This blog has moved to www.nongeekperspective.com. There you will find new posts

Monday, July 17, 2006

 

Multimedia in Xubuntu Made Easy


Important Update:
You may prefer to read "Multimedia in Xubuntu Has Never Been So Easy" first.

If you use Xubuntu then it's very likely you don't need to read the "Get Multimedia support" chapter in the Xubuntu Desktop Guide to know that "Xubuntu comes with very limited multi-media support". That's because "many popular multimedia formats are not free: They are protected either by patent or license restrictions". But here you will find an easy way to get multimedia support in Xubuntu.

It is not necessary to install Gstreamer as stated in the Xubuntu Desktop Guide. Xubuntu comes with xine, a library that allows to play many multimedia file types, both audio and video. We just have to install the proper codecs. There are just two packages needed for this: libxine-extracodecs and w32codecs.

Downloading the codecs

You can download libxine-extracodecs package from this link:
http://packages.ubuntu.com/dapper/libs/libxine-extracodecs

w32codecs package comes in two flavors. One is the "essential" tarball you can download from mplayer download page. The other flavor is a debian package. I call them flavors and not formats because the package content is not the same. There are more codecs in the debian package, so you might prefer this flavor as it enables more file formats to play.

You can find w32codecs tarball (essential codecs package) here:
http://www.mplayerhq.hu/design7/dload.html

and w32codecs debian package in either of these links:

Remember you need just one of the w32codecs flavors, choose only one. I prefer the debian format because it supports more codecs.

Installing the codecs

Now we only need to install the codecs and the packages can be installed in any order. If you did not downloaded the essential tarball you can skip the next paragraph.

If you downloaded the essential tarball from the mplayer site then you have a file which name ends in .tar.bz2, double click on it and it should be open in Xarchiver. Extract the content in /usr/lib/codecs. Notice that you must be root to achieve that. Now install libxine-extracodecs.

The easiest way to install debian packages in Xubuntu is by double click on them. They will be opened with Gdebi Package Installer utility and then click on the install button. So, double click on the libxine-extracodecs file.

Now, if you choose the w32codecs debian package instead of the mplayer essential codecs you can install it in the same way as the libxine-extracodecs. This method will copy the codecs to the /usr/lib/win32/ folder (or directory) and then you will need to edit the ~/.xine/config file, but this is easy.

To edit ~/.xine/config just type this in a terminal window:

mousepad .xine/config

then look for a block that seems like this:

# path to RealPlayer codecs
# string, default: /usr/lib/codecs
# decoder.external.real_codecs_path:/usr/lib/codecs

# path to Win32 codecs
# string, default: /usr/lib/codecs
# decoder.external.win32_codecs_path:/usr/lib/codecs


and change it to say (you can use copy and paste):

# path to RealPlayer codecs
# string, default: /usr/lib/codecs
decoder.external.real_codecs_path:/usr/lib/win32

# path to Win32 codecs
# string, default: /usr/lib/codecs
decoder.external.win32_codecs_path:/usr/lib/win32

I will post a method to install this package for those that don't like editing config files.

Sit and enjoy

That's all! Now open your favorite player and enjoy.

If you want play dvds you will need this package too:
ftp://cipherfunk.org/pub/packages/ubuntu/pool/main/libd/libdvdcss/

But remember that watching legal dvds in linux may be illegal in some countries.

If you have a question or suggestion, please post a comment.

Update: See this post if you don't want to edit .xine/config file, although some people may find this method easier.

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This blog has moved to www.nongeekperspective.com. There you will find new posts
Comments:
Blogger a2d2 said:
hi nongeek,

all things installed, but have always problems, using message sound (wav) in firefox and thunderbird.

any ideas to install some missing tools ???
 
Blogger a2d2 said:
...forgot system details:

Samsung Centrino 1730 R 50 II, 1024 MB, XUbuntu 6.06, Kanotix-Debian 06 RC3, XP, VISTA B2
 
Blogger nongeek said:
hi a2d2,

Try to play some wav file in a standalone player (Xfmedia comes to my mind) and if it plays fine then the problem is due to thunderbird configuration. I have the same problem here, by the way.

To be honest I don't know how to solve it, but I'm working on it and I will post the solution as soon as I know it. If you find the solution before I do, pleas let me know :)
 
Blogger a2d2 said:
...you are linked to my blog (not a blogger, I just test it - used others instead)

...as seen, links are automated ...and shown in "Links to this post:". it´s google´s job , or who did it?
 
Blogger a2d2 said:
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
Blogger nongeek said:
Thanks for linking me.

As far as I know the backlink is google's job and is based on "link:" search option. I just enabled the backlink option in my blog dashboard. However I'll try haloscan.com one of these days.
 
Blogger nongeek said:
...about your problem with thunderbird sound, I posted this info, I hope it can be useful. It worked for me.

Please, let me know if it helped :)
 
Blogger a2d2 said:
..wow,
you won the trophy.
that´s it !!! -me and some friends too, searched since past weeks. I added esound & esound-clients, the 2 others are build-in.
...maybe Dapper-development forgot something, incl. these 2. now Fox and Tbird are talking, if gmail and mail arrives.
THX a lot - you will be linked twice...
...have a great and successful week.....
 
Anonymous Anonymous said:
..wow,
you won the trophy.
that´s it !!! -me and some friends too, searched since past weeks. I added esound & esound-clients, the 2 others are build-in.
...maybe Dapper-development forgot something, incl. these 2. now Fox and Tbird are talking, if gmail and mail arrives.
THX a lot - you will be linked twice...
...have a great and successful week.....
 
Anonymous Anonymous said:
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
Blogger a2d2 said:
plzzz, clean the double/triple replies from within your blogger , thx
 
Blogger nongeek said:
I'm glad to help!
 
Anonymous Anonymous said:
hi,
im having trouble installing the debinan package. i double click on "w32codecs_20050412--Oun_003.deb" and the GDebi opens the file and i get error message in the status: Error: Failed to satisfy all dependencies (broken cache)

anyone knows what am i doing wrong? it might be a dump question... sorry but im really new to linux.
 
Blogger nongeek said:
Error: Failed to satisfy all dependencies... This means that you need to install other packages first. Read the "Dependencies" tab in GDebi for packages needed and install them with Synaptic (which is in the system menu in the task bar).

...(broken cache): I don't know what it means, but install dependencies and let me know if it works.
 
Anonymous Anonymous said:
mousepad .xine/config

That doens't work for me... Is there another place for the config file for xine?
 
Blogger nongeek said:
As far as I know the xine configuration file is located in ~/.xine/ in your home directory (redundant, I know), at least on Xubuntu. Make sure you are trying to open the right file by typing:

mousepad ~/.xine/config

provided you are a xubuntu user and have mousepad editor installed. If you're not use another editor like gedit instead of mousepad.
 
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