Saturday, February 24, 2007

Ubuntu 7.04 Alpha - CNN (WMV) streaming video success

As another example of what I've missed, and how much Ubuntu has progressed, I was able to watch CNN videos for the first time on a Linux distribution. It's a feature I don't even have on any of my Suse installations.

So what? Because if the Linux desktop boosters every want a credible alternative to Windows and Apple's OS X, then it had better learn to do what they do now so effortlessly. And streaming media content is one of the key features that everybody takes for granted and notices not by the inclusion, but by their absence.

I can't tell you exactly how I was able to enable this. I know it wasn't working when I first installed 7.04. But while attempting to make DVDs work, I did install GStreamer extra plugins, VLC media player, and Xine extra plugins. Somewhere within that mix was probably the enabling codec/player that allowed me to stream CNN video.

My next step is to see if I can easily install these packages as RPMs on Suse 10.2 and see if this same feature is enabled.

Final Thoughts

All is not peaches and cream with this. I went to Coming Soon's movie trailer page, and attempted to play back variously encoded content. I know already that Flash video plays great (via Comedy Central). WMV plays great. Real Player media, specifically version 4, did not play directly in the browser. Instead it was kicked out to Totem, where totem informed me it had no codecs to play the clip. Apple Quicktime doesn't play at all. It shows up in the browser as a black, silent square. This is just an alpha distribution. I'll be very interested in how it matures.


  1. Embedded multimedia plugins work as well in Edgy 6.10. Just install:

    sudo apt-get install totem-mozilla

  2. I was sure it did. Thanks!


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