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This seems simple enough, but it isn't...

Suppose we have geriatric user who's mastered putting a DVD in the PC, but can't quite grasp a hundred different DVD menus, (or has no patience left for them), and just wants to see the movie. They want English subtitles, and English soundtrack.

Even picking a player from a menu, or a desktop item might be a bit much, so preferably the disk should just start playing, (full screen), after inserting it. The geriatric user does know how to press spacebar for pause, how to quit, and maybe know a skip and fast forward button, but that's all...

On Linux mpv (or mplayer) can sort of be made to do this:

mpv dvd:// 

Added wrinkle -- sometimes that mpv will fail, or rather the DVD in question will have a peculiar layout, so that instead of the English soundtrack, that command might start up with the director's commentary. In such cases it would be nice to have an algorithm that, upon DVD insert:

  • Scanned the DVD for a distinctive name or checksum.
  • Looked up that name in text file or DB on the hard disk, (perhaps made by hand, by some admin or non-geriatric user, or even an online DB), which might tell it which program to start playing, which soundtrack, and which language. If nothing was found it would revert to some sensible default.
  • Played the movie.

Not an answer: a media player with a set of DVD rips would of course be simpler. But unless it acted like the above, (played rip X when DVD X was inserted), it's not the thing desired.

Bonus points: a single DVD with several movies on one side, it should play the next movie... as though the DVD were a 6 hour VHS tape.

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