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Ask Slashdot: Movie Players for Linux?

Cliff posted more than 15 years ago | from the show-me-the-multimedia dept.

Linux 167

mrlament wishes to know about the following: "I've been a long time Linux user, but I keep finding myself having to switch over to my Windows box in order to view videos. I've tried xanim, and have yet had it properly handle a single video, aside from the real player, I cannot seem to find a single decent player for MOVs, AVIs and MPGs. Does anyone know of any, or are there just not any out there?" I posted this up here because I get a lot of this from people outside of Ask Slashdot, so I figure there are people out there that want this information. Hit the link for more.In all honesty, I don't think Linux is going to get very far beyond Indeo Video 3.2 support since IV4, IV5 and the I263 codecs are VERY proprietary and (so I've heard) it costs a lot of money just to become a developer. I would love support for AVIs under more than just Windows, but it's been a couple of years since IV4 was released and I just haven't seen support for it materialize anywhere else (if I'm wrong, someone PLEASE correct me!).

I'm surprised that there ISN'T more visible QuickTime support, but that's Apple's bailiwick. Intel and Apple have also begun to crosslicense technology as Apple now gets Intel Video 4.4 support for QuickTime. Of course as far as I can tell, QuickTime is still only available for Macs, 95/98 and NT.

MPG video files are more crossplatform than any of the others. I expect this format is supported under more platforms than any other, however I don't have any information on a LINUX player. If someone has a helpful link, please post it.

As an aside, MainConcept has one of the best movie players I have seen and supports a wide range of formats. It's been the mainstay viewer under OS/2 for a while, and it looks like they've taken an interest in Linux as they are attempting to port their Video Editor over.

Update: 02/13 01:16 by C : I've started a discussion, and someone has already answered my question regarding IV4 and IV5 on Linux. It appears that the only people who can offer support on these codecs is Intel themselves. With their support of Linux in recent times, who knows, this might actually happen. A cordial letter writing campaign might be in order to see if we can get them to port these codecs sooner rather than later?

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What about mtvp? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016284)

Check out, they have a linux version which runs a lot better than Xanim for mpegs.

(Just watched Shakespeare in Love & Ronin with it...)

Partial Indeo and QuickTime and full MPEG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016285)

Well, I've noticed that the Xanim that comes with RedHat is broken when it comes to Indeo and QuickTime support. For me to get them to work, I had to download the latest source to xanim, along with the iv and mov object files (Licensing terms keeps the author from distributing them as source files) then I had to edit the make file and compile my own. I've upgraded it by hand ever since.

As for MPEG, there is a proprietary, Binary-only player called mtvp (MPEG TV player for Linux). It's not as nice as xanim, but it does play MPEG files smoothly on my P233 with nothing special.

Both can be found if you search FreshMeat [] .

QT for Java (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016286)

Isn't Quicktime 4.0 supposed to have a java component?

AVI's? Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016287)

xanim works perfectly fine for the AVI's I have (porn, Spirit of Christmas, southpark clips) and the MOV's (Troops, the exploding Whale, etc.) I had to download the contrib version from Redhat's site because the other one didn't come with support due to licensing issues but who cares?

No Subject Given (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016288)

Xanim DOES support the AVI and MOV formats though you _must_ compile it yourself to get this support. Instructions at
Quoting from that page
Welcome to 1999. Work is still grinding me down(as usual), but I'm slowing getting 27071 ready to be released. I've also signed an NDA with
Intel for their Indeo 4.x and Indeo 5.0 video codecs. 27071 will have the necessary hooks in place for when these modules get ported and

What about streaming video? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016289)

A coworker wanted to show me some simulation work which he had been working on.

He set it up as a streaming video (his words). It was a *.asx file. Apparently he had converted an avi file to this format.

I was unable to view or save it to the HD for more exploration. Any tips?

Damn Linux, I'm stuck in win98 hell forever.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016290)

I KNOW linux is the best OS, but until it supports
DVD, some kind of direct X (so we can get some mass market games) and some USB support I have NO CHOICE but to use win98 as my PC's main OS... (Of course I use a VNC console to my Sparc and SGI, so at least I use unix daily :)...

-D. Alphaeus

No. Gnu/Linux trails Windows badly in multimedia. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016291)

Because Gnu/Linux is was designed to be a server and developmentsystem it is unable to provide the same complete multimedia expierience that Windows can. For instance sound suport is shaky at best. OSS is emerging but it's not there yet. Most new sound cards go unsupported for quite awhile. Also 3D in Gnu/Linux is lacking. Most vendors don't care about Gnu/Linux, and don't want the source code to their drivers publicly available, so there will never be open 3D for Gnu/Linux.

Best bet is to use Gnu/Linux for what it was designed for. A server and development platform.

Xanim better than the windows viewer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016292)

I've run Xanim on my Linux box for quite a while now. If you compile it yourself and include the decompressor object files (not included in the normal package due to propriety) it works quite well. I've had it play better than the default windows player, and it's played AVI's and other things that the winplayer just couldn't handle. I guess you'd have to go out and get some other viewer for winblows :P

Martin Held
The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost.

(kill the blah bit for e-mail)

What about mpeg_play? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016293)

I find mpeg_play does a better job on mpegs than xanim.

Indeo v4 and v5 coming for xanim (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016294)

According to the xanim home page at [] , the author has signed NDAs with Intel for V4 and V5, and it appears that support for these codecs is coming. Personally, I'd love to see support for these. In playing around with my Matrox Marvel under Windoze, I've found that the Index 4 codec produces excellent quality and small size. It would be nice to see a Sorensen codec for linux too.


Damn Linux, I'm stuck in win98 hell forever.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016295)

D. Alphaeus wrote:
> I KNOW linux is the best OS, but until it supports DVD, some kind of
> direct X (so we can get some mass market games)
The lack of games for Linux has nothing to do with the lack
of DirectX type functionality; X11/DGA already provides that.
It's simply a matter of
a) not pissing off Microsoft, and
b) the fact that most Linux users have Windows anyhow, so
the developers aren't losing market share by not supporting it.

Partial Indeo and QuickTime and full MPEG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016296)

Until recently, I didn't even know there WAS an AVI v4 or V5. The only extensions to AVI I knew of were for a company that was marketing low-res videos on CD (About a year ago when DVD was starting to gain momentum). I think the name of the company was "Serius Publishing" or something like that. I can't remember exactly.

My roommate's computer is a Win95 box and there isn't anything that his computer can play that mine can't (I've tried).

Macintosh does up to Indeo IV4.4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016297)

The IV4 codec is not completely bound to the Wintel architechture. Intel recently released the Indeo Video 4.4 codec for the Macintosh. It works with Quicktime 3.0. A link to download [] this is available at Intel site

Check this out.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016298)

Check this out! [] The download link is bad, though. big surprise.

MpegTV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016299)

I don't have XForms installed on my Linux box, and I've only got mtvp put in my personal ~/bin directory. It's actually not a problem since xanim doesn't have a file browser either. I just type "mtvp relic.mpeg" or "xanim +Sr +f trip.avi" and watch the movie.

Micrsofts Netshow has been ported.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016300)

Look unde microsoft... they actually have a linux port of their netshow 2.0 streaming video player.... I think you will find it under media player.... Also they have said that they will be porting the entire media player to linux in the future.. this is strange but take a look at their web page...

Microsoft makes Linux player (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016301)

I read somewhere that Microsoft have produced media player for Linux. Its probably shite, but I thought I'd post it anyway. Haven't used it myself.

No. Gnu/Linux trails Windows badly in multimedia. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016302)

Are you high? Linux sound support is better than it is in Windows. I've never had a buggy sound driver in Linux crash the system or cause it to not boot like I've had happen uncountable times in Windows boxen, especially with older versions of DirectX. Most "new" soundcards for Windows are based on older, established chipsets or follow some kind of standard that Linux does support.

3D in Linux is also not "lacking". Just because we don't have a overbloated, overhyped junk pile like DirectX does not mean we're lacking. We have OpenGL support, and we have other 3D engines available for Linux (Crystal Space, and others) that can be used to create 3D games. Since most everything in Linux goes through the X server, and since XFree86 supports (last count) 555 cards (Uncounted flavors) you can't say that we don't have all the tools for creating some killer 3D games.

Finally, as far as 3D video card support, yes, I will admit that it isn't what it could be, but with all the 3D cards that come and go, maybe we don't want it to be that way. Currently we have 3DFx support and soon we will also have Creative Labs 3D cards supported in Linux. I suspect that other companies are starting to hire Linux contract programmers to work under NDS (And unannounced) on cards for them.

Check this out.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016303)

Oh well.. The download link for the Netshow beta
gives a 404 Not Found....

Which was not surprising at all.

That's FUD at it's best (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016304)

Who are you, some Microsoft cronie?

NT trails 95 badly in multimedia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016305)

Hello kind sir. Do all of the fine reps. from MS work on Saturday?


Seriously. This is a little misleading.

To say that sound support is shaky at best is vague. I have had my
$10 Yamaho based PnP sound card working for a while now. It works
It works flawlessly with games/avi's/mp3's etc. I'm not sure about the
high end stuff but I think that the sound-blaster stuff is pretty well

With modules companies don't have to release their source.
Don't know what you mean there.

I'm not up on the 3D stuff in Linux. Seems like Mesa is coming
along nicely though.

I didn't realize linux was designed to be a server/development
platform. I thought a bunch of people just kept adding (and have
continued adding and adding and adding) what they thought
was most important. I guess you learn something new everyday.

What are KDE and GNOME designed for?

Quicktime on Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016306)

I thought I just read a few months ago (and wasn't it on /. ?) that Apple was planning a port of QuickTime to Linux...
But in the interim, xanim works perfectly fine for

??! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016307)

Just how BIG are these mpegs?? :)

No. Gnu/Linux trails Windows badly in multimedia. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016308)

Would everyone please get off their Linux high-horse and look at the kernel. Linux sound and 3d are fairly bad supported. I should know since my sound card (SB Live) and my 3d card (nVidia TNT) are unsupported. I know what you're going to say.. "why didn't you buy supported stuff". Because I don't want old hardware. I want to use the newest stuff. If I wanted to use obsolete hardware I would not have upgraded. Of course, if hardware support was there (and a "standard" API for accessing it all such as OSS) everything would be fine.

No Subject Given (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016309)

It's not really the compiling, it's the linking that you _must_ do yourself. That is, if you want to include the codecs for the proprietary formats. Of course in practice this means you'll have to compile the xanim source with the right options.
The codecs themselves are only included as object files... you're not getting the source so you don't have to compile that.

Why would anyone want 98 style multimedia ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016310)

Direct X is one of the major reasons of 98's instability.
The truth of the matter is windows can't actually achieve the performance levels direct X gives you.
To do it, they allow games to directly address the hardware.
Result: bad driver = blue screen

I know someone who works at the tech central of a cellullar phone company, and he says it is even prohibited to users of their systems to upgrade their direct/x.

That's why I won't download Direct/X 6.1. Each new version gives you more crashes.

Also, NT actually does offer decent gaming performance, if you use the (prohibited by m$) direct/x 5 that comes with NT5. It doesn't allow games to get nasty with your video hardware, resulting in stable gameplay.

Quicktime? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016311)

Really, QuickTime is a file format and API.

On MacOS and Windows, QuickTime includes a bunch of codecs, but you don't have to have them. (Of course, you have to have a codec for the data you want to view). For example, you can store uncompressed data in QuickTime files. You can also write your own codecs and plug them in.

VNC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016312)

I use VNC too. On a P-Pro 200 or better, the performance is just fine for anything except animation, and the viewer fits on a floppy disk (~170K file). I carry the floppy with me when I'm out of town and I can access my Linux machine via PPP from anyone's PC without having to install anything on their machine. (Sorry, off-topic, I know.)

encoders? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016313)

What about encoders? I haven't been able to find an encoder for even the well documented .fl[ci] let alone the much more complicated but still well-documented and open MPEG-1. Are there projects working on an mpeg encoder? Would I be re-inventing the wheel if I wrote an fli encoder?

questions, questions, questions.

(No Vendors && No Code) => No Support. QED (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016314)

Of course you can make any Turing-complete system multimedia capable in some fashion, but if no one is doing it, whats the point?

The posters point is valid. Linux is not a mutlimedia OS.

No Nvidia support? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016315)

Support for all these NVIDIA chipsets is
included in XFree86- This server was
partly implemented by NVIDIA and now follows the
Open Source guidelines. copied from Q.F12- of
the FAQ on, looks like you need
to upgrade your X server....

Linux Stooges Come Out In Force (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016316)

For all the criticism of "microsoft flunkies" in here, perhaps the slashdot community should start pointing a finger at itself.

In the past four months I have not seen one rational debate on a weakness in linux. Linux is an operating system for computers. It is not a golden goose. It is not a girlfriend. It has weaknesses, flaws, and warts, just like any system created by humans.

Why not just admit that the original poster is right and get on with it? Anyone who actually understands linux should have no problem concluding that it is not the first choice for high-end multimedia. Linux is useful either as a server OS, a developer desktop OS, or as an OS for people who like to monkey around with computers. Isn't that enough?

By the way, Linux will never support multimedia as good as Be. If you're a multimedia freak, you would know this already.

Xanim (or something like it) will need LGPL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016317)

Hypothetical discussion between mathematicians.

"So the mathematical function is as follows."

1. BG - 15 YEARS = TRUTH
2. Then a miracle happens.
3. BG + MS = $$$$n!

"Could you please elaborate on step number two?"

the windows media player is available for linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016318)

Please dont flame me. The only piece of microsoft software ever written for linux is the media player. I think it supports avi's and apples mov files and ra files as well as mp3 files. I am no fan of ms but the media player is probably the best option for linux because ms stole opps, I mean borrowed code from quicktime and microsoft has an obsession with multimedia because apple has a clear winner with quicktime. Bill is so obsessed by this multimedia, that he stays up at nights worryinh about it. This is good for us because Microsoft is developing unix software to controll it. I think its still st microsofts web site.

No. Gnu/Linux trails Windows badly in multimedia. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016319)

I guess I should ask you the same question. I have
tried all the recording programs I could find for
Linux and I don't have one yet that records
correctly or at all at 44100hz. It works well
under winblows. I won't argue with you about the
crashing but to think that the sound works
correctly under Linux, you must be drunk.
I recompiled the programs and it doesn't change
much. Ever since the folks doing the kernel
have fixed the bugs in the sound, virtually
all the sound applications are broken. I get
Real Audio to work with the patch and kmidi
still works as well as the wave and mpeg3 readers
but that's about it. Trying to record off the
line input, at best snd will give you 8035hz,
some useless shit ...

re: Damn Linux, I'm stuck in win98 hell forever.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016320)

Windows doesn't support DVD, either, AFAIK. The software which enables one to play the MPEG video on a DVD under Windows is supplied by a third party (typically, the hardware manufacturer).

If you want DVD under Linux, talk to Creative Labs and other hardware makers. There is no sound reason for them to actively support Windows while leaving Linux developers to fend for themselves.

The same applies to other proprietary devices. Microsoft doesn't write support for super-high-resolution printer modes into their operating system; Epson/Canon/HP does it for them. It's not Linux's fault that you can't use it with Ghostscript, but the manufacturer's.

As for USB, who cares? :^) 'Tis in the works, but even once it arrives you won't be able to use your new digital camera with it unless Kodak/whoever writes some software or gives specifics about the protocol.

One more time, just in case it still isn't clear: The shortcomings of Linux compared to That Other operating system are not the fault of Linux developers, but the people who make the hardware and refuse to help.

Linux Stooges Come Out In Force (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016321)

The basic problem with Linux and multimedia has
to do with a mentality that it has to be perfect.
So either you have a perfect system or none at
For example a bug has been fixed in the kernel
sound and now nothing or almost nothing works
like it should in the sound. If anyone releases
a new version of Linux with the new kernel
before those issues are resolved, he is a bigger
moron than all of the morons at Microsoft.

This would kill a lot of interest that has
surfaced in Linux in the past few months. You
would be suprised how important is good sound
support for people who use computers. At work
most of us don't even have a sound card but
at home most have one and we want to use it.

Gnu/Linux??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016322)

What are you? Some kinda fucking moron? GNU/Linux is like saying PC/harddrive. They are not the same. Looks like you forgot to check the correct box when installing linux -

"Are you a moron?
[ ] Yes
[ ] No

SGI's do QuickTime/MPEG Video.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016323)

Other than the latest quicktime 3, they support
it really well.

I'm typing this as I view the new Final Fantasy
movie preview on my SGI Indy.

You would think someone could steal the libs
from an SGI to try and implement a linux movieplayer.

XAnim HOWTO for avi's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016324)

The XAnim distributed with Red Hat can't handle
Cinepak avi's, for copyright reasons.

See [] for a
source RPM and instructions on how to install
a more capable XAnim.

Damn Linux, I'm stuck in win98 hell forever.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016325)

What's great about VNC is you can detach and re-attach X sessions. Can't do that with an X server.

Damn Linux, I'm stuck in win98 hell forever.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016326)

Well.. where does one get this new X server for windows? I saw it on Dos a LONG time ago... Does it run under 98? in a window? or is this another "kludge"...

Gnu/Linux??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016327)

I guess that makes Richard Stallman a moron, since he's been pushing to have people call Linux systems GNU/Linux. Thus, indicating that much of the Linux system relies on GNU software and wouldn't be near what it is without it. So who's the moron, moron?

Yes, Gnu/Linux: Linux-based GNU. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016328)

Actually, saying `Linux-based GNU' is more like saying `Pentium-based PC', not `hard drive-based PC'; I don't believe that I've seen many PCs with hard drives as their central processing units, though I have seen many Pentium-based PCs (PC/Pentium), as well as K6-based PCs (mine's a PC/K6), and I've seen a good number of computers running the GNU (pronounced "g'noo") operating system with Linux as their kernels (Linux-based GNU, AKA GNU/Linux).
Some people complain that `just because it's under compiled with GCC doesn't mean it's GNU (the group, pronounced "noo" or "nyoo") software--if it was compiled with an HP compiler, would that make it HP/Linux?', and the fact is that it's not part of a GNU system because of GPL or because it was compiled with GCC--it's part of a GNU OS because the OS, sans kernel, is called `GNU'; if you were to stick Linux into a BSD system, then you'd have a `Linux-based BSD' or, in a non-formal, written document, `BSD/Linux', and, yes, if you managed to replace the HP-UX kernel with Linux, then the resulting OS would be `HP/Linux' (or maybe `HP-UX/Linux'.

Now, which box are you going to check?

No. Gnu/Linux trails Windows badly in multimedia. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016329)

Definitely true.

It just disgusts me how so many Linux users always cry "Windows has this, why doesn't Linux?" I honestly feel this spurns from the lack of intelligence of many Linux users. Linux is great, in my opinion, but many of its followers are not. If you want something that Windows has that Linux doesn't either:

1. Use Windows and shut up.
2. Write an implementation/driver for Linux and shut up (assuming you are intelligent enough to do this)
3. Shut your mouth (assuming you are intelligent enought to do this)

All of your whining makes me sick. It tells me the average age of Linux users is 15, and lowers my respect for the Linux community altogether. I guess this is the consequence when something becomes widely accepted: you have a very small percentage of bright people working hard for it, while the other 98% are yelling "Is there a driver yet?". Then you have the so-called contributors who write up a program my dog could write and release it to the public as v0.0.9 pre-alpha. That's my other gripe, stop releasing code that's unfinished. My only guess is these 'developers' are immature, from the looks of their code and from the functionality of it. But I don't want to get into that... (just go to freshmeat). Linux does NOT need developers. There are too many of those. It needs more talented individuals.

But anyways, why is Windows always the standard when talking about Linux functionality? This doesn't make any sense to me. Was UNIX designed for playing games? You don't play Quake on linux, you run the server on Linux. Get it? SERVER. Do you know what that means? WORKSTATION, do you know the difference? Wee, I run Linux and KDE, so I'm a UNIX guru! UNIX is not meant for the masses, it's meant to control the masses. Linux has undergone some genetic bastardization; breeding morons who equate Redhat with Linux, and don't know the difference between nfsd and mountd even though it's running on their SERVER. Some wouldn't know what pwconv does if you slapped them on the head with the printed man page.

If you're a Linux user who knows nothing about UNIX, please do yourself a favor and shut the hell up. Go do some reading, and when done, read some more. Realize that you are in a domain filled with other losers like yourself; the world of Linux. "Yay Open Source!" Yet few can probably even understand kernel source code, much less modify it. They read a book on C and think they are code warriors.

Write your own damn driver. If you don't know how, learn. Develope! You know, on your WORKSTATION! Then release it to the public as Open Source v0.0.9 pre-alpha.

Sigh... that was fun.

Quicktime? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016330)

QuickTime is a framework.

last time I looked, there were *dozens* of supported codecs - audio, video, vector graphics, timecodes, text, special effects (fire, clouds, etc), still image. Some are specific to QT, but QT *isn't* a codec.

Think of it like a mixing desk for video, where you have a bunch of tracks and you want to blend them all together. QuickTime allows you to do your edits using time and has a pretty clean way of assigning times and rates to tracks and media that are largely independent of the specific sample rates etc of the media.

QuickTime allows many different kinds of media to be combined and edited without going insane trying to understand the data format of each kind of codec or figuring out how to shuffle around all that data.

It allows many kinds of media to be imported and exported from other file formats (ie: JFIF/JPEG, TIFF, MPEG, AVI etc)... IMHO the still image manipulation stuff is worth learning the API for in itself.

anyway, QuickTime is not just a file format!


dean perry

MS Netshow for Linux/i386 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016331)

Gee, thanks. A link to software that doesn't work in the first place. You're so generous.

How about file format conversion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016332)

the commercial software Debabelizer does this, tho i think its only for windows.. maybe macs/SGI as well, but i doubt a linux ver..
someone ought to make an OSS debabelizer type product..

DAMN my eyes must be going.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016333)

I'm under the impression that I'm looking at a 1024x768 32bpp display provided courtesy of a TNT based card(Diamond viper550) but you say that isn't possible...Oh well. My soundblaster awe-64 must be disfunctional, too.

No, thank you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016334)

Whos says Unix has to be hard to use? Who says it can't have good multimedia support? SGI sure doesn't.

USB support... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016335)

Freebsd 3.0-STABLE supports USB. It does identify the controller at bootup. I'm not sure how complete the support (plus I don't have any USB devices), but they have devices for mouse, keyboard, printer, modem, a generic deivce, and a "Human Interface Device".

Netshow is gone for a reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016336)

Microsoft Netshow is not available for a reason. Email me at to find out why.

No, thank you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2016337)

20 Years ago people were probably saying, computers in everyone's house? yea right! Computers are only for scientists, engineers, and geeks...

Try out Plugger too (1)

palpatine (94) | more than 15 years ago | (#2016380)

Once you're done getting XAnim, MpegTV, and some other multimedia players, try out Plugger [] . It provides Netscape plug-in capability for the file formats used in XAnim, MpegTV, Timidity, splay, and mikmod. Especially good for those QuickTime videos embedded in the @Home video news section.

AVIs (1)

Micah (278) | more than 15 years ago | (#2016381)

Yes, if you recompile xanim with the optional codecs, AVIs work fine (at least most of them).

It even plays the infinitely cool whale.avi file, and the sound is a lot better on my box than under Win3.1. OS/2 doesn't even play it!

exploding whale (1)

Micah (278) | more than 15 years ago | (#2016382)

DO get the exploding whale! It's a true story. Off the coast of Oregon in 1970, a dead whale washed up on the beach. The highway department, in their infinite wisdom, decided to blow it up, and it was an utter disaster. The video is an actual news report of it.

Gnu/Linux??? (1)

chuck (477) | more than 15 years ago | (#2016383)

Gnu/Linux is correct. It is the proper title for the Linux kernel and the GNU tools that make up a usuable operating system.

DirectX apps... (1)

cduffy (652) | more than 15 years ago | (#2016384) fine under WINE (witness StarCraft). You can also compile source using DirectX against Winelib (though why you'd want to I don't see; there are much cleaner cross-platform APIs.

Kernel design; ALSA; OpenGL (1)

cduffy (652) | more than 15 years ago | (#2016385)

3D support has nothing at all to do with the linux kernel -- and this is how it should be in any OS (see "stability").

There is open 3D. It's called OpenGL, and runs just about anywhere. Folks can use it without compromising their source in the same way 3dfx does -- having a closed library (see "glide") that's called by the open one (see "mesa").

As for sound support, ALSA is far better designed than OSS or Windows sound support. Now, hardware... . Most new sound hardware's backwards compatible with Creative's stuff. If not... well, as someone said, multimedia is Be's thing.

No, WinNT trails Linux in multimedia (though 9[58] holds better hardware support).

No, thank you (1)

avm (660) | more than 15 years ago | (#2016387)

You probably knew this, but the reason Xanim doesn't support too many newer codecs out of the tarball is because the author had to sign NDAs to get that support there in the first place. In order to distribute the code, he'd have to break the NDA, which is not generally regarded as a wise decision.

Unix as an OS for the Imac crowd (including people's grandmas)? I pray not. Call me a Unix snob if you like, but Unix is not an OS for the computer-illiterate, nor should it be. There *is* a market segment which is better suited by the Imac, despite the claims of "Linux-everywhere" advocates.

enhanced Xanim... (1)

gavinhall (33) | more than 15 years ago | (#2016388)

Posted by chmod777:

I found an enhanced xanim on It could play most AVIs and QTs, but the Page dosnt exists anymore.
Maybe anyone knows what happend with.

Micrsofts Netshow has been ported.... (1)

smartin (942) | more than 15 years ago | (#2016390)

I downloaded and tried this thing, it showed sqwat for me.

Typice M$ crap

MpegTV (1)

demon (1039) | more than 15 years ago | (#2016391)

If you're using MpegTV, doon't run 'mtvp' directly, that's only the player engine. Run 'mtv' - that gives you an Xforms-based UI to control playback from. (Works great for VideoCDs in the recent releases.)

No. Gnu/Linux trails Windows badly in multimedia. (1)

C.Lee (1190) | more than 15 years ago | (#2016392)

Could it really be that there really isn't the interest in multimedia that you think there is? I really could care less about Multimedia for either Windows or Linux. I want to watch a movie or the news for instance I either rent a video or turn on the TV set. I've never bothered with watching an mpeg or avi via the WWW. After all once you've seen one XXX mpeg or avi you've pretty much seen them all....

Linux Stooges Come Out In Force (1)

C.Lee (1190) | more than 15 years ago | (#2016393)

And if you're not a multimedia freak, why should you give a damn? Your mistake MS Stooge is in thinking that people who use Linux and those who use Windows care about the same things. We don't......

Quicktime for Linux unlikely (1)

heroine (1220) | more than 15 years ago | (#2016395)

If you professional video editors know about Linux, there's no doubt that Quicktime for Linux would move a large number of MacOS users to Linux for the PowerPC platform. Imagining rendering while editing in Gimp with complete smoothness. Imagining rescheduling jobs on the fly. I believe professional video and audio are the only two things sustaining MacOS right now and Apple would definitely lose that if MacOS wasn't the only OS supporting Quicktime on the PowerPC.

DirectX (1)

Scott Wood (1415) | more than 15 years ago | (#2016396)

Actually, the DirectX API is publicly
documented; if it weren't, it would be very
difficult for people to write games that use it.
As such, a clean-room implementation that works
from just that documentation is possible, and is
being done by the Wine people.


Omega (1602) | more than 15 years ago | (#2016397)

I agree. Mpeg TV is incredible. I bought it the week after I downloaded the demo. The quality is flawless, and it can play DVDs!!

AVI sucks as far as formats go. MPG has the photographic quality and incredible compression of JPEGs and the sound of MP3s (MPEG-AUDIO).

Don't get me started on Quicktime -- they're just animated GIF's with an attached audio.

No. Gnu/Linux trails Windows badly in multimedia. (1)

Daniel (1678) | more than 15 years ago | (#2016398)

??? You are confusing 'is unable to...' with 'does not...'. Linux is perfectly capable of supporting more hardware, it just doesn't. :-) This isn't a design issue, it's a political issue. Companies don't want to put the effort into a driver for a platform that's not 'mainstream' and don't want to release the specs to let anyone else. But the infrastructure for most stuff (excluding some oddball input devices and so on..I don't know anyone who has a force-feedback joystick anyway..) is there.



How about file format conversion? (1)

DK (2203) | more than 15 years ago | (#2016400)

Does anyone know of any software for converting between different formats... like say from QT or AVi to MPEG-1(2) ? I've always been surprised how there seems to be nothing around which does that.

encoders? (1)

DK (2203) | more than 15 years ago | (#2016401)

There definitely are mpeg encoders out there. Just do a search. I used one a couple years ago to record a CGI animation, but I don't remember where I got it from.

BE OS (1)

KrON (2656) | more than 15 years ago | (#2016402)

Define "proprietary".. BeOS is posix compliant and compiles alot of unix apps right out of the box. Just cuz they arent gpl, and dont run binaries from other os's doesnt mean they are 'proprietary'

Xanim will need dynamic loading (1)

Prothonotar (3324) | more than 15 years ago | (#2016403)

What xanim really needs is a way to dynamically load relocatable codec objects so we don't have to recompile it to use the proprietary codecs.
Aaron Gaudio
"The fool finds ignorance all around him.

CoDecs for Linux and contacting Intel (1)

matty (3385) | more than 15 years ago | (#2016404)

I was unable to find an email address, but there is a discussion forum here. []

Here is the message I posted:

"Subject: Intel CoDecs for Linux?

There is currently a discussion on Slashdot: html

...regarding this subject. I would think that Intel would at least consider it, given their support of Red Hat and the commitment to Linux on Merced.

How about it, Intel? At the very least, it would be great to have a free binary available to play files encoded using the latest Intel standards. I'm sure the Linux Community would prefer something open source, but that's not completely necessary.

Please give it some consideration.

Cheers, Matthew"

Perhaps a /. effect of postings might raise some awareness, eh?

What? My xanim plays most videos... (1)

Mawbid (3993) | more than 15 years ago | (#2016406)

...including AVI, MOV, and MPEG. It does barf on some of them (mostly weird MPEGs). I've also noticed that its MPEG decoding performance stinks compared to the players I've used in Windows.

hawk@celine:hawk> xanim --version
XAnim Rev by Mark Podlipec (c) 1991-1998

I got it from a Debian package, version

Now, what I really need is a Linux Vivo player. I'd even settle for a Windows player I could run under Wine. `

QT is anim GIF? Yeah, YOU'VE done postproduction.. (1)

Sleepy (4551) | more than 15 years ago | (#2016407)

"QuickTime = animated GIF"? On what technical data are you basing THAT comment on? I'm assuming you're not trolling -- idiot trolls usually hide behind AC logins. Therefore, you MUST simply be uninformed. :)

QuickTime isn't perfect, but it's MILES ahead of anything out there, which is why every digital video editor I've talked to SWEAR by it. It has nothing to do with "Apple loyalty" either, because even the bozo's on NT4 use QuickTime.

MPEG is a good solution for compression and platform independence, given the lack of good QuickTime support on other platforms like Linux. :-/

Quicktime has been selected as the basis of MPEG4 because it works well, and I suspect partly because "its not Microsoft". So eventually you will be able to use a modern video player instead of pea-shooting ata topic you know nothing about.



MpegTV (1)

Jeff Monks (6068) | more than 15 years ago | (#2016414)

Or maybe it's just a dumb baby? ;-)

Movie Players for Linux (1)

tsikora (6430) | more than 15 years ago | (#2016416)

Get xanim (must be from Woven Goods or SuSE) this version supports all codecs MS, Quicktime, etc.
RealPlayer of course from the Netscape archive and
X11amp or (recommended) Xaudio. The mxaudio player
that comes in xaudio is really superb. Woven Goods
has a complete collection of add-ons that makes
Linux complete including plugins for Netscape. Add mtv, timidity, and xltwavplay and you can definitely throw Windows out the door.

Aktion (1)

Renaissance Man (6455) | more than 15 years ago | (#2016417)

There is something called Aktion that comes with Linux-Mandrake [] . Then click on features on the left.
Among others, it mentions
aktion 0.2 (mpeg/avi/mov player)

Check it out!

Video Server (1)

AShuvalov (6816) | more than 15 years ago | (#2016418)

I am working on Video Server project - this is not exactly the topic of the discussion, but is related. This is the software to broadcast live video across the network or to play video on demand from the database. URL: r/videoserver/index/book1.html

Beware: it is on alpha stage, don't expect it to be useful right now, but i will appreciate if you take a look. I will double appreciate if you put your hands over. The goal is to make this software used in some Universities to be used by students. The next snapshot is expected tomorrow.

Hello? Can we say `vaporware'? (1)

Turnbull (7509) | more than 15 years ago | (#2016421)

Microsoft has been saying that netshow for Linux will be available `in a few weeks' for ages (at least 8 months, to the best of my knowledge). If you think it will ever be released, you are naive or worse. Clearly, Microsoft does this to lull consciencous content providers into believing that their streaming media technology is multi-platform. A perfect example is, which provides audio for NetShow, and states that UNIX & Linux versions of the client are `coming soon'! The phrase `hook, line, and sinker' comes to mind....

Microsoft seems to have pioneered once again by adding a new twist to the its old vaporware tactic. Who says monopolists don't innovate?

BE OS (1)

mindedc (7819) | more than 15 years ago | (#2016422)

Well, if you want a non-microsoft OS to play video on, give BE a whirl. I think they have the Intel codecs built into the OS, and they are 180 degrees from the Microsoft side of the world.

Hell, their OS is DESIGNED to play video....and they made it so that it's completely happy sharing a computer with another OS..Unlike 98/95/NT

They're gpomg to have GL VERY soon too :)

And plugins! What about plugins? (1)

hatless (8275) | more than 15 years ago | (#2016424)

As HTML 4.0 (and soon XML+XSL) goes mainstream, they're becoming a universal UI toolkit; a growing number of apps are being written to run under MSIE4 with the expectation that 5.0-generation browsers will have as-good-or-better capabilities as a universal application frontend.

One big thing missing is the lack of embeddable media players for Unix in general and Linux too. Standalone, helper-app audio and video players are a start, but they need to be embeddable, whether via plugins, signed Java applet wrappers or <SMIRK>ActiveX controls</SMIRK>. That goes for streaming media, AVI, quicktime and MPEG alike. It's got to happen or a lot of the new generation of browser-based, theoretically cross-platform apps won't work.

Xanim, quicktime and Sorenson Video (1)

sanpitch (9206) | more than 15 years ago | (#2016425)

I've found xanim to work well, with the exception
of Quicktime 3.0 support, specificaly Sorenson Video. Send mail to if you'd like a Sorenson Video codec integrated into xanim.

Yes, Gnu/Linux: Linux-based GNU. (1)

Rozzin (9910) | more than 15 years ago | (#2016429)

Actually, saying `Linux-based GNU' is more like saying `Pentium-based PC', not `hard drive-based PC'; I don't believe that I've seen many PCs with hard drives as their central processing units, though I have seen many Pentium-based PCs (PC/Pentium), as well as K6-based PCs (mine's a PC/K6), and I've seen a good number of computers running the GNU (pronounced "g'noo") operating system with Linux as their kernels (Linux-based GNU, AKA GNU/Linux).
Some people complain that `just because it's under compiled with GCC doesn't mean it's GNU (the group, pronounced "noo" or "nyoo") software--if it was compiled with an HP compiler, would that make it HP/Linux?', and the fact is that it's not part of a GNU system because of GPL or because it was compiled with GCC--it's part of a GNU OS because the OS, sans kernel, is called `GNU'; if you were to stick Linux into a BSD system, then you'd have a `Linux-based BSD' or, in a non-formal, written document, `BSD/Linux', and, yes, if you managed to replace the HP-UX kernel with Linux, then the resulting OS would be `HP/Linux' (or maybe `HP-UX/Linux'.

Now, which box are you going to check?

. o O ( Great--now I look like a moron, too, because the /.'s PERL script does evil things....)

MS Netshow for Linux/i386 (1)

thrusto (10707) | more than 15 years ago | (#2016431)

I downloaded MS Netshow before the link broke. You can get it from my school's web space [] . You're welcome. : )

Will Meyer

Reports of DVDs being able to be played (1)

deathcubek (11766) | more than 15 years ago | (#2016433)

There is a couple people working on playing DVDs.
Already there are reports of unencrypted DVDs played under Linux.
says that
can play unencrypted DVDs.
There are a couple Mpeg-2 codecs but they seem to be for non-comercial usage.
Four years in jail
No Trial, No Bail

exploding whale (1)

Admiral Burrito (11807) | more than 15 years ago | (#2016434) []

That's got to be the stupidest thing I've ever seen. :)

Troops is worth a viewing too.

QT for Java (1)

Turadg (13362) | more than 15 years ago | (#2016437)

Probably, since QuickTime 3.0 does. It's a set of Java classes to access the QuickTime API. You still need a native version of QuickTime for your system. From velopers/qtjava/ []
"QuickTime for Java brings these two powerful technologies together, allowing developers to create Java software that takes advantage of the power of QuickTime on both Macintosh and Windows."

No. Gnu/Linux trails Windows badly in multimedia. (1)

raistlinne (13725) | more than 15 years ago | (#2016440)

So, oh technical guru, how much did microsoft pay you? Don't get me wrong, people are free to support whatever views they want, and I don't go screaming M$ lackey at anyone who doesn't support microsoft. The thing is, you're comment sounds an awful lot like a promotional pitch. It's the sort of thing that I'd expect to see on a brochure (sp?).
About sound, ever checked out ALSA?
About 3D, ever hear of precision insight?
About microsoft, that isn't a 3D experience, it's a new version of DOS. If you want to compare Linux to IRIX, and say that IRIX offers real multimedia and Linux doesn't, fine, you'd be right, at least for now. Microsoft offering a complete multimedia experience? Right. My playstation offers a more complete multimedia experience than windows does. And I use that with my TV card under Linux. How do you sleep at night?

Linux is getting there. SGI is there. Windows? (1)

raistlinne (13725) | more than 15 years ago | (#2016441)

Linux does not currently support all sound cards out there. This will hopefully change to a degree, but until Linux has 20-30% marketshare, I don't think that it will change all that much. There will always be Uncle Bill's $5 sound cards that don't work, and there will be some companies who are just anal (creative labs, for example).

About openGL, just wait a bit. Precision Insight is putting together a direct 3D multipipe rendering architecture for XFree86. That combined with Terrence Riperenda's glx work, and you'll have better 3D support than windows does. Then all that's left is hardware support. You should have the 3dfx cards, hopefully matrox cards, and permedia cards. Give it a little while and it should be really good, giving you almost the functionality of some SGI workstations.

As far as controllers, from what I have read, the new Linux joystick driver rivals the win95 one, supporting just about everything (I think that the BFRIS people said that, check them out to be sure).

It's either there or coming. Linux isn't perfect yet, especially not for games. If you really want multimedia, get an O2. Why on earth would to mention windows? There is a lot of hardware compatability problems with NT, and 95/98 is just a new version of DOS with some unified drivers. Playing games, it's incredibly unstable. God, why would you even mention windows? They haven't been able to accomplish anything but market share on that nonsense system.

No. Gnu/Linux trails Windows badly in multimedia. (1)

raistlinne (13725) | more than 15 years ago | (#2016442)

What on earth are the benefits of the SB live? Do you have the appropriate 8 speaker system to take advantage of its new features? It will eventually be supported once creative gets a clue and releases specs. There will probably be some shoddy binary only nonsense that doesn't work for a good percentage of the population even sooner.

As far as 3D, it's not here now, you are correct. It will never be in the kernel. However, XFree86 should be there within 6-12 months. And it won't be shoddy games only crap, either. It should be (given the descriptions of what precision insight is working on) SGI workstation quality software, even if the hardware won't have that sort of power.

Oh, as a side note, I'm not terribly familiar with sound hardware, but creative generally doesn't make very good stuff. All of the boards that we have specs for give evidence of that. They use pathetically small buffers and other junk. Btw,if you want a good sound card, get an Ensoniq AudioPCI card. It has two independent DSPs, so you can play two pcm streams simultaneous (e.g. voice and mp3 background, game and voice, etc.)

Linux is getting there. SGI is there. Windows? (1)

raistlinne (13725) | more than 15 years ago | (#2016443)

Ok, I see what you mean, and you are correct in it.

I do recommend getting a TV card and a playstation, or just a playstation if you have a TV. It doesn't crash, has a tremendous selection of software, is reasonably priced, has good hardware acceleration, and is compatable with all playstation games. It isn't that good for some forms of RPGs, but FF7 is amazing. Frankly, are the windows games really that much better than the playstation games?


VinceJH (14059) | more than 15 years ago | (#2016444)

MpegTV is great, but, I am having problems with larger Mpeg files with sound. But with most MPegs, its fine.

No. Gnu/Linux trails Windows badly in multimedia. (1)

VinceJH (14059) | more than 15 years ago | (#2016445)

You make games? Wow.

Well, the whole 3D argument is weak. With 3dfx cards supported, what else do you need for a gamming card? In the windows world, which has lots of games, you have game makers ignoring OpenGL and Direct3D, and doing GLIDE only games. Now if they
do that, what is the problem with porting/making a game for Linux?

Question, how good are those force feedback controllers? Are they any better than the ones for the PlayStation or N64?

mtv for Linux (1)

jmd (14060) | more than 15 years ago | (#2016446)

I use mtv on Linux Intel. I didn't had much luck with Xanim so I downloaded and mtv and have used it ever since.

Xanim (or something like it) will need LGPL (1)

Fizgig (16368) | more than 15 years ago | (#2016447)

As RMS was explaining earlier, developers should use the GPL when they are offering something that users and developers can't get from the commercial world. The LGPL is useful for things that they could get somewhere else. At least it keeps the source open while still making it possible to compete. As it stands now, Redhat, Debian, etc. can't distribute a version of xanim that can play the newer codecs (i.e., almost anything you get off the internet you can't play with the stock xanim). How are we supposed to conquer the desktop like that? "I'm sorry, you just have to download these separate packages, edit the makefile, and recompile. That's all there is" is not going to cut it with people's grandmas. What do you guys think?

Difference between file formats and codecs (1)

waggoner (143954) | more than 15 years ago | (#2016449)

Hello all,

Ben Waggoner here, digital video writer for DV magazine. I'm seeing a bit of confusion here in the distinction between file formats and codecs.

AVI, MOV, and MPG are all file formats, which describe how audio and video data are organized in a file. All of the above formats are publically documented.

The data itself in these is created and decoded by codecs (compressor/decompressor). Some of these are well documented and supported on many platforms (MPEG, MP2, Cinepak, Indeo 3.2), and some of these are highly proprietary (Indeo 4 and above, Sorenson, TrueMotion, Bink, etc.). Generally, open-source players only support older, primative codecs, and so are unable to play an increasing amount of video availible on the web.

Windows Media Player (native support for AVI and NetShow) is Win32 only, discounting some unusable betas for other platforms. QuickTime 3.0 is well supported for Win32 and Mac. Older AVI and QuickTime 2.x support is pretty standard with all these players.

From an issue of platform advocacy, it's not Apple and Microsoft's responsibility for not making all the codecs availible for other platforms' players. The cool codecs are generally created by third parties these days, like Sorenson Vision, QDesign, Duck, and RAD Game Tools. It is up to those vendors to make software availible for Linux et al.

Of course, if Apple or Microsoft decided to create a full UNIX implementation, they would certainly encourage their codec vendors to port as well. A full QuickTime implementation under Linux would be a major win, and preferable to Windows Media Player. Microsoft's digital video efforts have ranged from the laughable to the infuriating, and have always lacked the elegance of QuickTime.

In the mean time, the best file format to use for multi-platform delivery is probably MPEG-1. It's widely availible and provides quite good quality. Die-hard FSF folks may have trouble with some of the patent confusion surrounding MPEG, but there are similar problems with ALL of these technologies.

Quicktime? (1)

waggoner (143954) | more than 15 years ago | (#2016450)

Sorry, I should have been a little more clear about that.

QuickTime is a media architecture. Its native file format is the QuickTime file, .mov. However it can read lots of other formats, and even embed other formats inside of a QuickTime file. For example, QuickTime can directly work with DV files, GIF, MPEG-1 (Mac only), 3DMF models, animated GIF files, some AVI, etc. For the purposes of this discussion, QuickTime is mainly important as the only playback mechanism that fully supports the .mov file format, although many players can handle many older 2.0 era files.

But QuickTime does a huge number of other incredible things as well, and a full Apple-supported QuickTime would be definite win for Linux. QuickTime is a complete digital media architecture, complete with video capture, compression, editing, and effects services. And Apple has to do a UNIX port for OS X anyway...

Ben Waggoner
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