Your codecs need work

Questions about the project and the distribution - obviously no support questions here please

Your codecs need work

Postby JimC on Thu Nov 16, 2006 9:52 pm

I downloaded Mint last night and tried it today.

It looks like it's got potential. I'm always on the lookout for a distro that I can recommend to friends, without the hassles that come along with most (needing to know how to install codecs, plugins, etc.).

I'm still looking. ;-)

I went to CNN and clicked on a video. No go. It doesn't work. I can play the videos there fine in Firefox via mplayer plugin using SimplyMEPIS 6.0 with w32codecs installed.

Linux Mint:
http://www.pbase.com/jcockfield/image/7 ... iginal.jpg

Same Video Link using SimplyMEPIS 6.0 (with codecs installed):
http://www.pbase.com/jcockfield/image/7 ... iginal.jpg

I could probably install the codecs in Mint and tweak the mplayer related files to get it the same as SimplyMEPIS. But, since the press releases imply that the codecs are already there, I thought you might want to know that they don't appear to work on all sites.
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video files

Postby hager-spider on Thu Nov 16, 2006 10:59 pm

Some of the codecs may need work, but this is by far the best "out of the box" linux distro that I have ever loaded up on my old HP 8760 that I use for testing operating systems. I have loaded and used around 65 distros in the last year, and this is the first one that would play "Jib Jab" files and noaa radar Java without adding anything with terminal, or synaptic. What a nice surprise!! I have added only two additional items with synaptic (Amarok plugin for firefox, and thunderbird mail). I sure would like to see streamtuner added in the upcoming Bea, size permitting. I like streamtuner. Once again, I congratulate the mint people for a great product. Thanks.
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Postby clem on Fri Nov 17, 2006 5:05 am

Hi,

The plugin issue was mentioned and we're currently looking at it. Appart from wmv, we found that Firefox would not play quicktime or even avi or mpg movies.. This will definitely be fixed in Bea.
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Bea plugins

Postby hager-spider on Fri Nov 17, 2006 9:39 am

Will I be able to update to Bea with terminal when it is released? Also, has anyone used the kde desktop with Barbara. Still a fan of linux mint.
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Postby clem on Fri Nov 17, 2006 9:51 am

No, you'll have to install Bea.

If you want, you can install the Kubuntu desktop on top of Barbara by installing the following package: kubuntu-desktop.

If you do that, I recommend you add the KDE 3.5.5 repos first, as explained here:
http://kubuntu.org/announcements/kde-355.php
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Postby ajt3nc on Sun Nov 19, 2006 2:09 am

Installing mplayer updates a lot of the codecs and supports wmv3.
I beleive libvc1 makes the difference.
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Postby sanford42 on Sun Nov 19, 2006 2:55 pm

yeah, once i put in the mplayer mozilla plugin, it works "almost" perfectly... i'd suggest playing around with that as a "default" option for install since it seems to handle pretty much everything.
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Postby mikeon11 on Mon Nov 20, 2006 12:27 pm

sanford42 wrote:yeah, once i put in the mplayer mozilla plugin, it works "almost" perfectly... i'd suggest playing around with that as a "default" option for install since it seems to handle pretty much everything.


mine is working after installing mplayer
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Good to Know

Postby JimC on Tue Nov 21, 2006 10:44 am

I didn't take the time to try and figure out what was missing (I just booted into a Live CD to try it real quick and didn't install it since it didn't work on web sites I visit often).

I was hoping it would actually work without installing anything else. I'm trying to find a distro that I'm comfortable recommending to Windows users that don't want to take the time to learn how to install plugins and codecs themselves to start out with. So, the release description caught my eye.

I'll make sure to keep an eye out for the next release. It's nice to see a distro that's trying to be more "user friendly" for people that don't want to become Linux gurus in order to ease the transition from Windows.
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Postby bolox on Tue Nov 28, 2006 6:11 am

Two things:

1) very very very worthwhile is MINT, for those who choose to build a box to REPLACE (not just alternate amongst) wintel.

Compromised .. tainted .. encumbered -- these are important issues, and must be addressed soon; the sooner the better. Meanwhile, while the lawyers and suits haggle, let there be Barb -n- Bea MINT.

HDisk went well, although I can see the usual concerns for installing onto a co-exist (partitioned) drive. Not that the tools offered are not intuitive .. just that it is so easy to irretrievably kill some other living partition.

I installed onto an empty 4g. Within a day I had solved the mplayer WMV conundrum (as above), and committed a 40g drive.

I believe when Bea arrives, I will commit a 320 and finally have the nvidia-smart box I have been wrestling toward for some time, now, on my aged shuttle Mn31 (nv18 fine with non-legacy 'nvidia' X driver)


2) thinking I needed the marillat site, I wasted some time by putting Christian's repository into /etc/apt/sources.list.

The unofficial ubuntu guide site for edgy was worth merging there.

Soon as I commented-out that marillat (bleeding edge stuff) we stopped getting conflict/dependency gripes, and dvdrip is now slowly transcoding every disc I own, so I can enjoy my videos in any room in the house with a minimum of interference from (*^$(#& (expletive deleted) @%$#$% who are accustomed to far too much control over our purchases.

I do hope nvidia and ati relax policing, say, their 3rd-previous binaries, so we can mutually benefit, and have better-than-vesa/fb displays on our $100-plus video cards.

Open source is clearly beyond those (videocard) companies' offerings for first-tier drivers; insisting on OSS from such equipment producers is simply pie-in-the-sky. ATI, nVidia, intel and VIA are not angels, but they are not the heartless twats portrayed by the purist OSS adherents.

Persevere!!
- bolox

Do !! Be !!!
- Aristotle

Be!!! Do !!!!
- Descartes

Do be do be do
- F.Sinatra
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Postby Fragadelic on Tue Nov 28, 2006 10:20 am

The nvidia/ati,etc issue was not created on purpose. Ati and Nvidia most likely have some proprietary code included that they can not open source since it isn't theirs to begin with. The linking code is GPL. The gpl with relation to the kernel specifically says that you can't link a closed source binary to the kernel. Ati and Nvidia are supporting their hardware on an alternative OS platform to satisfy and serve their customers. In the end, as long as the drivers are left up to the individual user to install, like they are in windows, there is no issue since you are not redistributing your install.
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Postby clem on Tue Nov 28, 2006 11:33 am

There is still an issue if the user cannot use the driver without violating the GPL... in fact, what ATI and Nvidia are doing is a bit unethical... they are using GPLed source code, without which their driver wouldn't work...

.. the condition for them to use the kernel code and to be able to produce these drivers in the first place is that they can only distribute their code under GPL. Their answer ? They don't link it... they let the user do that. But the end result is still the same : they used GPL code in the drivers... it is linked, and the user got it without being able to see the driver's source..

so although it is legal thanks to some tricks, it's not ethical at all.

What should happen is : These companies should not be able to distribute these drivers. Either they open their source, or they don't use the kernel code.

In Mint, we've ignored a fair amount of things (copyrights, patents, property...country-specific regulations) and we haven't really cared whether this was legal or not and in which part of the globe. We do what we think is right. For the same reason though, we can't start acting unethically and promote violations of the GPL.

So it's not just technical, and if I may say... the legal aspect of it doesn't really matter. If these drivers cannot work without being linked to the kernel code, then they should be released under GPL. whether the company or the user himself violates that is not very important.. what's important here, is that this software cannot work without violating the kernel's license, and therefore we should not promote its use.

PS: If I'm wrong or if I overlooked something, please let me know. It's an interesting debate and I'm open to suggestions.

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Postby Fragadelic on Tue Nov 28, 2006 11:59 am

We have no right to tell anyone how to use the OS they choose to install. If they choose to get their hardware to work so they can use their PC as it was intended, then it is their right.

The nvidia/ati/kernel issue is one for those companies to work out. I regularly game in Linux and prefer gaming in Linux over windows. I'm not about to get an old crappy video card that can't play any games.

I paid good money for my video card and system so i could game with it and purposely bought an nvidia based card since they have the best working 3d drivers.

If we are talking about the spirit of things, then anything like samba, dvd decryption, win32 codecs, ntfs support, etc are unethical as well since they provide functions that are not legally available to linux.

IMHO, the nvidia driver issue with linking is not a whole lot different than having samba provide windows networking functionality without paying royalties to microsoft for the specs.

This whole debate is neither here nor there since it has never gone to court. We can speculate all we want on either side of the coin but until any of this is proven in court, it is just a simple debate.

Nvidia does provide the source for their gpl stuff they use to link their binary driver so that aspect of it complies with the gpl. The fact that their binary then ties into that is the issue according to the kernel devs.

If you really want to get "pure" about things, then Linux should only be used on servers in unix/linux environments or on very old desktops where you only want to browse the internet without flash or any of the media formats.

My whole point is that it would seem that the intention for linux is not to be used as a home desktop multimedia system even though it works great for that if you use stuff that doesn't comply with the gpl.

I respect the rights of the kernel devs but if there is no way that some of these companies are going open source their drivers and there is no open source alternative that provides similar function, then what are we to do?

If it really becomes this much of a mess, then I will happily go back to Microsoft and pay for the OS just so I can use my hardware for the uses I choose and not be violating anything. Either that or I'll just quietly use whatever I want however I see fit. Gaming, browsing and multimedia are pretty much all I do.
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Postby clem on Tue Nov 28, 2006 12:31 pm

I suppose you're right.. as far as "doing stuff at home" is concerned. But distributing it is a different story. It's a very hard question. At the moment, two things are 100% clear to me:

- Users need these drivers
- the kernel devs have a point (if not legally (which doesn't really matter to me), morally).

So to be honest I really don't know about distributing them in Mint.. I see a strong reason why I should, and also a strong reason why I shouldn't. the only thing that's for sure at the moment is that they won't be present in Bea.
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Postby Fragadelic on Tue Nov 28, 2006 12:38 pm

I don't see any issues with having the envy script present in bea though so nvidia users could just "sudo envy" in a term window and install the nvidia drivers. That solves the issue. Not sure if there is anything similar for ati though since I don't have an ati card.

I really wish there was a decent video card that had working 3d in Xorg out of the box. Sure the old ones work but anything decent to play any recent games is basically only nvidia and ati.
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Postby clem on Tue Nov 28, 2006 12:43 pm

I suppose, if the user is going to do it anyway, we could make his life a bit easier....
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Postby Fragadelic on Tue Nov 28, 2006 12:47 pm

I just did it with synaptic to get whatever the repo had but envy will get the latest from nvidia.
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Postby Fragadelic on Mon Dec 04, 2006 1:06 am

root wrote:I suppose you're right.. as far as "doing stuff at home" is concerned. But distributing it is a different story. It's a very hard question. At the moment, two things are 100% clear to me:

- Users need these drivers
- the kernel devs have a point (if not legally (which doesn't really matter to me), morally).

So to be honest I really don't know about distributing them in Mint.. I see a strong reason why I should, and also a strong reason why I shouldn't. the only thing that's for sure at the moment is that they won't be present in Bea.


I've been doing some soul searching since my initial reply about gaming and such. I did some research and found out that a radeon 9200 will play the games I want decent enough for me and the 9200 is fully supported for 3d acceleration in X.org so I bought one from a local shop that had them on for $20CDN. I then found out my motherboard agp wasn't properly supported by the kernel and that the nvidia drivers take care of it for nvidia cards. I've been wanting to upgrade another PC for a while so I decided to put that hardware in the other PC and got a Via based P4 mobo and a P4 cpu with em64t. Everything works out of the box except that the bios on the motherboard has a bug and is dated 1906 so I have to pass acpi=force to get ubuntu or mint to boot.

I have full 3d gaming that I am satisfied with and I am not going against the wishes of the kernel devs. I figured since I have used Linux for so long and have come to love it so much I ought to respect the kernel devs' wishes about binary drivers.

From the research I did, Via usually gives all details on its hardware so kernel drivers can be written. ATI has provided info to the the community for hardware up to and including the 9200 which is decent enough to play Enemy Territory.

The other hardware will be put into a windows gaming box.

Just thought I'd let you all know.

BTW root, I'm using Bea now and it is working out just great.
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VLC media player

Postby jars_u on Wed Dec 13, 2006 8:30 pm

This might be off topic but what about using VLC media player? I've not had any issues with playing media in mint but I use VLC in XP to play everything.

http://www.videolan.org/vlc/download-ubuntu.html
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Nope -- still doesn't work

Postby JimC on Sun Dec 31, 2006 2:49 pm

clem wrote:Hi,

The plugin issue was mentioned and we're currently looking at it. Appart from wmv, we found that Firefox would not play quicktime or even avi or mpg movies.. This will definitely be fixed in Bea.


clem:

I'm running from the Bea Live CD now, and the codecs still don't work right for some wmv content, unless there is an update available from Synaptic (I'm running from a LIve CD not a hard disk install).

Try playing any of the videos at cnn.com (they don't work).

I don't know if it could be related or not. But, I have noticed that some of the newer w32codecs pacakges do not work properly at cnn.com with other Ubuntu based distros like SimplyMEPIS 6.0

The w32codecs package in the first post of this thread are the ones I'm using with it (because the newer codecs in the Ubuntu repositories play the audio but not video at cnn.com with SimplyMEPIS. With Bea, I don't get either (the mplayer plugin just gets hung up in a loop connecting and reconnecting using the codecs preinstalled on the Live CD).

http://www.mepis.org/node/11102
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