UPDATE: this situation can only be resolved if canonical and mozilla put some effort into finding a solution for it... I ask everyone to mail and nag mozilla and canonical until they act.
Fact: Unlike their windows/android versions (which ship with built in h.264 support), the linux version of firefox relies upon gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg's ability to decode h.264 videos (~95% of all html5 videos).
As it stands, gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg is no longer available in ubuntu14.04/debian7.
Gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg's instalation is still possible, yes... but it does force the user to either compile from source or add external ppa's. It also requires the user to resolve several technical issues like dependency problems/etc.
We hereby request Mozilla to add, once and for all, native h.264 support to the linux version of Firefox (like they have done for their windows/android/osx versions) and not depend in external packages for h.264 decoding.
OR in extremis
Canonical must make the FFmpeg 2.1.3 package easily available in ubuntu's software center and Mozilla needs to update firefox's gstreamer support to work with this current version.
It is indeed a sad state of affairs, when one can enjoy flash-free html5 video viewing in windows but not on linux systems.
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _______________________________________
EDITED: original post
I have tried installing through the software center and apt getting in the terminal
"There isn’t a software package called “gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg” in your current software sources."
Package gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg is not available, but is referred to by another package.
This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or
is only available from another source
E: Package 'gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg' has no installation candidate
I have both universe and multiverse enabled.
Without gstreamer I can't get youtube videos to play above 360p
edited to add this: when installing vlc 2.1.2-2build1 it creates no icons or shows up in right click context menus, you can only launch it from the terminal.