So I recently installed Debian on my laptop, because Ubuntu just wasn't doing it for me (long story). I found a deb source with a PPC mplayer and installed it. Great. So I fire it up and try to watch something, but it's insanely slow and the audio is out of sync and it isn't full screen (well it is, but it's not scaled, so there's a tiny video in the middle of the screen).
After reading the man page for a while, it turns out that the magic incantation to make things not suck is mplayer -cache 8192 -vo xv -zoom <filename>. Oh, of course. That's so obvious. If that's what makes it not suck, why the fork isn't that the default!? Sigh. I mean it's not hard to detect that I have XV and use it, and it's obviously not hard to detect that I need cache because if I don't use it, it prints a message telling me to. Clue for the clueless: if you're going to print a message telling the user to turn on an option, just turn the bloody thing on already!
Totem did work out of the box, of course, but turned out to be not quite fast enough to play things smoothly. It usually is my preferred video player though, for precisely the above reason.
That was this week's cynical software rant. Be sure to join us next time :)