Don't forget that you have a certain version of the ubuntu distro and you have to use the packages from the exact repositories (i.e hardy reps for hardy heron and not for karmic koala)
Some file formats are proprietary, which means that they are owned by a company or other organisation. Sometimes, the owners of such formats charge licensing fees or impose legal restrictions on the use of their formats. This means that people may be unable to use or distribute these formats without first paying a fee or applying for a license.
A Free or open format is one which can be used by anyone, free of legal restrictions on how they use the format. Free formats are very popular - the World Wide Web is based on the open HTML standard. Ubuntu supports many free formats and the open-source community as a whole encorages their wider use.
Playing Restricted Formats
- Go to Applications → Add/Remove...
- Set Show: to All available applications
- Search for ubuntu-restricted-extras and install it. Note that there is also xubuntu-restricted-extras (for Xubuntu) and kubuntu-restricted-extras (for Kubuntu.)
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras
First you might want to install the following packages to make most multimedia work by entering the following command. Explanation about the packages : ubuntu-restricted-extras contains most non-free formats you will ever need. vlc is a videoplayer you can try if some video won't play with the default video player (totem). gstreamer0.10-pitfdll is another codec (which gets installed by ubuntu-restricted-extras in Hardy). Kubuntu users should use kubuntu-restricted-extras instead. Xubuntu users should use xubuntu-restricted-extras instead.
sudo aptitude install vlc ubuntu-restricted-extras gstreamer0.10-pitfdll
If watching streaming (non-flash) video's on a website doesn't work you could try the MediaPlayerConnectivity plugin to watch the video with an external application (vlc) :
(you might need to remove the package totem-mozilla)
If you want newer versions of certain software you can optionally enable backports in system->administration->software sources or by editting your /etc/apt/sources.list :
sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list