User Guide - Playing Multimedia

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Idea.png
Media formats not supported by default in Fedora
Because of licensing and patent encumbrances, Fedora cannot ship with certain audio and video playing capabilities, known as codecs. An example is the MP3 codec. Refer to the section Fedora Project's Approach to Multimedia Support, located below, for more information.

Contents

Fedora Project's Approach to Multimedia Support

In short, the Fedora Project encourages the use of open formats in place of restricted ones.

Fedora includes complete support for many freely-distributable formats. These include the Ogg media, Vorbis audio, Theora video, Speex audio, and FLAC audio formats. These freely-distributable formats are not encumbered by patent or license restrictions, and provide powerful and flexible alternatives to popular yet restricted formats such as MP3 that are not legally distributable with Fedora. For more information, refer to the Fedora Multimedia wiki. Fedora includes several tools for listening to audio and viewing video.

Multimedia Applications

There are several multi-media applications available for GNOME and KDE desktops. These applications will run in either Fedora desktop environment. To install software packages not already installed, please read the chapter on managing software. You can install applications by either using the PackageKit application or on the command line by using Yum.

By default, Fedora provides the following applications for audio and video:

  • Amarok is a music player that features tools for organizing music, CDs, Internet radio stations, and more, and is included in KDE by default.
  • CD/DVD Creator is an application for listening to audio CDs in GNOME.
  • Cheese Webcam Booth takes photos and videos with your webcam is installed in GNOME and KDE.
  • Dragon Player is a simple video player in KDE.
  • JuK is a collection and playlist manager as well as a music player installed in KDE.
  • Kaffeine is an application for viewing videos in KDE.
  • KMix is a Sound Mixer for KDE.
  • KsCD is an application for listening to audio CDs in KDE.
  • Rhythmbox is a music player that features tools for organizing music, CDs, Internet radio stations, and more, and is included in GNOME and KDE by default.
  • Sound Juicer is an application for converting CDs to music files (also known as ripping) in GNOME and KDE.
  • Sound Recorder can record and play .flac, .oga (OGG audio), and .wav sound files.
  • Totem Movie Player is an application for viewing videos in GNOME and KDE.

Applications Installed in GNOME and KDE Desktops

  • To open these programs, in the GNOME desktop, select Applications > Sound and Video > YourApplication.
  • For applications in the KDE desktop, click the KMenu > Applications > Multimedia > YourApplication.

Cheese Webcam Booth

Cheese.png Cheese Webcam Booth takes photos and videos with your webcam.

Using Cheese Webcam Booth

The top menu provides the following operations and options:

  • Selecting Cheese you can choose to turn on the Countdown timer, Take a photo or Record, depending on if you selected Photo or Video button, see the Fullscreen, and Quit the application.
  • Edit lets you turn on Effects, Move to Trash, Move All to Trash, and change the Preferences.
  • Clicking on Help > Contents, or pressing [F1], opens the Cheese Manual.

The tabs, between the windows, are shortcuts of the choices in top menu.

More information is available on the Cheese Website

Rhythmbox Music Music Player

Rhythmbox.png Rhythmbox Music Music Player plays CDs, internet radio, and is a music collection manager. The first time you launch the Rhythmbox Music Player, an assistant will help you import your music. On the second panel of the assistant, press the [Browse] button and select the folder where your music is stored, normally in your /Home/Music/ directory.

Using Rhythmbox Music Player

The main functions of the Rhythmbox Music Player window are:

  • The top panel Menubar which has all of the menus to perform tasks. Press [F1] or Help > Contents on the menubar to pull up the manual.
  • The second Toolbar panel accesses the player functions and provides details about the track that is playing.
  • A Time Slider, under the Toolbar panel, displays the position of the read of a track and allows you to jump to another part of a track.
  • In the left window the Source List lets you access your music library, internet radio, internet, your playlist, and CDs. This consists of:
  • The Rhythmbox Music Player library, where all of the imported tracks are saved.
  • The Radio with internet radio stations.
  • Podcasts.
  • Online Stores:
  • All Playlists (normal and smart).
  • Audio CD's inserted into the computer's drives.
  • Portable players, such as an iPod, plugged in to your computer.

If you have a wheel mouse you can adjust the volume by placing the cursor on the volume icon and turning the wheel.

  • In the Browser, the rectangle window right of the Source List, you can browse and filter the Library tracks by genre, artist, or ablum name. It also provides a Search function.
  • The Tracks list is the bottom window and contains the lists of the tracks that belong to the source you selected.
  • The Statusbar is the panel that runs along the bottom that displays information about the source you selected.

Visit the Rhythmbox website for more information.

Audio CD Extractor (Sound Juicer)

Sound-juicer2.png Audio CD Extractor (Sound Juicer) lets you extract the audio from CDs and convert them to audio files your computer can play. This program also plays CDs.

Kdesoundjuicer.png KDE Audio CD Extractor (Sound Juicer) Icon.

Using Sound Juicer

Entering Track Data:

  • Insert an audio CD and Sound Juicer will locate and retrieve the data from MusicBrainz (a free service). If MusicBrainz cannot match the CD you have the option to enter the track information manually. The notifier will also ask you if you want to submit your album to the MusicBrainz database. You will need to open a MusicBrainz account to submit albums to their database.
  • To enter track data manually:
  • Fill in the text boxes for the title, artist, year, and genre of the CD.
  • Below that is a list of the audio tracks on the CD. You can determine the track title and artist for each track.
  • To edit the title of a track, first select the track, then click on the title. When you have finished entering the title, press the [Enter] key.
  • Each track of the CD is automatically updated if they matched the artist before the edit.

Extracting Track Data:

  • Select the tracks you want to save by clicking on the boxes in front of the tracks. You also use Edit > Select All or > Deselect All.
  • Press the [Extract] button. This will change to a [Stop] button when the program begins to extract the data. You will see an icon next to the track being extracting.
  • Press [F1], or Help > Contents, to see the manual.

For more information see the Sound Juicer website.

Sound Recorder

Gnome-sound-recorder.png Sound Recorder can record and play .flac, .oga (OGG audio), and .wav sound files.

Using Sound Recorder

  • From the top menu select File > New, or press the [New] button on the second panel.
  • On the Record as drop-down choose what type of file you want to record to.
  • Press the red [Record] button or select Control > Record from the top menu to start recording.
  • Press the [Stop] button or use Control > Stop, on the top menu, to end the recording.
  • Press the [Play] button or Control > Play to start the play-back.
  • To open the audio mixer select File > Open Volume Control.
  • To save your file choose File > Save As, and name your sound file.
  • You can play an existing sound file by clicking the [Open] button, or selecting File > Open on the top menu, choose the file and click the [Open] button. Now press the [Play] button, or Control > Play, to play the selected file.
  • Selecting File > Properties displays information about the current sound file.
  • Access the Sound Recorder manual by choosing Help > Contents, or press the [F1] key.

Totem Movie Player

Totem.png Totem Movie Player plays DVDs, CDs, and VCDs.

Using Totem Movie Player

  • To open an audio, or video, file, select Movie > Open. Select the file you want and click the [+Add] button. You can also drag a file in to the Totem Movie Player window. See Totem Codecs if Totem Movie Player returns error messages when you try to play a file.
  • Select Movie > Open Location to open a file by URI location.
  • Movie > Play Disc will play a DVD, VCD, or CD.
  • Movie > Eject will eject the disc.
  • Under the Eject option is the Playlist.
  • Movie > Play, and Movie > Pause, will play or pause the disc.
  • Choosing Movie > Properties opens the sidebar which displays the properties of the file.
  • From the Edit menu you can Take a Screenshot, Copy, Select All, Find, Find Next, go to the Previous file, configure Plugins, and set Preferences.
  • View allows you to go to Fullscreen, Fit Window to Movie, set the Aspect Ratio, Switch Angles, Show Controls, Subtitles, and show, or hide, the Sidebar.
  • Go will let you go to the DVD, Title, Audio, Angle, and Chapter menus, the Next Chapter or Movie, the Previous Chapter or Movie, Skip to a track, and Skip Forward or Backwards.
  • The Sound drop-down menu lets you change Language and turn the Volume Up or Down.
  • You can open the manual by selecting Help > Contents or pressing the [F1] key.

For more information visit the Totem Movie Player website.

GNOME Multimedia Applications

CD/DVD Creator

Cd-dvd-creator.pngCD/DVD Creator is a CD and DVD burner.

Using CD/DVD Creator

To open select System > CD/DVD Creator.

To create a data disc:

  • Drag the files and folders, that you want to write to CD or DVD, to the CD/DVD Creator folder.
  • Insert a writeable CD or DVD into your writer device. Doing this step first usually opens the CD/DVD Creator automatically. You can configure the CD/DVD Creator to open automatically by going to System > Preferences > Hardware > Multimedia Systems Selector > and on the Audio and Video tabs select Autodetect from the drop-down menu.
  • Click the [Write to Disc] button, or choose File > Write to CD/DVD.
  • Here you can choose write to your CD/DVD or to a File Image. An image file (ISO) is a normal file that will be saved to your computer and you can write to a CD later.
  • To write a disc image to a CD/DVD, right-click on the Disc Image File, then choose Write to Disc from the popup menu.
  • You can type a name for your CD/DVD in the Disc name window and select a Write speed from the drop-down under Write Options. You will also see the size of your data that will be written to the disc.
  • Press the [Write] button to copy your data to the CD/DVD.

To make a copy of a CD or DVD:

  • Insert the disc you want to copy.
  • Choose Places > CD/DVD Creator from the top panel menu bar.
  • Right-click on the CD icon, and choose Copy Disc.
  • Follow the Write to Disc dialogue as above.

If you have only one write drive the program will first create a file on your computer. The original disk will be ejected, and ask you to change it for a blank disk to copy on.

The Help manual can be accessed by pressing the [F1] key or clicking Help > Contents on the top menu bar.

GNOME Multimedia Applications in the Repository

The applications below are not usually installed by default but are in the Repository. To install these packages please, read the chapter on managing software. You can install applications by either using the PackageKit application or on the command line by using Yum.

Brasero.png Brasero Copies and burns music, or data, to CD/DVDs. Visit the Brasero website for details.

Docs Drafts DesktopUserGuide Media gnomebaker-48.png GNOMEBaker can burn music or data to a CD. See the GNOMEBaker website for more information.


KDE Multimedia Applications

  • To open applications in the KDE desktop, click the Kickoff Application Launcher > Applications > Multimedia > YourApplication.

Amarok

Amarok.png Amarok which is a CD player and collection manager.

Using Amarok

  • When you select Amarok, from menu, you can choose Play Media to play existing sound files, go to a Previous Track, Play/Pause, Stop, go to the Next Track, or Quit the application.
  • Playlist lets you Add Media, Add Stream, Save Playlist, Undo, Redo, Clear Playlist, Repeat, and choose Random play.
  • Tools lets you access the Cover Manager, Script Manager, and to Update Collection.
  • Under Settings you can Configure Shortcuts and Configure Amarok.
  • Selecting Help > Amarok Handbook, or pressing [F1] key, opens the manual.
  • On the left side of the application window you can select the Files you want to play, Playlist, Collections, or access the internet for music, podcasts, and radio stations. Details about your selection are displayed in the window to the right.
  • The bottom center icons are: [+] Adds a Widget, [-] Deletes a Widget, the arrows let you go to a Previous or Next Group, and you can Zoom in or out.
  • In the Playlist window you can do a Search, go to the Next or Previous selection, and Search Preferences. The options along the bottom allow you to Clear Playlist, Show Active Track, Undo, Redo, Save a Playlist, and Export a Playlist As.

Fom more information see the Amarok KDE website.

Dragon Player

Dragonplayer.png Dragon Player is a simple video player.

Using Dragon Player

  • When you first open Dragon Player a pop-up window asks what you would like to play:
  • Play File or Play Disc. If you choose one of these the program loads the file.
  • You can also Close the window or Quit the application.
  • Selecting Play > Play Media allows you to play a DVD, VCD, or Video File, Play/Pause lets you pause and re-start the movie, Stop will stop the playback, and Quit closes the application
  • The Settings menu lets you choose the Full Screen Mode, Aspect Ratio, Subtitles, Audio Channels, to Confgure Shortcuts and Toolbars or to Show Toolbar.
  • Help > Dragon Player Handbook, or pressing the [F1] key, opens the manual.

More details are available on the Dragon Player website.

Music Player (JuK)

Juk.png Music Player (JuK) is a collection and playlist manager as well as a music player.

Using JuK

  • When the application opens you can choose to Add or Remove a Folder, and Import playlists, from the pop-up window.
  • Selecting File, on the top menu bar, you can choose to open a New file, Open an existing file, Add Folder, Rename, Edit, Search, Duplicate, Reload, Remove Save, Save As, or Quit the application.
  • Edit allows you to Undo, Cut, Copy Paste, Clear, or Select All.
  • Under View you can configure JuK to Show the Search Bar, Show Tag Editor, Show History, Show Play Queue or Columns, Resize Playlist Columns Manually, and View Modes (Default, Compact or Tree).
  • From the Player drop list you select to Random Play, Loop Playlist, Play, Pause, Stop, Next, Previous, and Play the Next Album.
  • Tagger lets you Save or Delete tags, Refresh, Guess Tag Information, open the Cover Manager, and Rename a File.
  • From the Settings menu you can choose which Toolbars to display, Show Splash Screen on Startup, Dock in System Tray, Stay in System Tray on Close, Open Track Announcement, Tag Guesser, File Renamer, and Configure Shortcuts or Toolbars.
  • The second menu panel displays icons of the most used commands, which are also located in the top menu bar.
  • The right window is home to your collection or playlist.
  • The main window displays information about the file, such as: Track Name, Artist, Album, Cover, Track, Genre, Year, and Length.
  • To open the manual select Help > JuK Handbook or press the [F1] key.

More information is available on the JuK website

Media Player (Kaffeine)

Kaffeine.pngKaffeine is a media player that can play streaming content, DVBs, DVDs, and CDs. You need the Mozilla plugin for the program to get streaming content over the web.

Using Kaffeine Media Player

The first window that opens contains five shortcut icons:

  • Play Playlist takes you to a current playlist.
  • Audio CD encoding will help you rip a track, or tracks, from a CD.
  • Play Audio CD plays a CD.
  • Play DVD will play a DVD.
  • Play VCD connects to streaming content.
  • On the left side of the window are four small icons:
  • The KDE icon, on top, brings up the first window, wherever you are in the program.
  • The Kaffeine icon opens the Player Window.
  • Clicking the next icon will open the Playlist.
  • The Disc Icon takes you to the Play CD window that lists the details of the CD.
  • The Toolbar, along the bottom of this window, allows you to Play, Pause, Skip Backward or Forward, Stop, and Adjust the Volume.

The top menu panel has:

  • File which allows you to Open a File, URL, or Directory, Open a DVD, VCD, Audio CD, and Network Broadcasting. You can also Save Stream, Save a Screenshot, Quit with Options, or Quit.
  • From the View menu you have the options for the Full Screen Mode, Minimal Mode, Toggle Playlist/Player, Enable Auto Resize, or Keep Original Aspect.
  • Selecting Player gives you the option to Play, Pause, Stop, Next or Previous (track), Fast Forward, Slow Motion, and Jump to Position. You can also Navigate a DVD, CD, Video, configure Subtitles, pull up Track Info, and Enable/Disable Plugins.
  • The Playlist drop-down lets you Shuffle, Repeat, Download covers, Clear Current Playlist, start a New Playlist, Import, Save, or Remove a Playlist.
  • Settings allow you to select a Player Engine (Xine or GStreamer), choose the Toolbars, Configure Shortcuts, Toolbars, and Kaffeine Player, and to set xine Engine Paramenters.
  • Clicking Help > Kaffeine Player Handbook, or pressing the [F1] key, opens the manual.


More information is available on the Kaffeine website.

KMix Sound Mixer

Kmix.png Sound Mixer (KMix)

Using KMix Sound Mixer

  • The application Window has three sections with different controls: Output, Input and Switches. These sections contain volume sliders, switches for enabling/disabling record or playback, and multiple-choice selectors.
  • Output controls are playback related, like the Master volume control.
  • Input controls are record related, like Capture.
  • Switches has all controls allowing you to switch some functionalities ON or OFF (like "Mic Boost (+20dB)"), and multiple-choice controls (like Mic Select: Mic1 or Mic2).
  • KMix also features LED's:
  • Green for playback.
  • Red for recording.
  • Yellow is for special soundcard functions.
  • Most of these controls have a context menu, you can access by a right mouse click on the icon.
  • For Split Channels, the right slider controls right side volume, and the left controls left side volume.
  • Muted can be on or off.
  • You can select Hide to hide this device
  • To configure KMix, from the menubar choose Preferences > Use Settings > Configure KMix. The options are:
  • Dock into panel will dock in the systray when pressing the window [Close] button.
  • Show labels will display labels for each of the sound devices.
  • Show lines to mark positions on the sliders.

More information is available on the KMix website

KsCD

KsCD.pngKsCD is a simple CD player.

Using KsCD

  • The button cluster on the left side contains:
  • Play in the center.
  • Previous to the left.
  • Next on the right side.
  • Stop on the bottom.
  • Eject on the top.
  • The center window displays information about the file being played.
  • The icons along the bottom allow you to setup Random play, Loop, Tracklist, and Mute.
  • The three buttons on the top and center right are:
  • Volume control. Place your cursor on the white dot, hold down the right mouse key and drag it to the desired level.
  • The [-] button lets you minumize KsCD.
  • The [X] icon closes the application.

KDE Multimedia Programs in the Repository

The applications below are not usually installed by default but are in the Repository. To install these packages please, read the chapter on managing software. You can install applications by either using the PackageKit application or on the command line by using Yum.

Docs Drafts DesktopUserGuide Media k3b.png: K3b is a CD and DVD burning application. More information is available on the K3b website

mp3 Players

Personal digital media players can be used to store and listen to music away from a computer. These are often referred to as mp3 players, a potentially misleading name; not all of these players use mp3 files to store music.

Many mp3 players can be mounted as storage mediums, and music can be added to them just like a file can be added to any other disk. See the chapter on media for more information.

Some players, however, require special applications to transfer music.

Grip

Grip-logo.png Grip is a CD player and a ripper for the Gnome desktop. It provides an automated frontend for MP3, and other audio format, encoders, letting you transform the disc straight into MP3s. Internet disc lookups are supported for retrieving track information. Grip is not installed by default but it is in the repository for installation with either using the PackageKit application or on the command line by using Yum.

Details are available on the Grip website

iPod Connectivity

Because of the proprietary nature of the Apple iPod, it can be difficult to use it on your Linux platform without guidance. Unfortunately, Apple has not (and has never announced plans to) release a Linux version of iTunes, and iTunes is not yet stable through Wine. Luckily, there are several high-quality tools available for Linux users to manage media content on the iPod. Among them are gtkpod, YamiPod, and tools built into media players such as AmaroK, Rhythmbox, and Banshee.

The Fedora Project does not by default offer the ability to interact with the Apple iPod. However, a program called Gtkpod can be used to sync music, podcasts, and other content to your iPod.

Docs Drafts DesktopUserGuide Multimedia gtkpod.png Gtkpod is not installed by default from the Live-CD or the DVD. If you do not have access to the Internet, you can use the Fedora DVD to install Gtkpod. You can install applications by either using the PackageKit application or on the command line by using Yum.

After you install Gtkpod using one of the methods described above, launch the program by clicking Applications > Music and Video > gtkpod.

For further help on iPod support, you can go to the Gtkpod website.


Further Information

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



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