[xubuntu-users] Multimedia support

Peter Flynn peter at silmaril.ie
Tue Sep 2 21:22:30 UTC 2014

Until now I have had little time or need for playing music or videos on
my Linux systems, and the few times I have tried, very little has
worked. Skype used to work, but has gone badly downhill recently, and
the SIP systems are unusable.

I would like to be able to:

1. play music I download or rip from my CDs (most of this actually
   works, except that I'm a classical music person, so the tagging
   is largely meaningless)

2. use a webcam to videochat with colleagues (usually via some kind
   of Flash-type net.meeting system) and with family (until now, Skype)

3. speak and hear for [2]

4. watch DVDs (and hear them too)

So my questions are (given that [1] isn't really a problem):

A. What webcam can I buy that is 100% guaranteed to work on a Linux
   system AND be recognised by Flash-based systems AND Skype? I have
   no problem if it needs some installation, libraries, and config, but
   these must be KNOWN to work, not experimental).

B. How do I make the built-in microphone on Dell laptops work? I have
   old D610s and D810s, but even borrowing colleagues' newer systems I
   have never found a laptop with a microphone that works under Linux.

C. How do I make Linux read modern DVDs (movies) and play them? I have
   several systems with DVD drives, but they only work for data DVDs;
   any attempt to use them for movies (lots of different player
   software tried) claims things like "can't find a chapter index" or
   "no readable files found". I'm not talking about de-regionalization
   (that would be nice too) but simply reading a DVD and playing it.

(I know my current D810 hardware is working, because the system was
running Windows 7 until I took it over, and all the above worked. AFAIK
there isn't anything physical in the box that is bound to Windows.)

Currently I am running Xubuntu 14.04 with Enlightenment, simply because
it's light enough to work very nicely on a D810. I'm in the market for a
new laptop, but I won't buy one unless A, B, and C are known to work (so
I'm looking for recommendations too).


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