nick black



ncplayer - Render images and video to a terminal


ncplayer [-h] [-V] [-q] [-d delaymult] [-l loglevel] [-s scalemode] [-k] [-L] [-t seconds] files


ncplayer uses a multimedia-enabled Notcurses to render images and videos to a terminal. By default, stretch-type scaling is used to fill the rendering area, and the sexblitter blitter is used (where known to work well) for a 3x2→1 mapping from pixels to cells. In a terminal that doesn't support Unicode 13 sextants, the quadblitter is used instead.


-d delaymult: Apply a non-negative rational multiplier to the delayscale. Only applies to multiframe media such as video and animated images. Not supported with -k.

-t seconds: Delay seconds after each file. If this option is used, the "press any key to continue" prompt will not be displayed. seconds may be any non-negative number.

-l loglevel: Log everything (high log level) or nothing (log level 0) to stderr.

-s scalemode: Scaling mode, one of none, hires, scale, scalehi, or stretch.

-b blitter: Blitter, one of ascii, halfblocks, quadblitter, sexblitter, or braille.

-m margins: Define rendering margins (see below).

-L: Loop frames until a key is pressed. Not supported with -k.

-k: Use direct mode (see notcurses_direct(3)). This will have the effect of leaving the output on-screen after program exit, and generating it inline (rather than clearing the screen and placing it at the top). Not supported with -L or -d.

-q: Print neither frame/timing information along the top of the screen, nor the output summary on exit.

-V: Print the program name and version, and exit with success.

-h: Print help information, and exit with success.

files: Select which files to render, and what order to render them in.

Default margins are all 0 and default scaling is stretch. The full rendering area will thus be used. Using -m, margins can be supplied. Provide a single number to set all four margins to the same value, or four comma-delimited values for the top, right, bottom, and left margins respectively. Negative margins are illegal.

Scaling mode stretch resizes the object to match the target rendering area exactly. scale resizes the object so that the longer edge of the rendering area is matched exactly, and the other edge is changed to maintain aspect ratio. none uses the original image size.

Blitters can be selected by pressing '0' through '8'. NCBLIT_DEFAULT corresponds to '0'. The various blitters are described in notcurses_visual.

A video can be paused with space. Press space (or any other valid control) to resume.


If you're looking for a fast, inline image viewer for the shell, try using ncplayer -k -t0 -q.

Optimal display requires a terminal advertising the rgb terminfo(5) capability, or that the environment variable COLORTERM is defined to 24bit (and that the terminal honors this variable), along with a fixed-width font with good coverage of the Unicode Block Drawing Characters.


Direct mode (-k) does not yet support multiframe media. It'll read them just fine, but only show the first frame. This might or might not change in the future. Direct mode is kinda fundamentally suboptimal for multiframe media. Until that time, -k is exclusive with -d and -L.


notcurses(3), notcurses_direct(3), notcurses_visual(3), terminfo(5), unicode(7)