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Re: Kaffeine codecs

2008/10/7 kwhiskerz <kwhiskerz gmail com>:
> =?UTF-8?Q?Joonas_Saraj=C3=A4rvi?= wrote:
>> I'd recommend against bypassing package management. And also against
>> installation of binary-only codecs (Isn't the tarball essentially the
>> infamous w32codes package?). Especially when there is very little
>> content that can't be decoded just with the open source decoders from
>> livna.org.
> Interesting. I seem to recall having tried that and NOT being able to access some multimedia file, but I can no longer say for certain. I will try in Fedora 11, I guess, as I already have my setup for Fedora 10. It would be better if you were right, of course, as it is one less hassle to deal with.

I remember when I first starter using GNU/Linux in about 2004, that it
wasn't that simple to play WMV files, for example. Most of the other
video formats worked fine, though. The solution was to find and
install the w32codecs package for Debian, which wasn't included in any
official repositories. This worked, but I didn't think it was good as
a long term solution.

At some point I found out that most video files, including Wmv, could
easily be played even without the w32codecs package. I think there may
still be some formats that aren't supported by open source decoders,
but at least for me they have been very rare.

> Even if the codecs are not required for xine, as a xine nonfree package is supplied by livna, what about mplayer? These codecs are actually intended for mplayer and there is no livna mplayer nonfree package that I ever recall having seen.

Mplayer itself is not included at all in Fedora, so it probably just
doesn't have any -nonfree suffix in the livna package name. I haven't
done any hacks, just installed it, and for what I can tell by quick
testing, it seems very able to play most of the video formats.

> So, why are these codecs infamous? I have been using them for years and have had very few multimedia complaints, compared to all of the laments I have read accompanying every new release of Fedora and the alleged lack of multimedia support.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but AFAIK W32codecs are:
- Binary-only
- Non-redistributable (would otherwise be available in some
easier-to-find repositories)
- CPU architecture dependent
- Proprietary

I much prefer using free software that I can easily install from a
well-known package repository.

But well, I don't really know if w32codecs still offer something the
easier solutions don't. I just know that I haven't needed any decoders
besides those in Livna, for years.

Joonas Sarajärvi
muepsj gmail com

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