The October 2004 issue of Linux Magazine (available online at http://www.linux-mag.com/2004-10/) showed how to keep Fedora up-to-date using the yum, up2date, and apt-get tools. It also highlighted some additional plug-ins and applications that you could download from third-party repositories to add crucial multimedia functions otherwise missing in the distribution.
This month, let’s revisit those software packages in more detail. With a little tweaking, you’ll have a complete audio and video extravaganza. And if you’re a Red Hat Enterprise Workstation 4 (RH4) user, you’ll find (for the most part) that what works for Fedora Core 3 (FC3) also works for RH4 as well.
We’ve got a lot of software to install, so let’s get cracking.
If you don’t yet have APT installed, get it now, because it’s going to make your life a lot easier. If you’re using RH4 or FC3, you can download it from the DAG website at http://dag.wieers.com/packages/apt/. (Read more about DAG in the sidebar “Dig DAG.”)
DAG is part of a new file repository network known as RPMForge, which includes FreshRPMS, dries, DAG and PlanetCCRMA. Not only does this network provide the added packages that you need for multimedia and all kinds of other good stuff, but it also serves as a FC3 update mechanism for the base operating system. Once you have this version of APT, updates are a breeze. Issuing apt-get update; apt-get upgrade from the command-line will bring your system completely up-to-date.
At the time of this writing, the latest version of APT was apt-0.5.15cnc6-4.1.fc3.rf.i386.rpm, but grab whatever is the latest one available for FC3.
If you’re using Firefox as your web browser, click on “Tools, Downloads, Open” and click on the APT RPM file. Follow the prompts to install the package on your system. If you aren’t signed in as the root user, the Fedora package manager prompts for the root password.
If you’re using RH4, make sure to download the file made specifically for that distribution. There are some other gotchas for RH4; for more information, see the sidebar “Configuring APT for Red Hat Enterprise Linux.”
Configuring APT for Red Hat Enterprise Linux
If you’re using Red Hat Enterprise Workstation 4 (RH4) and the RH4 version of DAG’s APT package, some of the APT sources for RPMForge are commented out, such as the ones for “OS,” or operating system updates for Fedora Core 3.Do not enable the FC3 OS updates, because it could corrupt your RH4 install.
Having said that, you can enable the regular DAG FC3 feed in /etc/apt/sources.list.d/dag.list as follows:
### Dag RPM Repository for Fedora Core rpm http://apt.sw.be fedora/3/en/i386 dag
### Dag RPM Repository for Red Hat Enterprise Linux rpm http://apt.sw.be redhat/el4/en/i386 dag
Here, both the FC3 and RH4 repositories are enabled. If you don’t turn both of them on, you won’t get access to some of the extra multimedia goodies built originally for FC3. Capiche?
I Want My MP3!
Now that APT is installed, open a terminal window, become root, and issue the following (rather long) command:
This installs the X Multimedia System, the MP3, Flac, AAC, and WMA extensions for XMMS, a command-line MP3 decoder, the lame MP3 encoder engine, Grip, a GTK+- based CD ripper and MP3 encoder program, and Rhythmbox, an MP3/CD jukebox program with iPod connectivity. All of these should show up in your respective KDE and GNOME menus under “Sound and Video.”
XMMS in and of itself has a lot of extra add-ons available, so if you want all of those as well, run apt-get install synaptic. Synaptic is a GUI-based front end to APT, and allows you to do visual searches on names of packages. If you do a search on xmms, you’ll see all the extra stuff you can add in.
Gimme My Video!
For video/movie file support, the procedure is slightly more complicated.
First, install the base support files for the players:
This gives you the Mplayer application, the Xine DVD/video player, and the Xine multimedia libraries, the gxine player for GNOME, the Kaffeine media player for KDE, the DIVX MPEG4 video codec, the Quicktime audio codec, RealVideo support, and browser plugins for Internet videos (such as for the movie trailers at http://www.apple.com/trailers).
That’s a lot of software, but you need more. You need a ton of codecs from Windows that are needed to support a whole bunch of video and audio file formats. But, don’t fret — you’re almost done.
Fire up the web browser and skeedaddle over to http://mplayerplug-in.sourceforge.net/download.php. Click on the RPM link for Fedora Core 3 and follow the prompts to install the file. (You can also use apt-get install mplayerplug-in to install the one on RPMforge, but some brief testing yielded some problems.)
Next, fire up Firefox, go to http://www1.mplayerhq.hu/homepage/design7/codecs.html, and download the “all” codecs package. At the time of this writing, the filename was all-20050115.tar.bz2. Save the file to your home directory, cd to your home directory, and then unpack the file as follows:
$ bzip2 –d all-20050115.tar.bz2 $ tar xvf all-20050115.tar
This creates a subdirectory called all-20050115/. With your favorite file manager, change the name of that directory to codecs. Next, copy or move that directory to /usr/local/lib/. Next, issue the following commands from your terminal window:
% cd /usr/lib % ln –s /usr/local/lib/codecs win32
This last step provides codec support for certain applications that expect the codecs to be in the older /usr/lib/win32/ directory standard location as opposed to /usr/local/lib/codecs/.
Congratulations, you’ve now got enough multimedia capability to run your own state of the art digital movie theatre, a Tokyo nightclub, and U2’s next world tour.
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