View Full Version : Open source multimedia alternatives

January 7th, 2007, 12:24 PM
One of the big issues with switching to Linux is setting up multi-media needs - the ability to play "closed formats".

This has been made quite simple for a non-techie like me thanks to Automatix and EasyUbuntu . Just yesterday I was quite bowled over by Totem's playback of a DVD and I have also been impressed that my system is better prepared than my XP to play back certain video files.

But the other day I glanced at an interview with Richard M Stallman which made a passing remark about Ogg Vorbis. This made me think about Ubuntu not having full multi-media support when you first install it and whether it is consistent for me to then go on and install these closed source codecs. I asked myself whether I should I go the whole open-source hog and uninstall everything?

If I did it would mean saying goodbye to YouTube, goodbye to my favorite podcasts, goodbye to the BBC and goodbye to the DVD playback I so admired. Giving this all up is of course possible and if it helps the cause all well and good.

What I am asking is if there are any good open source media resources out there to fill the gap? I am glad to see Resonance FM (http://www.resonancefm.com/) 104.4 webcasts in Ogg Vorbis and they are always worth a listen. Are there any forum members who eschew closed media formats and have you found any alternatives that you can share. - ogg streams, podcasts, ogg video files? Or are your DVD drives purely for data and iso burning and your media players wholly redundant?

(It's not too pressing a question as I still have a whole whopping XP system sitting on my PC)

January 7th, 2007, 02:57 PM
You are probably already aware of the Xiph Wiki's collection of links (http://wiki.xiph.org/index.php/Main_Page#Demonstrations_of_Xiph_technologies). Beyond that, I am not really able to help you (though Archive.org often provides versions of their media in non-closed formats).

You might be interested in this brief discussion in the Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment/Audio_format_standard) over their rejection of the patent-encumbered MP3 format for their audio clips.