Chapter 13. Messing with Audio

In This Chapter

  • Fixing sound problems

  • Listening to music

  • Recording music to your CDs and DVDs

  • Copying audio files from your CDs to your workstation


The price of freedom is responsibility, but it's a bargain, because freedom is priceless.

 --Hugh Downs

If you're like us, everything's better with music. If a computer can't take the place of a stereo wherever we are, then we just aren't interested. So we can assure you that Linux offers many ways to listen to music on your computer. Read on to find out what Linux can do!

Listening to MP3s on Linux used to be problematic; MP3 is a patented format and was unavailable to Linux users. But now RealPlayer is available for Linux and has a license to play MP3s, so you're all set. See Chapter 16 for how to install RealPlayer.

What Sound? I Don't Hear a Thing!

These days, most Linux distributions detect sound cards automatically during the installation process — and they do a great job of it. However, if your sound card failed the test — or you try to play sound using one of the software options in this chapter and it doesn't work — use this section to diagnose and fix your problem.

Suppose your sound card passed the test, but for some reason you can't hear anything. Here's what to do:

  1. Check that your speakers or headphones are hooked up correctly.

    You wouldn't be the first person to discover that the cat pulled the connectors out of their sockets.

  2. Click the speaker icon on your panel to make sure your audio settings didn't ...

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