In Plain English

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 7, 2009
Updated • Jan 4, 2013
Music and Video, Video, Youtube

If you have to explain a concept to someone you better make sure to match their proficiency level so that they actually understand what you are talking about. If you work in tech support you usually talk to users all the time who have little to no knowledge at all about technology. They might get confused if you use common words such as web browser, operating system or menu and it is usually required to phrase your words carefully to not confuse or irritate them in any way.

In Plain English is a video series on Youtube and the common craft website that explains concepts in plain terms so that everyone, even someone who has little to no knowledge about the concept can understand it.

Their latest video is for example explaining RSS Feeds. How would you explain RSS feeds to someone who never heard about the concept before. The videos do an excellent job of explaining these concepts in plain terms. There are basically four topics (Green, Money, Society and Technology) to chose from. The technology category contains explanations of Twitter, social media or wikis among others.

All videos are made without computers and do not show a single computer screen or hardware. You can watch all videos either on the Common Craft website or at Youtube directly.

Update: The creators of the video have disabled the embedding of the videos on third party websites. We have removed the videos as a consequence and suggest you use the direct links posted above to watch the videos on YouTube or the Common Craft website instead.

No new videos have been uploaded for the past two years and it is not really clear why that is the case. The main reason for that is likely that the makers of the videos are concentrating on pushing out contents on their own website and no longer on YouTube. you find new videos there, and also subscription plans and other monetization options such as an ebook about explanation that is sold on site.


Tutorials & Tips

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  1. Leo said on July 27, 2019 at 12:28 pm

    As much as I like, it’s a hassle to configure and customize. Sticking with mpc-be for now although playback performance is second to none.

    1. owl said on July 28, 2019 at 2:14 am

      You seem to misunderstand the topic.
      This topic is about “mpv”.

      “” is a frontend product that provides its GUI (Graphical User Interface).
      Windows player similar to the “mpv”, with context menu, settings dialog, key map editor and support for C# and Python extensions. media player |
      GitHub – stax76/ 🎞 is a modern media player for Windows that works just like mpv. |

      By the way, I have been a long-time user of VLC and MPC-BE.
      Recently, I found “” at and I am trying it out. I have good feeling on and I like it.
      A look at, a mpv frontend with Everything integration – gHacks Tech News |

  2. Anonymous said on July 27, 2019 at 2:05 pm

    UI is a HUGE part of what makes a program liked by many. Not everyone is interested in Vim-ming every facet of their life.

    This will forever be a niche player for a very specific subset of people.

    1. Anonymous said on July 28, 2019 at 5:51 am

      mpv is a popular project, but it’s unknown among end-users.

  3. fcrs said on July 27, 2019 at 2:51 pm
    1. dark said on July 27, 2019 at 5:01 pm

      SMPlayer is a GUI front-end for MPV.

    2. dark said on July 27, 2019 at 5:05 pm

      Another one is MPC-QT which is similar to MPC-HC/BE. You will have to compile it though.

  4. Gerard said on July 27, 2019 at 2:54 pm

    mpv is a fork of MPlayer. SMPlayer is a graphical font-end for both MPlayer and mpv; users can select either one in the preferences. I can’t see a reason to use mpv without this user-friendly, highly customizable and cross-platform front-end.

  5. Dilly Dilly said on July 27, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    I could launch mpc-be and do all these adjustments along with dozens of others within seconds using the convenience of its UI. imo the only thing that could make mpc-be better would be to update its ui to match modern OS, oh and port it to Linux!

  6. ULBoom said on July 28, 2019 at 3:18 am

    I wish there was a version of MPC with thumbnail navigation previews, color management and a contrast/brightness/sat/hue context menu that wasn’t buried. Neither MPC-HC nor BE hit all three.

    I continue to use PotPlayer; VLC is equivalent but the cone is creepy. They both can be customized tremendously.

    Can’t see a reason to use any media player without a GUI. SMPlayer works well, the best mpv version I’ve used. Stock mpv or work fine but the inconvenience is a deal killer.

    Windows Media Player had color controls that could be added to the bottom of the frame, why they aren’t features in every media player, IDK. Vids are all different, some are unwatchable without some tweaking.

    1. schrodingecat said on July 28, 2019 at 1:50 pm

      mpv(and by consequence are already better than potplayer. They are more customizable, more powerful, and extendable. They do what they are meant to which is play/open media files(images, audio and videos). Just because you don’t have a GUI for all the settings, does not mean it’s less functional. mpv is meant to be minimalist by design.

      1. ULBoom said on July 29, 2019 at 9:03 pm


        Really? Not having a GUI absolutely makes mpv less useable. I never said it was less capable. Yeah, it’s pretty clear it’s a great minimalist niche product.

      2. schrodingercat said on July 30, 2019 at 7:15 pm

        mpv has a pseudo-GUI called on-screen-controller, which is meant to make interaction with player easier for new users. goes further ahead and provides a GUI for input and configurations. In the end, the things that actually matter first are playback quality, subtitle rendering and resource usage.

  7. Dr Know said on July 28, 2019 at 5:22 am

    Or just use Potplayer which has proper (and full) customisation.
    No player comes close at the moment (VLC is a few gens behind as usual)

    That said it’s a decent front end for mpv – just lacking against what the best can do

    1. schrodingercat said on July 28, 2019 at 1:56 pm
      Reply is not lacking. On the contrary, it is more ahead than potplayer and vlc. Try learning on how to use it, before you judge it cause it does not have the clicky GUI you see on the other two players. You will be surprised that using mouse and keyboard shortcuts is the way to go. mpv also has lots of customization. There are guides on the Internet showing what you can achieve by just copying files and/or lines of text.

      1. Dr Know said on July 28, 2019 at 11:52 pm

        I have a customised version of Potplayer with many keybinds I find useful.

        Having to trawl through guides to do things is not a good user experience.

        There’s good reasons why GUIs are popular.

      2. schrodingercat said on July 29, 2019 at 1:09 pm

        mpv is a good user experience as you want it to be. The media player is meant to be minimalist by design while being extremely functional. even has a GUI to modify the keybindings.

  8. TINO said on July 29, 2019 at 10:46 am

    How do I disable the volume bar but keep seeing it in the top left corner?

    1. schrodingercat said on July 29, 2019 at 2:05 pm

      Just copy & paste no-osd-bar in the mpv.conf

      1. TINO said on July 29, 2019 at 9:38 pm

        Thank you!

  9. Man said on July 29, 2019 at 11:30 pm

    Just so you know, you don’t need the portable_config folder at all, just put the mpv.conf and/or input.conf file in the root folder next to mpv.exe

  10. owl said on July 30, 2019 at 1:24 am

    Your comments are very useful.
    In the official FAQ the unknown usage (practical) is complemented by your comment.
    I just got to know and “mpv” recently, so it’s very helpful.
    At the same time, I also noticed the features of the original (mpv).
    I thank you.

    Please also comment on other Tips (useful techniques) that we should know.

    1. schrodingercat said on July 30, 2019 at 3:14 pm

      Since you asked. Learn how the settings in mpv(or work by using them. My advise is to try slowly changing the configuration. Most of the settings people use are already available in the config editor. Though there are things that are not available in the GUI, and you will be required to edit the mpv.conf and input.conf with a text editor. Always use the manual if you want to know more in depth on how things in mpv work. Use google for anything related to mpv, if you don’t understand the manual. If you want something simple, but don’t know how to achieve it, ask for help in a forum.


      Basic high quality video output profile:

      profile = gpu-hq (goes into mpv.conf)

      Tips & Tricks:

      Discussion and third-party support:

      1. owl said on July 30, 2019 at 11:51 pm

        It is very helpful because the reference point for that is clear.
        Thank you very much!

      2. owl said on August 2, 2019 at 3:22 am

        In response to your comment (Tips & Tricks, etc), I have posted a review about “” on a portal site introducing free software in Japan.

        Postscript in the user reviews – freesoft100 |
        Evaluation and usage of – freesoft100 |

  11. MeH said on August 7, 2019 at 9:06 pm

    The best and most powerful media player on earth is K-Lite Codec Pack (Mega) (Its embeded player is MPC-HC). Other great ones are PotPlayer and SMPlayer. And VLC is too well known to ignore 😉

    1. cibo said on July 30, 2020 at 7:51 pm

      I like MPV the best. Everything I need to do can be done by key binds. No clicking through menus.

  12. Anonymous said on June 14, 2020 at 2:32 am

    i want change spect ratio ? how

    1. harvir said on March 13, 2021 at 4:11 pm

      edit file mpv.conf then type

      reference =

  13. Urajmal said on November 11, 2020 at 3:12 pm

    Is it possible to open a file, with other words, to load a file at the startup with a command in config?


    1. harvir said on March 13, 2021 at 4:13 pm

      yes open with Notepad run as administrator

  14. Anonymous said on July 20, 2022 at 7:52 pm

    Thank you, this helped me with a problem I had with mpv adhering to my OS’s DPI scaling options. I was able to add an exception to the .conf file and now mpv displays my video files in their native resolution

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