current file.


This is only an estimate. (It's computed from two unreliable quantities: fps and stream length.)


Number of current frame in current stream.


This is only an estimate. (It's computed from two unreliable quantities: fps and possibly rounded timestamps.)

Full path of the currently played file. Usually this is exactly the same string you pass on the mpv command line or the loadfile command, even if it's a relative path. If you expect an absolute path, you will have to determine it yourself, for example by using the working-directory property.

If the currently played file has a title tag, use that.

Otherwise, if the media type is DVD, return the volume ID of DVD.

Otherwise, return the filename property.

Symbolic name of the file format. In some cases, this is a comma-separated list of format names, e.g. mp4 is mov,mp4,m4a,3gp,3g2,mj2 (the list may grow in the future for any format).

Name of the current demuxer. (This is useless.)

(Renamed from demuxer.)

Filename (full path) of the stream layer filename. (This is probably useless and is almost never different from path.)
Raw byte position in source stream. Technically, this returns the position of the most recent packet passed to a decoder.
Raw end position in bytes in source stream.

Duration of the current file in seconds. If the duration is unknown, the property is unavailable. Note that the file duration is not always exactly known, so this is an estimate.

This replaces the length property, which was deprecated after the mpv 0.9 release. (The semantics are the same.)

Last A/V synchronization difference. Unavailable if audio or video is disabled.
Total A-V sync correction done. Unavailable if audio or video is disabled.

Video frames dropped by decoder, because video is too far behind audio (when using --framedrop=decoder). Sometimes, this may be incremented in other situations, e.g. when video packets are damaged, or the decoder doesn't follow the usual rules. Unavailable if video is disabled.

drop-frame-count is a deprecated alias.


Frames dropped by VO (when using --framedrop=vo).

vo-drop-frame-count is a deprecated alias.

Number of video frames that were not timed correctly in display-sync mode for the sake of keeping A/V sync. This does not include external circumstances, such as video rendering being too slow or the graphics driver somehow skipping a vsync. It does not include rounding errors either (which can happen especially with bad source timestamps). For example, using the display-desync mode should never change this value from 0.
For how many vsyncs a frame is displayed on average. This is available if display-sync is active only. For 30 FPS video on a 60 Hz screen, this will be 2. This is the moving average of what actually has been scheduled, so 24 FPS on 60 Hz will never remain exactly on 2.5, but jitter depending on the last frame displayed.
Estimated number of frames delayed due to external circumstances in display-sync mode. Note that in general, mpv has to guess that this is happening, and the guess can be inaccurate.
percent-pos (RW)
Position in current file (0-100). The advantage over using this instead of calculating it out of other properties is that it properly falls back to estimating the playback position from the byte position, if the file duration is not known.
time-pos (RW)
Position in current file in seconds.
Deprecated. Always returns 0. Before mpv 0.14, this used to return the start time of the file (could affect e.g. transport streams). See --rebase-start-time option.
Remaining length of the file in seconds. Note that the file duration is not always exactly known, so this is an estimate.
audio-pts (R)
Current audio playback position in current file in seconds. Unlike time-pos, this updates more often than once per frame. For audio-only files, it is mostly equivalent to time-pos, while for video-only files this property is not available.
time-remaining scaled by the current speed.
playback-time (RW)
Position in current file in seconds. Unlike time-pos, the time is clamped to the range of the file. (Inaccurate file durations etc. could make it go out of range. Useful on attempts to seek outside of the file, as the seek target time is considered the current position during seeking.)
chapter (RW)
Current chapter number. The number of the first chapter is 0.
edition (RW)
Current MKV edition number. Setting this property to a different value will restart playback. The number of the first edition is 0.

Number of BD/DVD titles.

This has a number of sub-properties. Replace N with the 0-based edition index.

Number of titles.
Title ID as integer. Currently, this is the same as the title index.
Length in seconds. Can be unavailable in a number of cases (currently it works for libdvdnav only).

When querying the property with the client API using MPV_FORMAT_NODE, or with Lua mp.get_property_native, this will return a mpv_node with the following contents:

    MPV_FORMAT_NODE_MAP (for each edition)
        "id"                MPV_FORMAT_INT64
        "length"            MPV_FORMAT_DOUBLE
List of BD/DVD titles.
disc-title (RW)
Current BD/DVD title number. Writing works only for dvdnav:// and bd:// (and aliases for these).
Number of chapters.
Number of MKV editions.

List of editions, current entry marked. Currently, the raw property value is useless.

This has a number of sub-properties. Replace N with the 0-based edition index.

Number of editions. If there are no editions, this can be 0 or 1 (1 if there's a useless dummy edition).
Edition ID as integer. Use this to set the edition property. Currently, this is the same as the edition index.
yes if this is the default edition, no otherwise.
Edition title as stored in the file. Not always available.

When querying the property with the client API using MPV_FORMAT_NODE, or with Lua mp.get_property_native, this will return a mpv_node with the following contents:

    MPV_FORMAT_NODE_MAP (for each edition)
        "id"                MPV_FORMAT_INT64
        "title"             MPV_FORMAT_STRING
        "default"           MPV_FORMAT_FLAG
angle (RW)
Current DVD angle.

Metadata key/value pairs.

If the property is accessed with Lua's mp.get_property_native, this returns a table with metadata keys mapping to metadata values. If it is accessed with the client API, this returns a MPV_FORMAT_NODE_MAP, with tag keys mapping to tag values.

For OSD, it returns a formatted list. Trying to retrieve this property as a raw string doesn't work.

This has a number of sub-properties:

Value of metadata entry <key>.
Number of metadata entries.
Key name of the Nth metadata entry. (The first entry is 0).
Value of the Nth metadata entry.
Old version of metadata/by-key/<key>. Use is discouraged, because the metadata key string could conflict with other sub-properties.

The layout of this property might be subject to change. Suggestions are welcome how exactly this property should work.

When querying the property with the client API using MPV_FORMAT_NODE, or with Lua mp.get_property_native, this will return a mpv_node with the following contents:

    (key and string value for each metadata entry)
Like metadata, but includes only fields listed in the --display-tags option. This is the same set of tags that is printed to the terminal.

Metadata of current chapter. Works similar to metadata property. It also allows the same access methods (using sub-properties).

Per-chapter metadata is very rare. Usually, only the chapter name (title) is set.

For accessing other information, like chapter start, see the chapter-list property.


Metadata added by video filters. Accessed by the filter label, which, if not explicitly specified using the @filter-label: syntax, will be <filter-name>NN.

Works similar to metadata property. It allows the same access methods (using sub-properties).

An example of this kind of metadata are the cropping parameters added by --vf=lavfi=cropdetect.

Equivalent to vf-metadata/<filter-label>, but for audio filters.

Return yes if no file is loaded, but the player is staying around because of the --idle option.

(Renamed from idle.)


Return yes if the playback core is paused, otherwise no. This can be different pause in special situations, such as when the player pauses itself due to low network cache.

This also returns yes if playback is restarting or if nothing is playing at all. In other words, it's only no if there's actually video playing. (Behavior since mpv 0.7.0.)

cache-speed (R)
Current I/O read speed between the cache and the lower layer (like network). This gives the number bytes per seconds over a 1 second window (using the type MPV_FORMAT_INT64 for the client API).
Approximate duration of video buffered in the demuxer, in seconds. The guess is very unreliable, and often the property will not be available at all, even if data is buffered.
Approximate time of video buffered in the demuxer, in seconds. Same as demuxer-cache-duration but returns the last timestamp of buffered data in demuxer.
Returns yes if the demuxer is idle, which means the demuxer cache is filled to the requested amount, and is currently not reading more data.

Various undocumented or half-documented things.

Each entry in seekable-ranges represents a region in the demuxer cache that can be seeked to. If there are multiple demuxers active, this only returns information about the "main" demuxer, but might be changed in future to return unified information about all demuxers. The ranges are in arbitrary order. Often, ranges will overlap for a bit, before being joined. In broken corner cases, ranges may overlap all over the place.

The end of a seek range is usually smaller than the value returned by the demuxer-cache-time property, because that property returns the guessed buffering amount, while the seek ranges represent the buffered data that can actually be used for cached seeking.

fw-bytes is the number of bytes of packets buffered in the range starting from the current decoding position.

When querying the property with the client API using MPV_FORMAT_NODE, or with Lua mp.get_property_native, this will return a mpv_node with the following contents:

    "seekable-ranges"   MPV_FORMAT_NODE_ARRAY
            "start"             MPV_FORMAT_DOUBLE
            "end"               MPV_FORMAT_DOUBLE
    "fw-bytes"          MPV_FORMAT_INT64

Other fields (might be changed or removed in the future):

True if the reader thread has hit the end of the file.
True if the reader thread could not satisfy a decoder's request for a new packet.
True if the thread is currently not reading.
Sum of packet bytes (plus some overhead estimation) of the entire packet queue, including cached seekable ranges.
Sum of packet bytes (plus some overhead estimation) of the readahead packet queue (packets between current decoder reader positions and demuxer position).
Returns yes if the stream demuxed via the main demuxer is most likely played via network. What constitutes "network" is not always clear, might be used for other types of untrusted streams, could be wrong in certain cases, and its definition might be changing. Also, external files (like separate audio files or streams) do not influence the value of this property (currently).
demuxer-start-time (R)
Returns the start time reported by the demuxer in fractional seconds.
Returns yes when playback is paused because of waiting for the cache.
Return the percentage (0-100) of the cache fill status until the player will unpause (related to paused-for-cache).
Returns yes if end of playback was reached, no otherwise. Note that this is usually interesting only if --keep-open is enabled, since otherwise the player will immediately play the next file (or exit or enter idle mode), and in these cases the eof-reached property will logically be cleared immediately after it's set.
Returns yes if the player is currently seeking, or otherwise trying to restart playback. (It's possible that it returns yes while a file is loadedThis is because the same underlying code is used for seeking and resyncing.)

Return yes if the audio mixer is active, no otherwise.

This option is relatively useless. Before mpv 0.18.1, it could be used to infer behavior of the volume property.

ao-volume (RW)
System volume. This property is available only if mpv audio output is currently active, and only if the underlying implementation supports volume control. What this option does depends on the API. For example, on ALSA this usually changes system-wide audio, while with PulseAudio this controls per-application volume.
ao-mute (RW)
Similar to ao-volume, but controls the mute state. May be unimplemented even if ao-volume works.
Audio codec selected for decoding.
Audio codec.

Audio format as output by the audio decoder. This has a number of sub-properties:

The sample format as string. This uses the same names as used in other places of mpv.
The channel layout as a string. This is similar to what the --audio-channels accepts.
As channels, but instead of the possibly cryptic actual layout sent to the audio device, return a hopefully more human readable form. (Usually only audio-out-params/hr-channels makes sense.)
Number of audio channels. This is redundant to the channels field described above.

When querying the property with the client API using MPV_FORMAT_NODE, or with Lua mp.get_property_native, this will return a mpv_node with the following contents:

    "format"            MPV_FORMAT_STRING
    "samplerate"        MPV_FORMAT_INT64
    "channels"          MPV_FORMAT_STRING
    "channel-count"     MPV_FORMAT_INT64
    "hr-channels"       MPV_FORMAT_STRING
Same as audio-params, but the format of the data written to the audio API.
colormatrix (R)
Redirects to video-params/colormatrix. This parameter (as well as similar ones) can be overridden with the format video filter.
colormatrix-input-range (R)
See colormatrix.
colormatrix-primaries (R)
See colormatrix.
hwdec (RW)

Reflects the --hwdec option.

Writing to it may change the currently used hardware decoder, if possible. (Internally, the player may reinitialize the decoder, and will perform a seek to refresh the video properly.) You can watch the other hwdec properties to see whether this was successful.

Unlike in mpv 0.9.x and before, this does not return the currently active hardware decoder. Since mpv 0.18.0, hwdec-current is available for this purpose.

Return the current hardware decoding in use. If decoding is active, return one of the values used by the hwdec option/property. no indicates software decoding. If no decoder is loaded, the property is unavailable.

This returns the currently loaded hardware decoding/output interop driver. This is known only once the VO has opened (and possibly later). With some VOs (like gpu), this might be never known in advance, but only when the decoder attempted to create the hw decoder successfully. (Using --gpu-hwdec-interop can load it eagerly.) If there are multiple drivers loaded, they will be separated by ,.

If no VO is active or no interop driver is known, this property is unavailable.

This does not necessarily use the same values as hwdec. There can be multiple interop drivers for the same hardware decoder, depending on platform and VO.

Video format as string.
Video codec selected for decoding.
width, height
Video size. This uses the size of the video as decoded, or if no video frame has been decoded yet, the (possibly incorrect) container indicated size.

Video parameters, as output by the decoder (with overrides like aspect etc. applied). This has a number of sub-properties:

The pixel format as string. This uses the same names as used in other places of mpv.
Average bits-per-pixel as integer. Subsampled planar formats use a different resolution, which is the reason this value can sometimes be odd or confusing. Can be unavailable with some formats.
Bit depth for each color component as integer. This is only exposed for planar or single-component formats, and is unavailable for other formats.
video-params/w, video-params/h
Video size as integers, with no aspect correction applied.
video-params/dw, video-params/dh
Video size as integers, scaled for correct aspect ratio.
Display aspect ratio as float.
Pixel aspect ratio.
The colormatrix in use as string. (Exact values subject to change.)
The colorlevels as string. (Exact values subject to change.)
The primaries in use as string. (Exact values subject to change.)
The gamma function in use as string. (Exact values subject to change.)
The video file's tagged signal peak as float.
The light type in use as a string. (Exact values subject to change.)
Chroma location as string. (Exact values subject to change.)
Intended display rotation in degrees (clockwise).
Source file stereo 3D mode. (See --video-stereo-mode option.)

When querying the property with the client API using MPV_FORMAT_NODE, or with Lua mp.get_property_native, this will return a mpv_node with the following contents:

    "pixelformat"       MPV_FORMAT_STRING
    "w"                 MPV_FORMAT_INT64
    "h"                 MPV_FORMAT_INT64
    "dw"                MPV_FORMAT_INT64
    "dh"                MPV_FORMAT_INT64
    "aspect"            MPV_FORMAT_DOUBLE
    "par"               MPV_FORMAT_DOUBLE
    "colormatrix"       MPV_FORMAT_STRING
    "colorlevels"       MPV_FORMAT_STRING
    "primaries"         MPV_FORMAT_STRING
    "gamma"             MPV_FORMAT_STRING
    "sig-peak"          MPV_FORMAT_DOUBLE
    "light"             MPV_FORMAT_STRING
    "chroma-location"   MPV_FORMAT_STRING
    "rotate"            MPV_FORMAT_INT64
    "stereo-in"         MPV_FORMAT_STRING
dwidth, dheight

Video display size. This is the video size after filters and aspect scaling have been applied. The actual video window size can still be different from this, e.g. if the user resized the video window manually.

These have the same values as video-out-params/dw and video-out-params/dh.

Exactly like video-params, but no overrides applied.

Same as video-params, but after video filters have been applied. If there are no video filters in use, this will contain the same values as video-params. Note that this is still not necessarily what the video window uses, since the user can change the window size, and all real VOs do their own scaling independently from the filter chain.

Has the same sub-properties as video-params.


Approximate information of the current frame. Note that if any of these are used on OSD, the information might be off by a few frames due to OSD redrawing and frame display being somewhat disconnected, and you might have to pause and force a redraw.



Container FPS. This can easily contain bogus values. For videos that use modern container formats or video codecs, this will often be incorrect.

(Renamed from fps.)

Estimated/measured FPS of the video filter chain output. (If no filters are used, this corresponds to decoder output.) This uses the average of the 10 past frame durations to calculate the FPS. It will be inaccurate if frame-dropping is involved (such as when framedrop is explicitly enabled, or after precise seeking). Files with imprecise timestamps (such as Matroska) might lead to unstable results.
window-scale (RW)
Window size multiplier. Setting this will resize the video window to the values contained in dwidth and dheight multiplied with the value set with this property. Setting 1 will resize to original video size (or to be exact, the size the video filters output). 2 will set the double size, 0.5 halves the size.
Return whether the video window is minimized or not.
Names of the displays that the mpv window covers. On X11, these are the xrandr names (LVDS1, HDMI1, DP1, VGA1, etc.). On Windows, these are the GDI names (\.DISPLAY1, \.DISPLAY2, etc.) and the first display in the list will be the one that Windows considers associated with the window (as determined by the MonitorFromWindow API.) On macOS these are the Display Product Names as used in the System Information and only one display name is returned since a window can only be on one screen.
display-fps (RW)
The refresh rate of the current display. Currently, this is the lowest FPS of any display covered by the video, as retrieved by the underlying system APIs (e.g. xrandr on X11). It is not the measured FPS. It's not necessarily available on all platforms. Note that any of the listed facts may change any time without a warning.
Only available if display-sync mode (as selected by --video-sync) is active. Returns the actual rate at which display refreshes seem to occur, measured by system time.
Estimated deviation factor of the vsync duration.
video-aspect (RW)

Video aspect, see --video-aspect.

If video is active, this reports the effective aspect value, instead of the value of the --video-aspect option.

osd-width, osd-height
Last known OSD width (can be 0). This is needed if you want to use the overlay-add command. It gives you the actual OSD size, which can be different from the window size in some cases.
Last known OSD display pixel aspect (can be 0).
program (W)
Switch TS program (write-only).
dvb-channel (W)
Pair of integers: card,channel of current DVB stream. Can be switched to switch to another channel on the same card.
dvb-channel-name (RW)
Name of current DVB program. On write, a channel-switch to the named channel on the same card is performed. Can also be used for channel switching.

Return the current subtitle text. Formatting is stripped. If a subtitle is selected, but no text is currently visible, or the subtitle is not text-based (i.e. DVD/BD subtitles), an empty string is returned.

This property is experimental and might be removed in the future.

tv-brightness, tv-contrast, tv-saturation, tv-hue (RW)
TV stuff.
playlist-pos (RW)
Current position on playlist. The first entry is on position 0. Writing to the property will restart playback at the written entry.
playlist-pos-1 (RW)
Same as playlist-pos, but 1-based.
Number of total playlist entries.

Playlist, current entry marked. Currently, the raw property value is useless.

This has a number of sub-properties. Replace N with the 0-based playlist entry index.

Number of playlist entries (same as playlist-count).
Filename of the Nth entry.
playlist/N/current, playlist/N/playing
yes if this entry is currently playing (or being loaded). Unavailable or no otherwise. When changing files, current and playing can be different, because the currently playing file hasn't been unloaded yet; in this case, current refers to the new selection. (Since mpv 0.7.0.)
Name of the Nth entry. Only available if the playlist file contains such fields, and only if mpv's parser supports it for the given playlist format.

When querying the property with the client API using MPV_FORMAT_NODE, or with Lua mp.get_property_native, this will return a mpv_node with the following contents:

    MPV_FORMAT_NODE_MAP (for each playlist entry)
        "filename"  MPV_FORMAT_STRING
        "current"   MPV_FORMAT_FLAG (might be missing; since mpv 0.7.0)
        "playing"   MPV_FORMAT_FLAG (same)
        "title"     MPV_FORMAT_STRING (optional)

List of audio/video/sub tracks, current entry marked. Currently, the raw property value is useless.

This has a number of sub-properties. Replace N with the 0-based track index.

Total number of tracks.
The ID as it's used for -sid/--aid/--vid. This is unique within tracks of the same type (sub/audio/video), but otherwise not.
String describing the media type. One of audio, video, sub.
Track ID as used in the source file. Not always available.
Track title as it is stored in the file. Not always available.
Track language as identified by the file. Not always available.
yes if this is a video track that consists of a single picture, no or unavailable otherwise. This is used for video tracks that are really attached pictures in audio files.
yes if the track has the default flag set in the file, no otherwise.
yes if the track has the forced flag set in the file, no otherwise.
The codec name used by this track, for example h264. Unavailable in some rare cases.
yes if the track is an external file, no otherwise. This is set for separate subtitle files.
The filename if the track is from an external file, unavailable otherwise.
yes if the track is currently decoded, no otherwise.
The stream index as usually used by the FFmpeg utilities. Note that this can be potentially wrong if a demuxer other than libavformat (--demuxer=lavf) is used. For mkv files, the index will usually match even if the default (builtin) demuxer is used, but there is no hard guarantee.
If this track is being decoded, the human-readable decoder name,
track-list/N/demux-w, track-list/N/demux-h
Video size hint as indicated by the container. (Not always accurate.)
Number of audio channels as indicated by the container. (Not always accurate - in particular, the track could be decoded as a different number of channels.)
Channel layout as indicated by the container. (Not always accurate.)
Audio sample rate as indicated by the container. (Not always accurate.)
Video FPS as indicated by the container. (Not always accurate.)
track-list/N/audio-channels (deprecated)
Deprecated alias for track-list/N/demux-channel-count.
track-list/N/replaygain-track-peak, track-list/N/replaygain-track-gain
Per-track replaygain values. Only available for audio tracks with corresponding information stored in the source file.
track-list/N/replaygain-album-peak, track-list/N/replaygain-album-gain
Per-album replaygain values. If the file has per-track but no per-album information, the per-album values will be copied from the per-track values currently. It's possible that future mpv versions will make these properties unavailable instead in this case.

When querying the property with the client API using MPV_FORMAT_NODE, or with Lua mp.get_property_native, this will return a mpv_node with the following contents:

    MPV_FORMAT_NODE_MAP (for each track)
        "id"                MPV_FORMAT_INT64
        "type"              MPV_FORMAT_STRING
        "src-id"            MPV_FORMAT_INT64
        "title"             MPV_FORMAT_STRING
        "lang"              MPV_FORMAT_STRING
        "albumart"          MPV_FORMAT_FLAG
        "default"           MPV_FORMAT_FLAG
        "forced"            MPV_FORMAT_FLAG
        "selected"          MPV_FORMAT_FLAG
        "external"          MPV_FORMAT_FLAG
        "external-filename" MPV_FORMAT_STRING
        "codec"             MPV_FORMAT_STRING
        "ff-index"          MPV_FORMAT_INT64
        "decoder-desc"      MPV_FORMAT_STRING
        "demux-w"           MPV_FORMAT_INT64
        "demux-h"           MPV_FORMAT_INT64
        "demux-channel-count" MPV_FORMAT_INT64
        "demux-channels"    MPV_FORMAT_STRING
        "demux-samplerate"  MPV_FORMAT_INT64
        "demux-fps"         MPV_FORMAT_DOUBLE
        "audio-channels"    MPV_FORMAT_INT64
        "replaygain-track-peak" MPV_FORMAT_DOUBLE
        "replaygain-track-gain" MPV_FORMAT_DOUBLE
        "replaygain-album-peak" MPV_FORMAT_DOUBLE
        "replaygain-album-gain" MPV_FORMAT_DOUBLE

List of chapters, current entry marked. Currently, the raw property value is useless.

This has a number of sub-properties. Replace N with the 0-based chapter index.

Number of chapters.
Chapter title as stored in the file. Not always available.
Chapter start time in seconds as float.

When querying the property with the client API using MPV_FORMAT_NODE, or with Lua mp.get_property_native, this will return a mpv_node with the following contents:

    MPV_FORMAT_NODE_MAP (for each chapter)
        "title" MPV_FORMAT_STRING
        "time"  MPV_FORMAT_DOUBLE
af, vf (RW)

See --vf/--af and the vf/af command.

When querying the property with the client API using MPV_FORMAT_NODE, or with Lua mp.get_property_native, this will return a mpv_node with the following contents:

    MPV_FORMAT_NODE_MAP (for each filter entry)
        "name"      MPV_FORMAT_STRING
        "label"     MPV_FORMAT_STRING [optional]
        "enabled"   MPV_FORMAT_FLAG [optional]
        "params"    MPV_FORMAT_NODE_MAP [optional]
            "key"   MPV_FORMAT_STRING
            "value" MPV_FORMAT_STRING

It's also possible to write the property using this format.

Return whether it's generally possible to seek in the current file.

Return yes if the current file is considered seekable, but only because the cache is active. This means small relative seeks may be fine, but larger seeks may fail anyway. Whether a seek will succeed or not is generally not known in advance.

If this property returns true, seekable will also return true.

Return whether playback is stopped or is to be stopped. (Useful in obscure situations like during on_load hook processing, when the user can stop playback, but the script has to explicitly end processing.)
cursor-autohide (RW)
See --cursor-autohide. Setting this to a new value will always update the cursor, and reset the internal timer.
Inserts the current OSD symbol as opaque OSD control code (cc). This makes sense only with the show-text command or options which set OSD messages. The control code is implementation specific and is useless for anything else.

${osd-ass-cc/0} disables escaping ASS sequences of text in OSD, ${osd-ass-cc/1} enables it again. By default, ASS sequences are escaped to avoid accidental formatting, and this property can disable this behavior. Note that the properties return an opaque OSD control code, which only makes sense for the show-text command or options which set OSD messages.


  • --osd-status-msg='This is ${osd-ass-cc/0}{\\b1}bold text'
  • show-text "This is ${osd-ass-cc/0}{\b1}bold text"

Any ASS override tags as understood by libass can be used.

Note that you need to escape the \ character, because the string is processed for C escape sequences before passing it to the OSD code.

A list of tags can be found here:

Return whether the VO is configured right now. Usually this corresponds to whether the video window is visible. If the --force-window option is used, this is usually always returns yes.

Contains introspection about the VO's active render passes and their execution times. Not implemented by all VOs.

This is further subdivided into two frame types, vo-passes/fresh for fresh frames (which have to be uploaded, scaled, etc.) and vo-passes/redraw for redrawn frames (which only have to be re-painted). The number of passes for any given subtype can change from frame to frame, and should not be relied upon.

Each frame type has a number of further sub-properties. Replace TYPE with the frame type, N with the 0-based pass index, and M with the 0-based sample index.

Number of passes.
Human-friendy description of the pass.
Last measured execution time, in nanoseconds.
Average execution time of this pass, in nanoseconds. The exact timeframe varies, but it should generally be a handful of seconds.
The peak execution time (highest value) within this averaging range, in nanoseconds.
The number of samples for this pass.
The raw execution time of a specific sample for this pass, in nanoseconds.

When querying the property with the client API using MPV_FORMAT_NODE, or with Lua mp.get_property_native, this will return a mpv_node with the following contents:

        "desc"    MPV_FORMAT_STRING
        "last"    MPV_FORMAT_INT64
        "avg"     MPV_FORMAT_INT64
        "peak"    MPV_FORMAT_INT64
        "count"   MPV_FORMAT_INT64
        "samples" MPV_FORMAT_NODE_ARRAY

Note that directly accessing this structure via subkeys is not supported, the only access is through aforementioned MPV_FORMAT_NODE.

video-bitrate, audio-bitrate, sub-bitrate

Bitrate values calculated on the packet level. This works by dividing the bit size of all packets between two keyframes by their presentation timestamp distance. (This uses the timestamps are stored in the file, so e.g. playback speed does not influence the returned values.) In particular, the video bitrate will update only per keyframe, and show the "past" bitrate. To make the property more UI friendly, updates to these properties are throttled in a certain way.

The unit is bits per second. OSD formatting turns these values in kilobits (or megabits, if appropriate), which can be prevented by using the raw property value, e.g. with ${=video-bitrate}.

Note that the accuracy of these properties is influenced by a few factors. If the underlying demuxer rewrites the packets on demuxing (done for some file formats), the bitrate might be slightly off. If timestamps are bad or jittery (like in Matroska), even constant bitrate streams might show fluctuating bitrate.

How exactly these values are calculated might change in the future.

In earlier versions of mpv, these properties returned a static (but bad) guess using a completely different method.

packet-video-bitrate, packet-audio-bitrate, packet-sub-bitrate

Old and deprecated properties for video-bitrate, audio-bitrate, sub-bitrate. They behave exactly the same, but return a value in kilobits. Also, they don't have any OSD formatting, though the same can be achieved with e.g. ${=video-bitrate}.

These properties shouldn't be used anymore.


Return the list of discovered audio devices. This is mostly for use with the client API, and reflects what --audio-device=help with the command line player returns.

When querying the property with the client API using MPV_FORMAT_NODE, or with Lua mp.get_property_native, this will return a mpv_node with the following contents:

    MPV_FORMAT_NODE_MAP (for each device entry)
        "name"          MPV_FORMAT_STRING
        "description"   MPV_FORMAT_STRING

The name is what is to be passed to the --audio-device option (and often a rather cryptic audio API-specific ID), while description is human readable free form text. The description is set to the device name (minus mpv-specific <driver>/ prefix) if no description is available or the description would have been an empty string.

The special entry with the name set to auto selects the default audio output driver and the default device.

The property can be watched with the property observation mechanism in the client API and in Lua scripts. (Technically, change notification is enabled the first time this property is read.)

audio-device (RW)

Set the audio device. This directly reads/writes the --audio-device option, but on write accesses, the audio output will be scheduled for reloading.

Writing this property while no audio output is active will not automatically enable audio. (This is also true in the case when audio was disabled due to reinitialization failure after a previous write access to audio-device.)

This property also doesn't tell you which audio device is actually in use.

How these details are handled may change in the future.

Current video output driver (name as used with --vo).
Current audio output driver (name as used with --ao).
Return the working directory of the mpv process. Can be useful for JSON IPC users, because the command line player usually works with relative paths.
List of protocol prefixes potentially recognized by the player. They are returned without trailing :// suffix (which is still always required). In some cases, the protocol will not actually be supported (consider https if ffmpeg is not compiled with TLS support).

List of decoders supported. This lists decoders which can be passed to --vd and --ad.

Canonical codec name, which identifies the format the decoder can handle.
The name of the decoder itself. Often, this is the same as codec. Sometimes it can be different. It is used to distinguish multiple decoders for the same codec.
Human readable description of the decoder and codec.

When querying the property with the client API using MPV_FORMAT_NODE, or with Lua mp.get_property_native, this will return a mpv_node with the following contents:

    MPV_FORMAT_NODE_MAP (for each decoder entry)
        "codec"         MPV_FORMAT_STRING
        "driver"        MPV_FORMAT_STRING
        "description"   MPV_FORMAT_STRING
List of libavcodec encoders. This has the same format as decoder-list. The encoder names (driver entries) can be passed to --ovc and --oac (without the lavc: prefix required by --vd and --ad).
List of available libavformat demuxers' names. This can be used to check for support for a specific format or use with --demuxer-lavf-format.
Return the mpv version/copyright string. Depending on how the binary was built, it might contain either a release version, or just a git hash.
Return the configuration arguments which were passed to the build system (typically the way ./waf configure ... was invoked).
Return the contents of the av_version_info() API call. This is a string which identifies the build in some way, either through a release version number, or a git hash. This applies to Libav as well (the property is still named the same.) This property is unavailable if mpv is linked against older FFmpeg and Libav versions.
options/<name> (RW)

Read-only access to value of option --<name>. Most options can be changed at runtime by writing to this property. Note that many options require reloading the file for changes to take effect. If there is an equivalent property, prefer setting the property instead.

There shouldn't be any reason to access options/<name> instead of <name>, except in situations in which the properties have different behavior or conflicting semantics.


Similar to options/<name>, but when setting an option through this property, the option is reset to its old value once the current file has stopped playing. Trying to write an option while no file is playing (or is being loaded) results in an error.

(Note that if an option is marked as file-local, even options/ will access the local value, and the old value, which will be restored on end of playback, cannot be read or written until end of playback.)


Additional per-option information.

This has a number of sub-properties. Replace <name> with the name of a top-level option. No guarantee of stability is given to any of these sub-properties - they may change radically in the feature.

Returns the name of the option.
Return the name of the option type, like String or Integer. For many complex types, this isn't very accurate.
Return yes if the option was set from the mpv command line, no otherwise. What this is set to if the option is e.g. changed at runtime is left undefined (meaning it could change in the future).
Return yes if the option was set per-file. This is the case with automatically loaded profiles, file-dir configs, and other cases. It means the option value will be restored to the value before playback start when playback ends.
The default value of the option. May not always be available.
option-info/<name>/min, option-info/<name>/max
Integer minimum and maximum values allowed for the option. Only available if the options are numeric, and the minimum/maximum has been set internally. It's also possible that only one of these is set.
If the option is a choice option, the possible choices. Choices that are integers may or may not be included (they can be implied by min and max). Note that options which behave like choice options, but are not actual choice options internally, may not have this info available.
Return the list of top-level properties.
Return the list of profiles and their contents. This is highly implementation-specific, and may change any time. Currently, it returns an array of options for each profile. Each option has a name and a value, with the value currently always being a string. Note that the options array is not a map, as order matters and duplicate entries are possible. Recursive profiles are not expanded, and show up as special profile options.

Inconsistencies between options and properties

You can access (almost) all options as properties, though there are some caveats with some properties (due to historical reasons):

vid, aid, sid

While playback is active, you can set existing tracks only. (The option allows setting any track ID, and which tracks to enable is chosen at loading time.)

Option changes at runtime are affected by this as well.

While video is active, always returns the effective aspect ratio. Setting a special value (like no, values <= 0) will make the property set this as option, and return whatever actual aspect was derived from the option setting.
If a VO is created, this will return either the actual display FPS, or an invalid value, instead of the option value.
vf, af

If you set the properties during playback, and the filter chain fails to reinitialize, the new value will be rejected. Setting the option or setting the property outside of playback will always succeed/fail in the same way. Also, there are no vf-add etc. properties, but you can use the vf/af group of commands to achieve the same.

Option changes at runtime are affected by this as well.

While a file is loaded, the property will always return the effective edition, and setting the auto value will show somewhat strange behavior (the property eventually switching to whatever is the default edition).
The property is read-only and returns the current internal playlist. The option is for loading playlist during command line parsing. For client API uses, you should use the loadlist command instead.
Might verify the set value when setting while a window is created.
audio-file, sub-file, external-file

These options/properties are actually lists of filenames. To make the command-line interface easier, each --audio-file=... option appends the full string to the internal list. However, when used as properties, every time you set the property as a string the internal list will be replaced with a single entry containing the string you set. , or other separators are never used. You have to use MPV_FORMAT_NODE_ARRAY (or corresponding API, e.g. mp.set_property_native() with a table in Lua) to set multiple entries.

Strictly speaking, option access via API (e.g. mpv_set_option_string()) has the same problem, and it's only a difference between CLI/API.

playlist-pos, chapter
These properties behave different from the deprecated options with the same names.
profile, include
These are write-only, and will perform actions as they are written to, exactly as if they were used on the mpv CLI commandline. Their only use is when using libmpv before mpv_initialize(), which in turn is probably only useful in encoding mode. Normal libmpv users should use other mechanisms, such as the apply-profile command, and the mpv_load_config_file API function. Avoid these properties.

Property Expansion

All string arguments to input commands as well as certain options (like --term-playing-msg) are subject to property expansion. Note that property expansion does not work in places where e.g. numeric parameters are expected. (For example, the add command does not do property expansion. The set command is an exception and not a general rule.)

Example for input.conf

i show-text "Filename: ${filename}"
shows the filename of the current file when pressing the i key

Within input.conf, property expansion can be inhibited by putting the raw prefix in front of commands.

The following expansions are supported:

Expands to the value of the property NAME. If retrieving the property fails, expand to an error string. (Use ${NAME:} with a trailing : to expand to an empty string instead.) If NAME is prefixed with =, expand to the raw value of the property (see section below).
Expands to the value of the property NAME, or STR if the property cannot be retrieved. STR is expanded recursively.
Expands to STR (recursively) if the property NAME is available.
Expands to STR (recursively) if the property NAME cannot be retrieved.
Expands to STR (recursively) if the property NAME expands to a string equal to VALUE. You can prefix NAME with = in order to compare the raw value of a property (see section below). If the property is unavailable, or other errors happen when retrieving it, the value is never considered equal. Note that VALUE can't contain any of the characters : or }. Also, it is possible that escaping with " or % might be added in the future, should the need arise.
Same as with the ? variant, but STR is expanded if the value is not equal. (Using the same semantics as with ?.)
Expands to $.
Expands to }. (To produce this character inside recursive expansion.)
Disable property expansion and special handling of $ for the rest of the string.

In places where property expansion is allowed, C-style escapes are often accepted as well. Example:

  • \n becomes a newline character
  • \\ expands to \

Raw and Formatted Properties

Normally, properties are formatted as human-readable text, meant to be displayed on OSD or on the terminal. It is possible to retrieve an unformatted (raw) value from a property by prefixing its name with =. These raw values can be parsed by other programs and follow the same conventions as the options associated with the properties.


  • ${time-pos} expands to 00:14:23 (if playback position is at 14 minutes 23 seconds)
  • ${=time-pos} expands to 863.4 (same time, plus 400 milliseconds - milliseconds are normally not shown in the formatted case)

Sometimes, the difference in amount of information carried by raw and formatted property values can be rather big. In some cases, raw values have more information, like higher precision than seconds with time-pos. Sometimes it is the other way around, e.g. aid shows track title and language in the formatted case, but only the track number if it is raw.

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