I used VLC for a very long time. No longer. The other day I was watching something and I noticed how dull the colors were. It did fit the theme of the video though so I just assumed that it was a thing, except then I ran into a very colorful screenshot from the same video. What gives? In 2011, when fansubbing was huge, 10bit was the “new big thing.” It encodes colors into 10 bits into the standard 8, which results in much better colors. At least it should, as it seems VLC wasn’t able to handle that.

Example of 10bit difference

Luckily I already had mpv installed, and it quickly became obvious that VLC just wasn’t ready for the task. However mpv had its own issues. It’s not exactly a “rich UI” application. Or rather, not much of an UI at all. It does have a seek bar and a few buttons to control audio and subtitle languages, but that’s about it. My biggest issue was that it kept saving screenshots into my home directory (instead of Pictures), and I couldn’t find a way to configure it.

The way is through configuration files. In my case on Ubuntu 22.10, I have my user-specific config file at ~/.config/mpv/mpv.conf (with just a single line of screenshot-directory=~/Pictures/). Just as the --screenshot-directory command line option becomes the screenshot-directory directive, there is a clear mapping between command line options and the way to write a config file. There seem to be a ton of configuration options and ways to play around with profiles and all, but at this point I’m okay with the defaults.