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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ubuntu & Multimedia support

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)
Ubuntu doesn't include better multimedia support on default.
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
Follow these steps to play and record most common multimedia formats, including MP3, DVD, Flash, Quicktime, WMA and WMV, including both standalone files and content embedded in web pages.  
Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope) and 9.10 (Karmic Koala)
If you are using a different derivative of Ubuntu, install one of these instead:
To play DVDs, you also need to install libdvdcss by opening a terminal and entering the following in addition to installing the restricted extras package:
sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/
The instructions below for 8.10 and 8.04 should still also work.
Ubuntu 9.04, 8.10, 8.04
  • Go to ApplicationsAdd/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.)
Or open the Terminal, and execute the following command:
  • 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 you have problems with flash and sound (for example sound problems with youtube) try restarting your browser. If that doesn't work you might want to try to remove or install the package libflash-mozplugin and restart your browser once again.
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
Read more
and more:

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