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Ubuntu Hacks by Bill Childers, Kyle Rankin, Jonathan Oxer

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Chapter 3. Multimedia

A modern computer can be a nifty little entertainment center; it has fast video, stereo speakers, probably plenty of disk space for movies and videos. So, how come Ubuntu doesn’t know what to do when you insert a DVD or double-click on a video or audio file?

The fundamental problem is that there are some critical pieces to the multimedia puzzle that Ubuntu can’t distribute in all jurisdictions, so you need to go out and get those pieces yourself. Fortunately, Ubuntu makes it easy for you to install those bits once you do obtain them. In this chapter, you’ll learn how to get Ubuntu to support more multimedia formats, play DVDs, and even let you buy music online.

For care and feeding of your multimedia collection, you’ll need to eventually work with optical discs. Whether you want to take a CD you purchased and rip it down into MP3 files, create a personalized remix CD, or burn a movie to DVD, the hacks in this chapter have you covered.

Install Multimedia Plug-ins

Music and video files come in a wide variety of exotic formats. Learn how to locate and install the plug-ins you need to view or listen to them.

On some Linux distributions, getting all of your multimedia files to play seems like it requires all sorts of command-line voodoo. One thing that sets Ubuntu apart is just how easy it is to grab all of the packages you need to play multimedia content. In this hack, we will walk you through the necessary steps so that once you are finished, Ubuntu will happily play ...

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