Archive:Docs/DesktopUserGuideFC6/Multimedia

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Playing Multimedia (Music & Video)

Fedora includes several tools for viewing video and listening to audio. Access sound and video applications through the Applications > Sound & Video menu.


By default, Fedora provides four applications for audio and video:

Docs DesktopUserGuide Multimedia cdplayericon.png The CD Player application is for listening to audio CDs.
Docs DesktopUserGuide Multimedia soundjuicericon.png Sound Juicer is an application for converting CDs to music files.
Docs DesktopUserGuide Multimedia rhythmboxicon.png Rhythmbox is a music player with tools for organizing music, CDs, Internet radio stations, and more.
Docs DesktopUserGuide Multimedia totemplayericon.png Totem Movie Player is for viewing videos.


Idea.png Media formats not included by default in Fedora
Because of licensing and patent encumbrance, Fedora cannot ship with certain audio and video playing capabilities, known as codecs. An example is the MP3 codec. Refer to the section below on Excluded Multimedia for more information.


Playing Audio CDs

CD Player is the default application for playing CDs. Audio CDs begin playing automatically when the disk is inserted into the CD-ROM drive.

This program can be started independently through the menu Applications > Sound & Video > CD Player.

Converting Audio CDs to Music Files

Sound Juicer is the application that rips the CD into audio files on your hard disk. Ripping is the word for converting audio files from CD to file, with each music track on the CD saved as a single file. The default file format is Ogg Vorbis, a free and open alternative to the MP3 format. Vorbis offers better performance in a smaller file than MP3. When a ripping from a commercially produced CD, Sound Juicer displays the music track names, downloading the information from a free database on the Internet.

Note.png Vorbis is a lossy format
Similar to MP3, Vorbis compresses the music track to a smaller file with very little loss of musical range or quality. Files can also be saved in the lossless WAV or FLAC formats. However, the resulting files are much larger.


The Sound Juicer Manual is available in the application, by going through Help > Contents.

Organizing your Multimedia Files

One can organize multimedia files using Rhythmbox. Access this through Applications > Sound & Video > Rhythmbox Music Player. Rhythmbox provides a front-end for music services, Internet radio stations, podcasts, and your own library of multimedia.

To learn more about using Rhythmbox, you can access the Rhythmbox Music Player Manual through the Help > Contents menu.

Playing Videos

The Totem Movie Player can play a variety of videos. Found at Applications > Sound & Video > Movie Player, Totem plays any format that can be legally supplied with Fedora. For usage help, the Totem Movie Player Manual is accessed through the Help > Contents menu.

Fedora Project's Approach to Multimedia Support

The Fedora Project encourages the use of open formats in place of restricted ones.

Fedora includes complete support for many freely-distributable formats. These are the Ogg media format, Vorbis audio, Theora video, Speex audio, and FLAC audio formats. These freely-distributable formats are not encumbered by patent or license restrictions. They provide powerful and flexible alternatives to more popular, restricted formats such as MP3.

MP3, DVD, and Other Excluded Multimedia

Fedora cannot include support for MP3 or DVD video playback or recording. MP3 formats are patented, and the patent holders have not provided the necessary licenses. DVD video formats are also patented and equipped with an encryption scheme. Again, the patent holders have not provided the necessary licenses, and the code needed to decrypt CSS-encrypted discs may violate the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a copyright law of the United States. Fedora also excludes other multimedia software due to patent, copyright, or license restrictions, such as Adobe Flash Player and RealNetworks RealPlayer.

While other MP3 options may be available for Fedora, Fluendo now offers an MP3 plugin that is properly licensed for end users. This plugin enables MP3 support in applications that use the GStreamer framework as a backend. Fedora does not include this plugin for licensing reasons, but Fluendo offers one solution to playing MP3 in Fedora.

For Further Information

For additional information about multimedia in Fedora, refer to the Multimedia section of the Fedora Project website:

[1]

For more information on freely-distributable formats and how to use them, refer to the Xiph.Org Foundation's web site at:

[2]

For more on licensed and copyrighted formats, please refer to:

[3]

For more information on Fluendo, visit Fluendo's website at

[4]


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