mplayer started too loud compared to XMMS (actually too loud period - I almost always first opened alsamixer to bring down the volume if I wanted to run mplayer, which was getting annoying as well). One line in
While I'm on the topic, lets save the other options that I found useful in the config file. See the man file if sth is not selfevident.
softvol=1 subfont-text-scale=2.5 vf=screenshot,eq,hue unicode=yes utf8=yes idx=yes ao=alsa subfont-encoding=unicode sub-fuzziness=1 volume=15