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Best linux distro for multimedia (mp3's, watch DVD's)?


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#1
gust0208

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Hello everyone,

I am rather new to the Linux realm and have dabbled with Ubuntu and Kubuntu, which are both good distros, but since they ship with only open-source software, getting to the point of being able to watch DVD's can be quite a bear. So, I am opening myself up to trying some different distros. I read through the stickied topic and looks like the top contenders are Susu 10, Fedora, and Mandriva.

I will be installing on an older laptop, P3 600Mhz, so speed and odd hardware compatibility are near the top of the list for me. My main question is which distro would I likely have the most luck for multimedia tasks? Like listening to mp3's, watching DVD's, etc. Ubuntu is nice that it has a huge package library. I have also found that I seem to prefer the KDE desktop environment to GNOME, but I am open.

Thanks for your time and any pointers.

Cheers,
Tom
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#2
Knyght

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Well, firsly, there's no problem with using Ubuntu, and say, using non-open source software anyway.

As for KDE/GNOME, they will both work with any other, but some use KDE as default, other GNOME. But it's trivial to change it.

Any Linux is as good as any other for this. You can just use mpg321 or XMMS for mp3s, and mplayer for DVDs. They will run on any Linux, and with the exception of the codecs you will likely want, they're all open.

If you want a personal recommendation, then Debian, just because aptitude is lovely. Even lovlier than FreeBSD's portinstall/portupgrade. It makes installing/upgrading packages really, really easy. I'd prefer if it was source based, but it doesn't really matter that much, and it's much quicker not being source based.

But really, as I've said, you don't need to switch at all. Just use mplayer and XMMS. The only problem will be that your computer may be a little slow for DVDs, but it should be okay.
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#3
Seven!

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Hello everyone,

I am rather new to the Linux realm and have dabbled with Ubuntu and Kubuntu, which are both good distros, but since they ship with only open-source software, getting to the point of being able to watch DVD's can be quite a bear. So, I am opening myself up to trying some different distros. I read through the stickied topic and looks like the top contenders are Susu 10, Fedora, and Mandriva.

I will be installing on an older laptop, P3 600Mhz, so speed and odd hardware compatibility are near the top of the list for me. My main question is which distro would I likely have the most luck for multimedia tasks? Like listening to mp3's, watching DVD's, etc. Ubuntu is nice that it has a huge package library. I have also found that I seem to prefer the KDE desktop environment to GNOME, but I am open.

Thanks for your time and any pointers.

Cheers,
Tom

Before you say it an enviroment where people will make you want to kick yourself, KDE stands for K Desktop Environment, so there's no need to be redundant =]

(The Rio Grande River, The La Bria(sp) Tar Pits, Table Mesa...)
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#4
Kemasa

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Personally I like Mandrake (Mandriva) and xine, but you can run xine on any Linux. In the past I have seen Mandrake to recognize most equipment, whereas others did not, but that changes over time, some can get better, some can get worse.
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#5
SRX660

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I personally prefer the Simply Mepis linux distrothat is based on Debian. After installing from the live CD, i got this apt-get to be able to play dvd's.

http://www.mepis.org/node/9

SRX660
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#6
gust0208

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After browsing on the Ubuntu forums, a user has created an automated script called Automatix for grabbing and installing packages for playing multimedia. It grabs the codecs for most major video file formats and can add DVD playback capability along with some other nice features. I highly recommend it and it made me come back to Ubuntu. Though, I will give SimplyMempis a try, it looks a great distro.

Cheers,
Tom
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#7
bofh

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in ubuntu

<apt-get update>
<apt-get install win32codecs>

(make sure you have sorted you apt sources file so you have uncommented the deb repositoried and commented out the cdrom)

and totem will play most video files

i battled with breezey for a long time to get it to play media files of many different formats, in the end i juts blew it away and installed debain sarge and it has played every single medi a file i have tried including wmv, xvid avi's, dvd's mpe's wav's, media streaming stuff, it plays everything.

i love ubuntu but it just doesnt get the develpment support it needs, a lot of apps in ubuntu are broken and dont get fixed - wine for example, if you like ubuntu but are having media problems then i would definitly go for Debian, cant recomend it enough.
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#8
Thef0rce

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perhaps you should try vlc player for linux

http://www.videolan.org/vlc/

I know the reputation for it being able to play *everything* in windows is justified, with the exception of rmvb files. there's a linux version that I haven't tried yet
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#9
bofh

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yeah i tried VLC, its great in debian and suse, but somthing in ubuntu is broken (in fact quite a lot is broken in ubuntu)

but thanks
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#10
Thef0rce

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haha ubuntu isnt a 'proper' linux distro :tazz:

gotta use one of the mainstream ones
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#11
Knyght

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(I've never used ubuntu, but I know enough about it).

Proper? It is a proper distro in the way that every other distro is. A distro is a distro, just a linux kernel with some apps and scripts.

What do you mean by "gotta use one of the mainstream ones"?

Do you mean that you shouldn't use a mainstream linux? Well, if that's the case, hate to break it to you, but Fedora's mainstream.

Or do you mean that you *should* use a mainstream linux? Well, if that's the case, hate to break it to you, but Ubuntu's mainstream.

Accprding to DistroWatch (well, not ideal, but the best we have), the top 10 distros include Ubuntu at 1, and Fedora at 4. I actually agree with this list strangely, with the exceptions of Mandriva and Slackware, which shouldn't really be in there, imo.

Anyway, let's not turn this into yet another generic "MY LUNIX IS BETTAR THAN YUOS", shall we?
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#12
Thef0rce

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I meant that ubuntu is like knoppix. good for newbies, but not much in the sense of configuration.

I'm not suggesting that any distro is 'better' than any other. each distro has its own advantages and disadvantages. ubuntu is an easy to use distro of linux and is very effective but a lot of common apps that work on other distros are broken. this is good for people new to linux who do not want to configure every aspect of their distro. however, there comes a point where you simply need to move on to a more powerful distro such as fedora core.

obviously, no distro is better than any other. at the core, its all unix based, just different applications by default and varying ease of usage. however, the sacrifice of ease of usage is that more operations must be hidden from the user and handled by the os, and therefore are not configurable by the end user. there comes occasions that you would like to configure the things that the os hides by default, and in knoppix or ubuntu, you may not be able to get down to that level of configuration.

I have slackware installed on one of my other machines. it is, quite simply, the best thing I've ever used. I can configure everything that goes on and just tweak it as much as I like. some people just want something that's easy to use and for that, ubuntu and knoppix are perfect.

Edited by Thef0rce, 07 January 2006 - 06:06 PM.

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#13
bofh

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i'm not going to be too defensive when it comes to Ubuntu but to compare it with knoppix is to understate it, if you biold ubuntu down to the essentials, it is identical to debian, the emphasis is to make it easy to you and to give it as much hardware support out of the box - which it does very well, drivers are not normally an issue in ubuntu, its good for n00bs in the sense that i looks nice and the Gnome desktop is very intuitive, it is (like debian) very powerfull, the main problem i have with Ubuntu is that standard apps liek vsftp, gmail fs ect.. are broken, and they dont get fixed from one version to the next, gmailfs has been broken in ubuntu for the past 3 versions.

Ubuntu is still a wonderfull OS and i would recomend it to people wanting to try a decent linux distor, i allways tell peoepl to avoid RPM based distros as RPM is...well its just crap isnt it (not comprehsive enough, library managment is awfull, uninstalling apps often leave libs behind) RPM is a non-sandard package manager and that makes it hard for n00bs to use.

basically any OS that uses apt-get has go my vote.

IMO, all you linux n00bs out there shoudl try debain first with a Gnome desktop, KDE will juts frighten you (its mostly broken anyway) and you will have a happy time with linux, 30 odd thousand open sources app availble to download and instal with 1 smple comand or a couple of clicks in synaptic.

One of the great things about linux is the variety it offers, at work everyone has their fave Linux, i use debian on my servers, my boss uses Suse, the other engineer uses ubuntu, and we can still fucntion as engineers on each distro.
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