How to watch DVDs on your Wii

Speculation on fan blogs about an upgrade to play DVDs on the Wii Console has been persistent for as long as I’ve been reading them, but it seems doubtful Nintendo will ever add this ability.

What are we to do? If you can’t get official support for something that the hardware can probably do, why not code it yourself? The Wii is a closed platform, but that hasn’t stopped enterprising developers taking a peek under the covers. That’s exactly what Erant did with his libdl and DVDX installer!

He created a dvd access library for the Wii Console, added the Mplayer media player and hey presto! DVD playback on the Wii. Mplayer also plays practically any video format under the sun so it’s even better than a DVD player.

Our DVD player is stuck in a cupboard under the television where the baby can’t get it (and requires untying of handles for an adult to get to) while the Wii is on a shelf in easy reach. I think this may be the project that gets me to try out Wii Homebrew using the new Twilight hack.

Once you’ve done that, you can enjoy the splendor of mplayer. That what started out as a simple proof of concept has rapidly turned into a full-featured media player, under the nourishing hands of dhewg. The main aim of the mplayer project was to get DVDVideo going, but it also supports reading video files off the SD card. (Experimental).

Nintendo Wii fanboy has a simple guide to getting everything running, from installing the Homebrew channel to running Mplayer. Nice.

Mplayer playing DVD on Wii Console

Screensaver vs Movies

If you use mplayer to play your movies then add this line to ~/.mplayer/config to turn off Xscreensaver. Much better than hitting CTRL every few minutes!

# Write your default config options here!
stop-xscreensaver=1

How to convert from WMA to MP3

Converting Windows Media Audio files into MP3 format is rather easy with mplayer and lame. My car stereo plays MP3s, so WMA is of no use to me!
This code is based on this script but I have to wonder why they overwrote the wma file?
Piping the output of mplayer into lame is left as an easy lesson for the reader!
for i in *.wma ; do mplayer -vo null -vc dummy -af resample=44100 -ao pcm -waveheader "$i" && lame -m j -h --vbr-new -b 160 audiodump.wav -o "`basename "$i" .wma`.mp3"; done; rm -f audiodump.wav