I have Arch Linux (downloaded from the Pi official download page) installed on my Pi. I would like to play videos with it from the command line without installing X. (Yeah, the goal is to make the Pi boots as fast as possible.) Is that possible?
It's possible and even encouraged. A nice command line player for the Pi is
Btw, the more graphical media player XBMC uses omxplayer as a backend on the Pi.