Playing Music and Video

One of the most popular and enjoyable activities on a computer is playing audio and video. With improved multimedia players and tools for storing and managing content, Linux has become a great platform for storing, playing, and managing your music and video files.

In this chapter, you learn to use the sound, video, digital imaging, and other multimedia tools available for Linux. You explore the process of configuring audio and select video devices and examine the kinds of media formats available for the Linux platform, how they work, and how to make the most of them by using the right applications.

Linux is an excellent platform for taking advantage of widely used formats such as MPEG, AVI, OGG, QuickTime, and RealMedia. A wide variety of players are available for the various formats, and this chapter discusses several of them to help you determine which might be the right one (or combination) for your interests and/or needs.


Because many devices holding multimedia content are removable (CDs, DVDs, digital cameras, Webcams, and so on), recent features in Linux to automatically handle removable hardware and media have greatly improved the Linux desktop experience. See the section on managing hardware in Chapter 4 for descriptions of how features such as Udev and HAL are used to manage removable media.

In This Chapter

Legal issues with digital media

Using your Windows content on Linux

Playing music

Setting up TV and audio cards

Recording and ripping music

Watching TV and cameras

Watching movies and videos

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