Suggestions for Ubuntu Article

Eric Dunbar eric.dunbar at
Thu Jun 9 23:12:17 UTC 2005

On 6/9/05, Arjan Geven <arjangeven at> wrote:
> On 6/9/05, Brian Astill <bastill at> wrote:
> > On Wed, 8 Jun 2005 06:46 pm, Alexander Goncharenko wrote:
> > > But from the box it cant't play media files, so ....
> >
> > ... you are incorrect?
> > Ubuntu can indeed play media files "out of the box", but there IS a limit to
> > the types of files that can be played.  Perhaps you are trying to play some
> > obscure format?
> >
> Yeah, it plays .ogg perfectly, but who in the world uses THAT? You
> know it's better, I know it's better, but does the world know it?
> No... :-). So the world is stuck with a collection of mp3 songs they
> can't play out of the box with Ubuntu. The same goes for video and
> video-codecs.
> I think it's a point worth discussing (still) for new Ubuntu releases.
> Installing it isn't hard, but why does it have to be necessary in the
> first place? Try to explain that to someone who just comes from
> Windows. I think Alexander has a good point, but still, Ubuntu is
> ready for the world! :-D. (the new XP N version also has no
> out-of-the-box media support by the way, because media player is
> stripped out).
> Regards,
> Arjan

This is a dead horse (given the amount of flogging this topic has received).

But, unless someone's willing to pony up some money MP3 is NOT an
option for free software which does NOT have an immediate means of
making money (free both as in beer (which is borrowed only for as long
as it takes your kidney to break it down ;-) and as in speech). Yes,
you can download "free" MP3 players that are legal BUT, the "free" MP3
playing capacity is paid for either by advertisements or by having
enough users register to make "giving" away the licences to MP3

Linux (& Ubuntu specifically) doesn't usually make money off providing
such features, either through advertising eyeballs or through paid-for
registered users which is why the "free" (as in speech) portion of the
Linux universe cannot and do not provide MP3 playback (in
IP-restricted jurisdictions).

Somecorp like Real can give away a Linux version of RealPlayer that
plays MP3s because their presence in the Linux market is good for
their corporate image, and, because they derive income through
advertising or sales of services.


More information about the ubuntu-users mailing list