Minor hack: Pausing all mpv videos on any screen


For a while I had been looking for a command to pause all mpv video instances on my computer. I have a lock script which, while locking, automatically pauses the audio from my mpd, but I had wanted a way to pause all mpv instances as well, otherwise I would have to do the potentially annoying task of getting to the right workspace and hitting pause manually. I could find a lot more "complicated" solutions where you have to start mpv on a particular socket, but I ran across a much easier and universal possibility:

xdotool search --class mpv | xargs -I % xdotool key --window % comma

Which is a pretty funny command, but works exactly how I want. If you're not familiar with xdotool, this one-liner just searchs for all mpv instances and sends the key , to each of them, which by default moves the video back by a frame and pauses it. So now I've just added this line to my lock script, so if I ever am watching something and want to leave my computer and lock it, I don't have to worry about manually pausing mpv which may be on another screeen. Also, while I've always had Super+p mapped to "pause/unpause mpd audio", I've mapped Super+Shift+P to "pause mpd and all mpv instances", running this one-liner along with the true mpd pause command.