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Linux Multimedia Hacks

samzenpus posted more than 8 years ago | from the free-sound-and-image dept.


MikeD writes "I just got my copy of the latest release in the O'Reilly's 'Hacks' series, "Linux Multimedia Hacks" by Kyle Rankin. If you are familiar with the other books in the 'Hack' series, this one will seem familiar." Read the rest of Mike's review.

There are 5 'Chapters', each focusing on a specific multimedia topic starting from the most basic/common and moving up the multimedia food chain. The chapters cover (in order) Images, Audio, Video, Broadcast media, and the Web. The hacks in each section are similarly arranged, usually starting with the simplest and moving to more complex issues. They helpfully put a little rating symbol by each hack indicating if it is for beginners, intermediate or advanced users. While that is a little simplistic, it does give you some hint at the complexity of that particular 'hack'.

Because this is a 'hack' book, it is really designed so you can look up the topic you want. For example in Chapter 3: Video, there is a "hack" explaining how to convert from one video format to another. If that is what you need to do, turn to hack 63 and follow along and you are done.

But they put a little extra effort into the layout and topics covered here and you *could* use this as a great introduction to a particular multimedia area as well.

Lets look at Chapter2: Audio for example. The first 'hack', number 13, is titled "Mix Your Audio for Perfect Sound. This hack begins by exploring the audio systems in your system, the hardware, the sources and such then finishes by introducing a couple of common tools for controlling your audio, aumix and alsamixer. The next 'hack', "Surround Yourself with Sound" goes into details on how to get sound out of your system. It discusses speakers, 5.1 surround sound and how to use the tools alsmixer, aplay and others to set up, test and ultimately enjoy the cool audio available while watching movies.

Together those two 'hacks' make a pretty basic introduction to PC audio under Linux. From there the audio hacks include format changing, ripping, burning CDs music management and much more. You really could start at the 13 and work your way through to hack 46 and have a very good understanding of audio, PC audio and how to get the most out of it on your Linux PC.

So it really is more than just a collection of hacks. It can lead you from the basics of screen capture ('hack' number 1), to image manipulation, animation, then move on to audio and video. In Chapter 4 they get into TV tuner cards, Myth TV, streaming audio and video, ripping to broadcasting.

Chapter 5, Web hacks is sort of the odd man out in this book. In some ways it is separate from the other four in that it is directed more towards the web, which is something that would require several whole books in itself to cover well. But they included a few ideas, like "Star in Your Own Reality TV Show (hack #97), that do relate to some of the prior material.

Over all this will be a very useful book to anyone who is new to multimedia, but even some more advanced users will find some interesting and useful ideas, I think. Well worth checking out."

You can purchase Linux Multimedia Hacks from Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.

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Yet another wonderful book... (0, Offtopic)

tnoetz01 (955187) | more than 8 years ago | (#14744022)

I'm excited about this one; I just ordered my copy on amazon.

Re:Yet another wonderful book... (0, Offtopic)

cciRRus (889392) | more than 8 years ago | (#14744520)

No... seriously!

FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14744026)

Pirst Fost!!1!1

Familiarity with word usage... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14744028)

"If you are familiar with...this will seem familiar"

Kind of self defining.

Re:Familiarity with word usage... (1)

netkid91 (915818) | more than 8 years ago | (#14744497)

int familiar = 1; familiar = familiar; //Self-Defined

Re:Familiarity with word usage... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14745337)

Linux is far from ready for desktops; get your shit together and do something about it!

I installed Fedora Core 4 a couple of days ago, and got disappointed that everything worked--except for the fact that it couldn't properly detect my IP address settings. That did it for me, it meant no Internet, and bye-bye to Fedora Core 4, because my patience with Linux is rather short these days: I want to use Linux; I don't want to waste endless of hours on not getting anywhere. Of course, every fanatic Linux geek would claim that I did something wrong: go fist fuck yourselves, you dorks. You think that your precious Linux distro doesn't come with flaws? That's such a typical behaviour of you die-hard Linux fans to believe that your holy kernel is untarnished and immortality itself.

Linux has lots of potential, and in the future, it might very well destroy Microsoft (or at least make them work harder and better) and conquer the desktop OS world, but as it is now, Linux is a complete piece of shit thatched together. Don't give me that "IF IT ISN'T WORKING, YOU DID SOMETHING WRONG" crap. Thanks for insulting my intelligence, but I'm not stupid. I ran Linux distros (Xandros and Mandrake) for around 7 months straight, and they never had the same issue. Just face it: Linux isn't user friendly.

By the way, when are you dorks going to wake up and realise that Linux needs to get its shit together? For example, why is every name of some application beginning with a "K?" Konqueror, Kopete, KolourPaint, KDE... (yes, I know that KDE is a desktop environment and not an application. Don't even think about busting my balls on that one) what's up with that? What the hell is so special about the letter K anyway? Then we have other silly and stupid goofy bullshit names, like Galeon, Gaim, Xine, Gimp, Gnome, Wine, Ogle, Gedit, Noatun, Totem etc. Seriously, wake up to reality and get it through your thick skulls that it's ridiculous; it looks so damn unprofessional and absolutely not serious, as if it was some cheap operating system from an episode of Star Trek or something. These names are really lame and unimaginative.

As if that wasn't enough, we got the Linux developers left, of which most are assholes. Why? Because they think that just because they're doing it for free (which is good, respect to that), they're impervious to criticism; like you're not allowed--or have the right to criticise them just because they're giving it away for free. That makes them a bunch of arrogant assholes who think they know better than everybody just because they've learnt to code software for Linux. You give them a suggestion of something that could be done better in your opinion, and they go: "SHUT UP! THIS CAN'T BE DONE! I KNOW BETTER THAN YOU! I DO THIS FOR FREE!"...

Just because they suck and don't know how to code this upgrade in their dogshit software. If you don't know how to do it, don't tell me it can't be done just because you can't pull it off: nothing is impossible. When are you assholes going to realise that your Linux distro needs to be better organised for software applications? Nobody wants to sit for hours and compile some media player like VLC. Nobody wants to compile their software to begin with. And I'm saying nobody because the tiny percentage of forever-virgin Linux geeks don't count. Why do you think Windows is still around 90% in the lead? Because it's not designed for compiling every application from source.

Trust me, no one wants to compile from source. Geek label on that. Get yourselves a functional de facto standard for setup files which works on every Linux distro (not just a few of them, I really mean ALL of them. Can't be done? Then ditch your shitty, malfunctional distros and start over from scratch. No one likes your distro anyway, so nothing is going to waste), like *.exe on Windows, but without its inherent inclination to viruses. Oh and once again, don't give me this arrogant and generic pile of crock answer that every Linux-punk is fond of, and can't come up with something more productive because they all happen to be idiots: "YOU MORON! IF LINUX DOESN'T SUIT YOU, THEN GO BACK TO WINDOWS!"

Has the thought ever occured to you that maybe I really don't want to use Windows? Maybe I want to use Linux full time? I dislike Micro$oft and their shitty, arrogant, standards-breaking ideology more than the plague itself, and really don't want to support them because of that. But the situation right now is that their desktop OS is the best in the world--not necessarily 'cause it's the greatest--but because it has the best software applications (open and closed source), and it doesn't require 50 years to figure out how to install a simple browser. As Linux is right now, you'll never harbour more users: it's too damn unattractive. Linux cannot conquer and rule the world like this. Get your act together, code your Linux distros better, then bust and beat Microsoft's ass altogether until they all start eating shit forever.

Compiling software from source is stupid. Who the hell needs that shit anyway? I say ditch the alternative of compiling from source completely. Unless you're going to modify open source software, like e.g. VirtualDubVirtualDubMod, compiling from source isn't necessary. In fact, it's redundant. It's like you want to make things complicated when you can just click on a GUI and have it all installed and ready. Seriously: what's the point with compiling from source? What's so beneficial about it that you're crippling your OS for the sake of it? I don't see any need for it; the end result is pretty much the same anyway, so why go through all the hassle of dependency hell and loads of other shit (they even named it dependency hell... I rest my case), when you can just be extremely lazy and click your way much faster throughout the entire setup process? Being lazy kicks ass.

"Ooooh, I can customise the software settings right from the get-go by compiling it from source!" Who gives a shit? Like it couldn't be done after the installation without compiling from source anyway. To hell with this nonsense. Nobody cares.

Whilst Linux may have good support for many open standards, it definitely lacks its own standard and needs to be organised and united around one. Mr. hardcore Linux-fan don't agree? Well tough shit geek-boy, but Linux has around 1-3% of the desktop OS share. Pretty much proves my point. So shut the hell up with your silly "Linux is better than Windows" statements. Even if it is better, being more secure than Windows isn't everything: there has to be a fair balance between security and user friendliness. Nobody wants to learn Linux from scratch just so that they can compile their software from source. "Wow, look mom! I compiled my free software from source! I'm so awesome! The event of the day climax has been reached!" Idiots.

In spite of having more than 15 years of development, Linux isn't even close to the success of Firefox--they're both free and open source, so there's no real or valid excuse for such a shitty performance. That pussy Linus Torvalds began development on Linux in 1991, yet Firefox comes here out of nowhere and gets released to the public as version 1.0 in late 2004, and immediately has more users than Linux. Why? How can that be? How is such an embarrassing outperformance possible? BECAUSE LINUX IS A PIECE OF SHIT! I can't stress this enough: piece, OF, SHIT!!!... Nobody likes Linux. If they did, they'd use it. But they don't because it sucks ass. And Linus Torvalds, not realising that he's making a moron out of himself, has the audacity to proclaim that he will destroy Microsoft:

"Really, I'm not out to destroy Microsoft. That will just be a completely unintentional side effect." [1]

Oh you think you sounded tough and impressive, eh? Blow me you idiot. Whilst you're at it, eat my shit and die by choking from it. Stop dreaming. You want an unintentional side effect? That's me busting your lip whenever I get the chance to meet you in real life, because I've had enough of your self-aggrandisement bullshit, you stupid pussy.

All seriousness aside: it's quite possible that this could happen, and I really hope that it does, but let's be realistic for a moment: it's not going to happen as long as your operating system sucks balls, because people have no incentive to make the switch from Windows as long as Linux is too difficult and intricate. If you can't even surpass Firefox, and Firefox is still way behind Internet Explorer, then how the hell are you going to excel Microsoft, you little shit? Stop trying to sound like a superhero when in actuality, you're just another trivial punk that nobody gives a shit about. Linux has never, ever been popular. And if it keeps up this bullshit philosophy it has going on right now, it never will be either. So Linus Torvalds: ditch your stupid and silly pride, you dumbass.

Case in point: I know that Linux and Firefox aren't competing in the same area. Hell, they're not even competitors to begin with--but let me tell you why Firefox became successful: it's not difficult to use. In fact, it was a breeze to install and use it on Linux; way more better of an experience than on Windows. Linux is even free, that which Windows isn't. If that doesn't tell you how much Linux sucks, then I don't know what does.

I mean... look, Windows costs money, and Linux is given away for free--yet people still aren't using Linux. You'd think that at least since it's free, some people would use it, right? Well that's not the case.

"My name is Linus, and I am your god." [2]

You're nothing; you're just an idiot, and your tiny OS percentage share proves that you're not even close at being omniscient/omnipotent. In other words: shut the hell up!

"I was an ugly child." [3]

Guess what? You still are; nothing has changed. Don't come here and say that bullshit as if you somehow turned beautiful on us just like that.

I understand that it's higly revolutionary for you morons to do things with the use of a simple GUI. After all, you want to sustain your daily need of feeling like superiorly advanced, and intelligent hackers by doing everything via command-lines, right you morons? Come on, enough with this horseshit already, stop behaving like the retards you are and evolve a little: command-line is so in the past; GUI is the future.

Before some biased Linux-lover decides to spam me with hate mail about how much Linux rules, and I suck because I haven't learned every Linux distro etc. then get this: just because a bunch of dipshits couldn't code their distro with a better measurement towards simplicity, I don't care about learning everything about Linux, and the thousands of distros available. I don't want to be a developer in order to use Linux. If you've coded your OS to be extremely difficult to use (like Slackware), then stop making claims that your distro is the best OS in the world; user friendliness counts too when you take measure of how good an OS is. Because really, what's the point with an OS that barely anyone can utilise due to the lack of interest and devotion? No one in his right mind would want to put his entire life into an operating system... but then again that idiot Linus probably never got laid in school, so he went crazy and gave us this piece of shit instead. Thanks a lot, you jerk off.

Whilst I'm still at the topic of Linux, I'd like to point out that Symphony OS, a new Linux distro still in its Beta stadium as of this writing, which is aimed at simplicity and user friendliness--looks very promising, and perchance even revolutionary. I could be wrong though, but buffice it to say: check it out.

no, quote the whole sentence. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14746742)

This is the whole sentence from the writeup:
If you are familiar with the other books in the 'Hack' series, this one will seem familiar.

O'Reilly: If you are familiar with other books in the O'Reilly series, this one will seem familiar.

For Dummies: If you are familiar with other books in the 'for dummies' series, this one will seem familiar.

in 21 days: If you are familiar with other books in the 'in 21 days' series, this one will seem familiar.

New James Bond movie: If you are familiar with other movies in the James Bond series, this one will seem familiar.

you get the picture.

For sample hacks (5, Informative)

dan dan the dna man (461768) | more than 8 years ago | (#14744033)

and a proper index of the book you can get a preview on the O'Reilly microsite for the book here []

Another great 'hacks' book (3, Informative)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 8 years ago | (#14744047) Linux Server Hacks [] . Just to "turbo mode ssh logins" hack (#67) is worth the price alone.

Oh, and, book plug [] !

Re:Another great 'hacks' book (2, Insightful)

stevey (64018) | more than 8 years ago | (#14744733)

It might be a good book but I was disappointed to learn that the hack you mentioned wasn't even SSH-specific, just involving creating shell scripts / aliases to avoid typing.

If you want to really "turbo-charge" your SSH logins you might want to look at one of the newer features of OpenSSH v4 reusing existing connections [] .

Re:Another great 'hacks' book (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14745852)

I dunno.. some of that seems to be a little out of date.

#38, for example - as of rsync 2.6, SSH is the default transport.

All the hacks I need (4, Funny)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 8 years ago | (#14744053)

I know A'rpi from mplayer.

'Nuff said.

Re:All the hacks I need (1)

sunya (101612) | more than 8 years ago | (#14744108)

Ah, but I know lilo_booter from MLT [] :-)

Great review (2, Interesting)

XMilkProject (935232) | more than 8 years ago | (#14744073)

That was a well written review!

The book sounds cool, I might go pick up a copy.

I am curious, as I rarely purchase linux related books, is there alot of distribution specific material? Or is it overly generic to avoid being tied to a certain setup?

For instance when dealing with the many tools i'm sure the book discusses, there could be KDE and GNOME specific implementations, as well as alot of differences on how you will find/install the tool depending on distribution. How is this sort of thing handled?

Re:Great review (3, Informative)

iknowrobocop (934493) | more than 8 years ago | (#14744270)

with the exception of the obviously-titled "Knoppix Hacks", "Fedora _________", etc. the subject matter is typically distro-agnostic. If this follows suit most of the tools will be console-oriented and they'll mention some GUIs for the various window managers (GNOME, KDE, etc).

Just a 'comment' (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14744080)

There are 5 'Chapters',
Because this is a 'hack' book,
here is a "hack"

I bet the author of the post does the little bendy bunny ears gesture with his hands when he speaks...

Re:Just a 'comment' (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14744134)

I believe they are called (quote) "quote marks" (unquote)

Ob Grammar Nazi (1, Funny)

renehollan (138013) | more than 8 years ago | (#14744306)

It's end quote, not "unquote," doofus.

(Nothing personal, it's just that if I'm going to play the part of a grammar nazi, I should be insulting.)

Re:Ob Grammar Nazi (0, Offtopic)

1800maxim (702377) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745794)

Nothing personal, it's just that if I'm going to play the part of a grammar nazi, I should be insulting.

Bah! Nothing personal? You must be new here, or you're one of the Neo-Grammar-Nazis, they are a bunch of pussies, I tell ya.

Re:Ob Grammar Nazi (0, Offtopic)

renehollan (138013) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745877)

You must be new here, or you're one of the Neo-Grammar-Nazis, they are a bunch of pussies, I tell ya.

What part of "play the part of..." don't you understand?

Jeebus Krist, man! You can't tell the difference between playing a part (perhaps badly, on purpose) and being a differnt kind of "something"? I sure hope they don't let you code.


For a brief moment (4, Funny)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 8 years ago | (#14744193)

I thought you were writing a haiku.

Re:For a brief moment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14745046)

    There are 5 'Chapters',
    Because this is a 'hack'
    book, here is a "hack"

But no mention of seasons..

Re:For a brief moment (1)

temcat (873475) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745424)

I thought you were writing a haiku.

He almost made it but the last line is one syllable too short.

Re:Just a 'comment' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14744310)

Angry Rabbits ;)

Uh... hacks? (5, Insightful)

Evro (18923) | more than 8 years ago | (#14744091)

Most of the "hacks" described in the review seem to amount to "how to use these standard tools, which came with your distro, to do the task for which they were designed." Not really worthy of the title "hack" IMO...

Re:Uh... hacks? (1)

Anonymous Crowhead (577505) | more than 8 years ago | (#14744122)

Most of the "hacks" described in the review seem to amount to "how to use these standard tools, which came with your distro, to do the task for which they were designed."

Yet we sit here and wonder why linux is not a mainstream desktop choice...

Re:Uh... hacks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14744414)

This is the modern age, where "hack" means "click on this".

Re:Uh... hacks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14744434)

I agree that the title is misleading, or just outright false advertising. I guess using the word "Hacks" makes it sound cooler than using "How-To", "Guide", etc. I mean, now that you have a book about hacks, that makes you a hacker!

Re:Uh... hacks? (1)

ozbird (127571) | more than 8 years ago | (#14744476)

O'Reilly: Hack!
Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Re:Uh... hacks? (1)

Chrax (782154) | more than 8 years ago | (#14744622)

Sounds like it would be more appropriately named a Cookbook.

Re:Uh... hacks? (0, Flamebait)

master_meio (834537) | more than 8 years ago | (#14746699)

The first thing I did, after clicking the link to this discussion, was to search for the string "hacks?" I do it every time I see one of these book reviews, and, like clockwork, I'll find some downtrodden internet weenie complaining that his secret nerd language is being misused. Who cares? O'reilly doesn't care. Their customers don't care. Hackers don't care; it's the wannabes that have to start bullshit language wars wherever they go.

I don't think your resume qualifies you to tell someone how they can or can't use a stupid word.

This is unrelated, but, your myspace profile- You've had it for a year and a half and it only has 11 friends listed. That's fucking sad. 27 years old, no degree, no social life, pasty and overweight. You are wasting your life in front of your computer. Stop it.

Uh, yeah... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14744098)

It's 2006 and you still need a book to tell you how to "hack" the audio volume in Linux. The good news is you have eleven different mixers to change the volume in your eleven different (and colliding) sound servers. This will definitely be The Year Of Linux On The Desktop!

Re:Uh, yeah... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14744539)

Year 2006 Vaporware 1#

Linux on Desktop

Linux on the desktop and multimedia are evolving (1)

poopie (35416) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745979)

Year 2006 Vaporware 1#
Linux on Desktop

I'll feed your troll...

Thinking that Linux doesn't or can't make a viable desktop due to the sheer volume of opensource solutions to a variety of past problems is missing the point -- the problems have been solved in many ways and distributions have made choices, standardized and made things work so that users don't need to care or worry.

A non-Linux user who thinks Linux on the desktop isn't usable is about as misinformed as a Linux users who complains about the frequency of Windows bluescreens but hasn't used Windows since Windows ME.

Alsa is pretty much the standard, but I do want to see JACK become a standard that alsa plugs into - Linux really should have low latency audio and the ability to play multiple concurrent sounds - the lack of that is kind of embarrassing.

My point still stands, though - This and other issues will get resolved and sorted out by distro builders.

11 years after ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14749374)

Lunix 2006 is more powerful than Windows 1995, moreover it wasn't the 1st advanced technology, but yes today.

Re:Uh, yeah... (1)

Lispy (136512) | more than 8 years ago | (#14744710)

Err, what are you using? Ever heard of distributions? They kinda take the burden of making your own decisions from your shoulders. Pointless post, sorry.

Re:Uh, yeah... (1)

zcat_NZ (267672) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745247)

I'm using kubuntu, which is one of the more user-friendly distributions.

The printmanager dialog gives me a choice of print server;

I'm a big advocate of Linux on the desktop, but there are too many different ways of doing things and they do not all need to be included in every distribution by default. Ubuntu is a step in the right direction; they've mostly chosen one way of doing things and packaged all the software to be consistent with that. The printer management still needs work.

Third-party apps don't always work out so well.

vlc provides a good example of 'how to do things right' - there's a default option that works. All the other options are still available but hidden with an 'advanced settings' checkbox.

mplayer is an example of how not to do it. The defaults for mplayer didn't work too well on my system.

I get the following choices for audio output;

and for video output;

I had to play for quite a while to find a combination that worked.

Re:Uh, yeah... (1)

Lispy (136512) | more than 8 years ago | (#14746214)

Funny, I had Ubuntu in mind when I wrote my posting.
But you do realize that those option actually do DIFFERENT things?
I think what you say used to be true in the SuSE 5 days when it came with 8 CDs. But today most DEs focus on clarity and one tool for the job. As in your examples, these tools happen to do different things well. So I think it's good we have the choice.

Re:Uh, yeah... (1)

Lispy (136512) | more than 8 years ago | (#14746226)

One more thing: You might try Gnome wich is much less overboarded with esoteric options.
The upcoming release might be the right time to give it a spin...

Re:Uh, yeah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14745110)

Except for a dwindling number of apps, most apps use ALSA and everything just works. I'm even using Gentoo and it was pretty trivial to get sound working. As time goes on, it's only going to get better.

Re:Uh, yeah... (1)

giorgosts (920092) | more than 8 years ago | (#14746202)

I tell you my experience so far..Ubuntu 5.10. Tried to watch .avi on tv, tv-out of videocard (7500 ati) doesnt work. either with open source driver or fgrlx. (I only managed to break X by playing around with settings) Nor does 5.1 sound (4 ch only). even try to play these under winxp (dual-boot) but there is no read support for LVM volumes under xp. So, wife and I keep the ubuntu with Azureus on most of the time, we then burn the stuff on cd's and watch them under windows.

Re:Uh, yeah... (1)

giorgosts (920092) | more than 8 years ago | (#14746677)

sorry, no 4-ch audio, just 2 dublicate stereo, for a card 7.1 in winXP.

Re:Uh, yeah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14748875)

eleven different mixers

Maybe you should actually learn something about Linux audio. ALSA is part of 2.6 kernels now and you only have one mixer - ALSA mixer.
What comes to Linux sound servers - JACK [] is a low latency audio server for pro-audio apps. It is the most advanced sound server on this planet. You can assign the output of any ALSA app to input of any ALSA app that supports Jack. This will be de-facto standard sound server and it runs on top of ALSA. Jack has also been ported to OS X and many pro-audio OS X users are using Jack and Linux pro-audio apps like Ardour [] .

Linux Multimedia Hacks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14744130)

Let me think...yeah, I do know a couple of these guys. They're hacks, all right!

linux multimedia? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14744164)

i wasnt aware linux had ANY multimedia capabilities part black and white command prompt

Re:linux multimedia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14744910)

Ignorant hack!

The interfaces are [always] wanting (3, Interesting)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 8 years ago | (#14744167)

While I appreciate the efforts of hackers to bring the cutting edge Multimedia experience to Linux, I always find the interfaces to programs used to play audio/video on Linux very wanting.

In some of the cases, a choice of different engines for use is provided. Sometimes, a change in an engine will crash the app! And there is no easy way to know this choice even exists.

I particularily appreciate the folks at [] for a job well done.

But again, I fine Linux feels heavy, even on an AMD 2800+ Sempron processor with 512MB of RAM. On the other OS, it's all a snap.

Can someone tell me why [] is still not that popular?

Re:The interfaces are [always] wanting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14744295)

It's not Linux that feels heavy, it's your distro or choice of desktop that is bloated. I find linux is better than windows for DVD viewing particularly. Of course watching my legally purchased DVDs using free software is illegal and trusted computing will be the final nail in the coffin for mainstream media as far as I'm concerned.

Vorbis isn't popular because of the market penetration achieved by MP3 and the xiph website isn't helping :(

Re:The interfaces are [always] wanting (3, Insightful)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 8 years ago | (#14744331)

Well, vorbis, vorbis.

The problem with vorbis is that bad marketing meets to late to market.

EVERYBODY has mp3. My discman can read them on cd, my car stereo does, everything. The "free" aspect doesnt matter to the end user, and the bitrate benefits got totally drowned in the storage size inflation... 8 years ago, on a 32Mbyte Rio500, every kb/s counted. By today even flash players have GBs...

And the vidfeo container format suffered from horrible implementations, bugs, the inability to even remotely efficiently _seek_ inside the file and , of course, bad marketing.

Re:The interfaces are [always] wanting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14744516)

vorbis is video, ogg is audio people. read

Re:The interfaces are [always] wanting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14744669)

Actually Ogg [] is a container format. Vorbis [] is for audio. And Theora [] is for video. Idiot.

Re:The interfaces are [always] wanting (1)

Wavicle (181176) | more than 8 years ago | (#14744672)


Ogg is a bitstream container for multimedia
Vorbis is an audio codec
Theora is a video codec

Re:The interfaces are [always] wanting (1)

richardablitt (897338) | more than 8 years ago | (#14744683)

I thought Vorbis was audio, and Theora was video...

Re:The interfaces are [always] wanting (1)

aj50 (789101) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745976)

We need a moderation like "misleading," "incorrect" or "just plain wrong"

Re:The interfaces are [always] wanting (1) (782137) | more than 8 years ago | (#14744512)

Why doesn't Vorbis get more popularity? Well, only a few portables support it, the only major audio player that supports it out of the box is Winamp (which also doesn't support encoding it), MP3 is good enough for most people...

Need I say more?

Re:The interfaces are [always] wanting (1)

tinkerghost (944862) | more than 8 years ago | (#14744648)

Actually, I am using XMMS for my video playback.
After I dug up a package of dll's and codecs - I don't recall from where - I can watch a wider variety of feeds on my 700mhz PORS (Pile Of Recycled Scrap) linux box than I can on my W2K box with all the updates I can find.
I also like the playlist features and the control panel.

Re:The interfaces are [always] wanting (2, Insightful)

tirnacopu (732831) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745169)

The answer to your question is not piracy, nor quality or commercial reasons. Yes, there are hundreds of terrabytes in .mp3 format available on P2P networks, but let's not assume everyone is out trying to steal something. The mpeg format doesn't offer any kind of copy protection, vorbis doesn't either. I strongly believe .mp3 is the most popular simply because
#1 it is good enough
#2 it is free (or at least this is what the entire planet thinks, although 2-3 lawyers might disagree)
#3 it was there first
  This eliminates any chance of growth to another "good enough" and "free" codec.
  Still: A lot of my friends are converting right now the 192kbit .mp3s to 64kbit .oggs, but for a single reason: portable music players have limited disk space. By portable I mean cell phones and PDAs. This is a huge user base, and if I was the developer who conceived the .ogg compression algorithm I would try my best to deliver contents to those "niche" markets. Of course, I am not that developer and all I can do is envy him/her for a job well done.

Re:The interfaces are [always] wanting (1)

PenGun (794213) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745940)

#1 Noooooo

  Not even close. A crappy stereo helps here.

    Do What Now ??? ... Standards and Practices !

Re:The interfaces are [always] wanting (1)

delire (809063) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745604)

But again, I fine Linux feels heavy, even on an AMD 2800+ Sempron processor with 512MB of RAM. On the other OS, it's all a snap.
What distro and DE are you using? I found performance much better with Ubuntu on the G5 than OSX Tiger where mencoder/mplayer (encoding and playback) is concerned. Also why not just use VLC on Linux? It's a stock interface common to all major operating systems and supports a wide variety of codecs (theora included) out-of-the-box.

Re:The interfaces are [always] wanting (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 8 years ago | (#14747900)

> What distro and DE are you using?

One answer: SUSE Linux 10.0

Re:The interfaces are [always] wanting (1)

sleppy1 (903712) | more than 8 years ago | (#14747704)

I find everything multimedia runs much smoother on my Linux box than on my nearly identical XP box (both AMD 2800 or so). Movies which stutter on explosions etc in XP never seem to on Linux.

My guess is it's just the higher interactivity and better scheduler in Linux, and that the players tend to be more lightweight. There's been an improvement with 2.6 kernels.

I agree with you MPlayer is great. That the interface is light is a good thing. Most of the functionality is there (plus some) in the keyboard commands. Have you tried playing a movie faster/slower (+/-)? It speeds up or slows down the sound too. Frame advance plays a frame of sound. WTF on Win-* does this? You can play video directly to frames (then rebuild a new movie in your choice of format). You can grab video directly into the GIMP. Other features that aren't available in _any_ Win-* media player. Yeah, there's a steep learning curve. RTFM

There was a comment (below) suggesting worse performance on Linux might be due to not having a preemptible kernel. I didn't have preemptible kernel until a few months ago though and performance was equally good before, but the other poster said it was night & day. Maybe try recompiling with a preemptible kernel and see if it makes a difference.

Re:The interfaces are [always] wanting (1)

howlingmadhowie (943150) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748382)

i find that my suse 10.0 installation on a pentium III 700MHz mit 256MB-RAM is actually slower at times than the windows 98 SE that used to be on here (Ubuntu, however is faster than windows 98 and DSL leaves all of them in its wake). I once installed windows XP on it, but it kept complaining about lack of memory when i opened word and ie at the same time. (Strangely xp hasn't been able to start since i exchanged my very old and unreliable DVD-drive for a new, reliable one. xp just hangs while booting, and when i restart it, it suggests 'abgesicherter modus'(whatever that would be in english) and then hangs too. does anyone know a way of reinstalling it without wiping the hard disk?)

part of the reason for the low performance can be found by
ps aux | wc
the result is 102 processes.

informs me later, that there are 99 sleeping processes on the system. does one actually need all these daemons? dsl has about 20 in total and works fine without auto-mounting every data-storage-unit which happens to be in the same building.

rather worryingly
cat /proc/meminfo
tells me, that absolutely none of it is dirty. i must have been surfing the wrong sites...



linux media (1)

hiphophap (936982) | more than 8 years ago | (#14744175)

if you want to explore this field check out []

you can write your own custom multimedia converters using their software and its all open source.

To me thats an excellent tool to use in this adventure.

now if you have some time and want to play with converting this video (its 20 mb in size) check out: er/movies/incar.avi [] It's a Racetrack street legal cars movie. It's an avi so that might be fun to play with converting to other formats.

if nothing else you can use xine to play the movie on linux.

Re:linux media (1)

PenGun (794213) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745900)

My 69 502 Olds Cutlass quakes with fear. Please Mr T-Bird ... don't blow me away ;).

    Do What Now ??? ... Standards and Practices !

excellent! (1)

slackaddict (950042) | more than 8 years ago | (#14744214)

I'm looking forward to getting a copy of this book. Audio and video support is basically the meat of Linux on the desktop and the source of much frustration for new users who "can't get their soundcard working". O'Reilly comes through for the Linux community yet again!

Re:excellent! (1)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 8 years ago | (#14746574)

I'm looking forward to getting a copy of this book. Audio and video support is basically the meat of Linux on the desktop and the source of much frustration for new users who "can't get their soundcard working". O'Reilly comes through for the Linux community yet again!

Well, I'm looking forward to the day when you don't need a f*cking book to get audio and video support running on Linux. The Linux community has screwed the usability pooch again!

Re:excellent! (2, Interesting)

Halvy (748070) | more than 8 years ago | (#14746881)

I wouldn't hold my breath there buddy, cause a book aint gunna help the helpless.

You keep waiting for Gates & Co. to deliver your stock programs.

And several million other folks and myself will continue to improve an OS that has its roots in the worlds phone network and the InterNet.

What's funny is people 'like you' are sort of 'locked' out of the real benefits of Linux by 'default', because of your IQ and propensity to learn. :)

-- My favorite thing about OSS *IS* its Militancy!!

attention marketing department..... (3, Funny)

revery (456516) | more than 8 years ago | (#14744216)

Linux Multimedia Hacks

Hopefully, no one else had the same initial reaction that I had, namely:
"Man, I hope the title doesn't perform double-duty as a description of the authors..."

Re:attention marketing department..... (1)

iamcadaver (104579) | more than 8 years ago | (#14744411)

I thought it was going to be about getting around various DRM and licensing restrictions. Does this book even mention the word 'mp3' in it? How about DeCSS?

( no, don't actually answer any of that here... )

All Hacks Start With... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14744220)

All the multimedia hacks start with; "Download an unencumbered version of MPlayer and then Bogart yourself a copy of the Win32 codecs for WMA, Quicktime, Real and all the others. You can get them from the C:\Windows\System32 folder of your pirated copy of XP."

Re:All Hacks Start With... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14744337)

The same applies to fonts. To get fonts looking remotely acceptable in Linux, enable Apple's patented method of rending fonts, and copy over Microsoft's fonts. Then fonts in Linux rock!

Re:All Hacks Start With... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14744773)

"enable Apple's patented method of rending fonts"

As long as they don't look as OS X fonts. That blur can make you dizzy for a week. Modern Linux already has exceptional font rendering as standard and the bitsream fonts looks very nice. No need to change a thing.

Re:All Hacks Start With... (1)

temcat (873475) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745592)

The same applies to fonts. To get fonts looking remotely acceptable in Linux, enable Apple's patented method of rending fonts, and copy over Microsoft's fonts. Then fonts in Linux rock!

Well at least for sans-serif fonts it's not the case for a long time already: []

This is the free XLinSans font from dmtr40in-fonts package.

Sounds Great... (1)

kurbchekt (890891) | more than 8 years ago | (#14744229)

But will it get my USB emi2|6 working under ALSA?

Multimedia Hack #1 (-1, Troll)

timeOday (582209) | more than 8 years ago | (#14744483)

Getting your sound card to work under Linux

Re:Multimedia Hack #1 (1)

FORTRANslinger (950850) | more than 8 years ago | (#14744705)

I remember the first time the desktop welcome sound came from my speakers with a clean Linux install - I nearly crapped myself with fear! After 4 years of no sound on my Linux partition - it came as a bit of a shock.

Re:Multimedia Hack #1 (2, Interesting)

fwitness (195565) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745504)

I also fondly remember that day. The voice that emerged from my speakers said:

"My name is Linux Torvalds and I pronounce Linux Lee-nooks"

And I'm like WTF? I thought Lin-ukks was a friggin atrocity to call my new Lie-nux installation. Now it's got nooks? This is just lue-duk-cruss.

Re:Multimedia Hack #1 (1)

howlingmadhowie (943150) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748405)

i'm not exactly sure why i'm bothering, but it's linus torvalds not linux torvalds.

Hello, this is Linus Torvalds, and I pronounce Linux as lnks

(if you can't read the strange symbols, either i've fucked up, or your default font doesn't support them)

Re:Multimedia Hack #1 (1)

fwitness (195565) | more than 8 years ago | (#14783518)

Yes. I am indeed a moron. My apologies Mr. Torrent. Er, Torvalds. Dammit.

Re:Multimedia Hack #1 (1)

Halvy (748070) | more than 8 years ago | (#14746824)

yea really mr. troll (lol) you can go out and buy a linux compatable sound card.. just like windoze people do.

So you'd have sound AND you'd be supporting companies that are bucking 'The Man' and 'The System' at the same time..

Sooo shaddup and do something.. we have the tools :)

-- My favorite thing about OSS *IS* its Militancy!!

what about recording audio/video? (2, Interesting)

rjnagle (122374) | more than 8 years ago | (#14744526)

This sounds like an interesting book, and I'll probably buy it, but looking over the Table of Contents, this book is geared more toward Linux Multimedia Management (PVR, mp3s) than doing actual recording and capturing.

I'm a podcaster trying to figure out the best way to input mike/mixer into my linux laptop, and had the damnest time figuring out.

Mastering the software stuff is easy (relatively speaking). Much harder is figuring out how to get your hardware to work. About the best resource I've found for that is this usb device database [] . Under each multimedia device are user comments about how they made it work.

Also, a few months ago I reviewed a book, Digital Video Hacks [] . More about video production than linux, the book nonetheless a few things from a linux perspective. Highly recommended!

On another note, why hasn't anyone published a decent GIMP manual yet? The last book is a good three years old, and a lot has happened to gimp since then. I would love to see a Gimp Hacks book sometime. I could really use that!

re: gimp book= soon! (1)

rjnagle (122374) | more than 8 years ago | (#14744971)

Looks like a linux developer will be coming out with a gimp manual soon [] . I think she based it on a gimp course she taught online [] .

GIMP books. . . (1)

NOPteron (838244) | more than 8 years ago | (#14746247)

I would have written at-least an online minibook for The GIMP
( How To, for photographers who care just to get good-enough-for-results results... ), except that:

a) The GIMP ( or its development ) won't ever be end-user or end-power-user responsive, and
b) The GIMP won't ever support efficient workflow, and
c) The GIMP won't ever support efficient & effective colour-calibration
( at-least not until EVERYone else has done it for sooo long that it finally becomes acceptable for it to do so )
d) The GIMP won't ever support all the plugins for photoshop, even though it HAS to be possible to code an app for that sort of compatibility
( since Jasc's program did. . . )
e) The GIMP won't EVER have a wonderful-to-work-with UI ( or even a usable one )


It's a variation of The Debian Syndrome:
User-centrism, and USE-centrism
. . oppose . .
institutional-mentality or institutional-modality,
& mutex is mutex ( mutually-exclusive ).

KOffice's Krita is designed to displace The GIMP, and it's going v1.5 rc1 at the end of February 2006,
so simply ditch The GIMP and have-at something designed with function as a centre of it
( not necessarily THE centre of it, mind .. KOffice's spreadsheet is unfortunately insane, so function can't possibly be the centre of that,
& that mind-set may be contaminating the rest of KOffice. . . )

The sanest thing to do, it seems, it to let The GIMP be authoritative(tm), and institutional(tm), and to Let It Die(tm)
while replacing it with something that is usable & works.
The market moves-on, right?
( just as Linux is displacing other OSs from many markets, and most/all servers )

PS this isn't an attack against The GIMP, or The GIMP's developers, it's simply a user-perspective, developed over YEARS of attempting to find OPEN-evolution in The GIMP, and the final & certain recognition/identification of What Happened.
And, having seen equivalent happen in countless different ways, throughout our world, from the Kremlin to Washington+NSA+HomelandSec++ to RIAA to Hospitals to every kind of institution/entity:
it's the basic perception that Agile is opposite to the RELIGION of establishment,
& establishment is an unconscious religion, is all. . .
Fighting the undertow of the river we all splash-around on requires coherent determination, and how many "groups" or "teams" have coherent-determination that is contradictory of the undertow owning them? Eh?
Percentage-wise, it's 0.00% or something?

'The 30 MANAGEMENT PRINCIPLES of the US Marines' ( Freedman ) is a book that showed how to attack, at an organizational level, that same institutional-inertia-mode,
but Who Honestly Cares either about their life-quality, their work, their family/workgroup/community, or anything, ENOUGH to commit different-mode, coherently, consistently, ongoingly?


PPS: the "registry" link of this post has a link to the Freedman book, and some other good ones, and you can read others comments of the books on the pages for each of 'em, so you don't have to trust my opinion of 'em at all, and no there isn't any address attached to that "registry" so its a For YOUR Information, only, registry, see. . .

Amazon has it cheaper than B & N (2, Informative)

heffel (83440) | more than 8 years ago | (#14744543)

Amazon [] Has it cheaper than B & N. ($19.77 new, 13.12 used).

Re:Amazon has it cheaper than B & N (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 8 years ago | (#14744952)

Because the've patented the business model of selling products at lower prices than their competitors.

Re:Amazon has it cheaper than B & N (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748001)

no... B & N just has high(er) prices. Bookpool often has better prices than Amazon (in this case, the book is out of stock, but otherwise it would be slightly cheaper than at amazon).

Personally, I stopped buying from when they stopped giving away gift certificates, raised prices, and realized that "making it up in volume" doesn't help when they lose money one every order.

Why does O'Reilly continues "Hacks" (2, Insightful)

hkb (777908) | more than 8 years ago | (#14744575)

Wireless Hacks, that was a book largely composed of "hacks". Every other book I've seen has been a cookbook using tools as they are intended. The term "Cookbook" or "Tips" is much more accurate for these titles.

When Wireless Hacks came out, it was great, real hacks. When the next Hacks book came out, I rushed to the bookstore to take a look and find it was a lame and inaccurate title. When the third Hacks book came out, I didn't and still don't pay any attention.

The "Hacks" branding is effectively worthless, O'Reilly.

Does the book include... (1)

oncebitten (893231) | more than 8 years ago | (#14744736)

... things like building a pre-emptible kernel (multimedia performance is like night and day with it)? ... the various sound daemons (and how to make sure they don't step on each other)? ... comparisons between vendor supplied drivers and open source ones?

Those would be helpful.

Re:Does the book include... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14745914)

The Linux kernel has been gradually moving to a real-time paradigm. The libraries tend to conceal this fact, because the libraries for the most part to want to make the kernel appear to be a traditional unix kernel.

In actuality the Linux kernel is increasingly real-time in nature and capable of being used in many applications where a traditional unix kernel would fall down. Some of the alternative libraries for sound and video are beginning to take advantage of Linux's real-time horsepower.

link to book (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14744896)

ED2k Hash: F6FC779EA4FCD0FD85D44BB368BB4C0E

Wot no TV Time? (1)

reclusivemonkey (703154) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745109)

Xawtv? TV Time is infinitely better for watching TV on Linux. []

Re:Wot no TV Time? (1)

PenGun (794213) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745863)

Thanks eh'. Does rock ;).

    Do What Now ??? ... Standards and Practices !

Why, why, why (1)

babbling (952366) | more than 8 years ago | (#14745950)

Why must they call them "hacks" when it is really just a collection of "how-to"s. I suppose some people would be more likely to buy the book if they do that, but surely there must be people like me who see it as a gimmick?

Re: Here's why, here's why, here's why (1)

ubiquitin (28396) | more than 8 years ago | (#14749126)

Yep, it's a gimmick that sells books. O'Reilly is good at that. Hack has a sufficiently generic meaning that it will mean basically whatever they want it to mean. I'm sure once the open source community has figure out that "hack" is O'Reilly code for "book that you'll soon be buying" they'll have moved on to other words like "Make". Oh wait...

CNN (1)

rinkjustice (24156) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748562)

I hope the book specifically addresses playing streaming video from the CNN website. How many cries from the wilderness have we heard regarding that issue?

If enjoying CNN in Linux is no longer an exercise in futility, then I'll personally buy a copy.

Re:CNN (1)

craqboy (588418) | more than 8 years ago | (#14774511)

this is pretty easy.....

1. install mplayer []
2. install mplayer plugin []
3. enjoy cnn videos.

this is the simple might need to compile mplayer with different codecs for it to work....i use gentoo so its as easy as emerging mplayerplug-in for me

Re:CNN (1)

rinkjustice (24156) | more than 8 years ago | (#14774813)

Not always so cut and dried unfortunately. For many cnn streaming video doesn't work with mplayer in Firefox. A quick google search will confirm this.
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