Multimedia plans for Edgy

Dave Dodge dododge at
Mon Jun 5 21:38:15 UTC 2006

On Sat, Jun 03, 2006 at 09:46:54AM +0200, Gauvain Pocentek wrote:
> 3. Other proposition(s) for multimedia?

I'll just throw out some random thoughts from a user perspective.  I'm
running the amd64 load on an SMP system with two video cards and three
screens.  Here's my current experience:

  - mplayer: This is the only thing I've found that will consistently
    play flv files, though even then I think seeking results in a
    crash.  I don't use it for much else because it consistently gets
    the aspect ratio wrong and stretches things too wide.

  - vlc: This was my preferred player for video files for a while.
    Recently its full-screen mode no longer covers the panel and
    toolbar.  Also, its keyboard handling is randomly buggy, for
    example sometimes it simply stops responding to keyboard actions,
    or responds to them incorrectly.  For example if I try to change
    the volume it sometimes jumps forward in the file instead.

  - xine (custom-built from November 2005): My current preference for
    video.  An annoyance is that quicktime H.264 files randomly
    segfault at startup, but if I try starting the same file a few
    times it eventually works.  It also sometimes goes into fullscreen
    mode on the wrong display, unless I explicitly move the window

  - xmms: I use it for my ripped CD collection, mostly because I'm
    already familiar with it.  It has trouble with non-English
    characters and even simple accented letters display as garbage.
    Interestingly, the tooltip for the running xmms in the panel does
    display non-English track names (even Kanji) properly.

I have no strong opinions about other players, though I have one hard
and fast rule:

  It MUST be possible to install the libraries and standalone player
  WITHOUT getting a Firefox plugin.

My experience with browser plugins is uniformly, consistently,
repeatedly, completely, terrible.  It ranges from slow page display to
browser crashes to X server lockups.  In fact I don't think I've ever
actually seen one work properly on this system.  Any package that
includes a media plugin will be immediately uninstalled.

                                                  -Dave Dodge

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