Using a Multimedia Player

Once you've created digital audio files, you probably want to play them on your computer. You can do so with the help of any of several multimedia players. Examples include:

ksmp3play This program is a text-based MP3 player. Read more about it at http://www.xanadunet.net/ksmp3play/.

mp3blaster This program is a text-based MP3 and Ogg Vorbis player. Read more about it at http://www.stack.nl/-brama/mp3blaster.html.

XMMS The X Multimedia System (XMMS) is a popular X-based MP3 and Ogg Vorbis player, similar in many ways to the popular Windows program WinAmp. It's based at http://www.xmms.org.

Note Although the MP3 patent-holders allow free distribution of open-source MP3 players, some Linux distributions, including Red Hat, have removed all MP3 players. If you want to play MP3 files, you must add the appropriate software. Some players, such as XMMS, are modular, so you can either replace the entire package (which supports Ogg Vorbis but not MP3 files) or add a plugin to support MP3 files. The XMMS web page provides instructions.

GUI audio players are usually modeled after conventional physical stereo hardware. Figure 8.3 shows XMMS in operation. This program uses three separate windows, which are arranged together as shown in Figure 8.3. Click the EQ (equalizer) and PL (play list) buttons in the main window to open and close the other two. You can open a play list (a file containing references to individual audio files) by clicking the Load List button in the lower-right corner of the play list window and selecting a play list from the file-selector dialog box. (Grip creates play list files as part of its operations.) You can then click the play button, which looks like a right-facing triangle, in the main XMMS window to begin playing the selections.

Figure 8.3: XMMS displays information about the files it plays and enables you to control playback using GUI tools.

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