Fedora includes applications for assorted multimedia functions, including playback, recording, and editing. Additional packages are available through the Fedora Package Collection software repository. For additional information about multimedia in Fedora, refer to the Multimedia section of the Fedora Project website at http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Multimedia.
The default installation of Fedora includes Rhythmbox and Totem for media playback. Many other programs are available in the Fedora repositories, including the popular XMMS player and KDE's amaroK. Both GNOME and KDE have a selection of players that can be used with a variety of formats. Additional programs are available from third parties to handle other formats.
Totem, the default movie player for GNOME, now has the ability to switch playback back-ends without recompilation or switching packages. To install the xine back-end, run the following command as root:
yum install totem-xine
To run Totem with the xine back-end once, run the following command as root:
totem-backend -b xine totem
To change the default back-end to xine for the entire system, run the following command as root:
totem-backend -b xine
While using the xine back-end, it is possible to temporarily use the GStreamer back-end. To use the GStreamer back-end, run the following command as root:
totem-backend -b gstreamer
Ogg and Xiph.Org Foundation Formats
Fedora includes complete support for the Ogg media container format and the Vorbis audio, Theora video, Speex audio and FLAC lossless 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. The Fedora Project encourages the use of open source formats in place of restricted ones. For more information on these formats and how to use them, refer to the Xiph.Org Foundation's web site at http://www.xiph.org/.
MP3, DVD and Other Excluded Multimedia
Fedora cannot include support for MP3 or DVD video playback or recording. The MP3 formats are patented, and the patent holders have not provided the necessary licenses. DVD video formats are patented and equipped with an encryption scheme. 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, including Adobe's Flash Player and Real Media's Real Player. For more on this subject, please refer to http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/ForbiddenItems.
While other MP3 options may be available for Fedora, Fluendo now offers an MP3 plugin for GStreamer that has the related patents licensed for end users. This plugin enables MP3 support in applications that use the GStreamer framework as a backend. We cannot distribute this plugin in Fedora for licensing reasons, but it offers a new solution for an old problem. For more information, refer to the Installing Fluendo MP3 Plug-in or Installing MP3 Plug-in with Codeina pages.
CD and DVD Authoring and Burning
Default installations of Fedora and the Desktop Live spin include a built-in feature for CD and DVD burning. Fedora includes a variety of other tools for easily creating and burning CDs and DVDs. Fedora includes graphical programs such as
k3b. Console programs including
You can use Fedora to create and play back screencasts, which are recorded desktop sessions, using open technologies. Fedora includes
istanbul, which creates screencasts using the Theora video format, and 'byzanz', which creates screencasts as animated GIF files. You can play back these videos using one of several players included in Fedora. This is the preferred way to submit screencasts to the Fedora Project for either developers or end-users. For more comprehensive instructions, refer to the ScreenCasting page.
Extended Support through Plugins
Most of the media players in Fedora support the use of plugins to add support for additional media formats and sound output systems. Some use powerful backends like the
gstreamer package to handle media format support and sound output. Fedora offers plugin packages for these backends and for individual applications, and third parties may offer additional plugins to add even greater capabilities.