Ubuntu is founded on the freedom of software, both in terms of free speech and free beer (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free Software for an explanation of the two terms) which means that it does not ship with any legally dubious software. By legally dubious, we mean any software that may infringe patents or other country-specific laws. One of the main casualties of this is MP3 support which is the most widely used audio codec across the world. Of course we would recommend that you use the totally free and open source Ogg/Vorbis codec, but we also realize that you may already have splashed out on that new iPod and want to use it with Ubuntu. To get MP3 support in Ubuntu you will need to activate both the Universe and Multiverse to give you access to the required packages, and then at the command line type:
sudo apt-get install gstreamer-plugins-ugly
This will give you access to the LAME libraries, which will allow you to create MP3 files using Ubuntu.
Please make sure that you work within the laws of your country. We cannot be held responsible for you breaking the law!
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