IN THIS CHAPTER
Understanding multimedia terminology
Configuring sound on Ubuntu
Installing the GNOME sound framework
Playing, ripping, and burning CDs
Working with audio files and Internet radio
Playing, ripping, and burning DVDs
MP3, WMA, OGG, FLAC, SHN, APE: this may look like a blast from a shotgun loaded with three letter acronyms (TLAs), but it's really a list of the most popular formats for digital audio nowadays. The same is true of digital video, where acronyms such as MPG, MPEG, and VOB are king. There are also some really ugly acronyms such as DRM, MPAA, and RIAA, which stand for groups of self-interested thugs trying to deny the rights of the consumer, but we won't go into that here.
The great thing about digital audio and video is that you no longer need specialized devices to play your music or watch a movie. You can listen to a music CD or play a video CD or DVD on your computer. Once you buy a CD or DVD, it is completely legal for you to transfer its contents to your computer and watch it there. This eliminates the need to carry around the original media, and you can safely leave them behind at home as backups in case your computer crashes.
This chapter helps you make some sense out of the maze of acronyms, general terminology, and specialized jargon that aficionados use to describe digital audio and video, and explains how to use the software available for Ubuntu Linux to listen to music, watch movies, and even create your own CDs and ...