Linux Codecs – Just Ask Matt

Today, Jak writes:

Matt,

I am using Freespire 1.0 something and its supposed to do a wireless card easily, yet it’ still kludgy…

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know how happy I am to see Linux Fanatics back up and running. I’m still a newbie.

I tried several Fedora distros and they were too far ahead knowledge wise for this Windows Vista hater. Freespire has been a great starting point for the jump to Linux. This newsletter has been a great support base in teaching myself Linux.

The only thing that Freespire (Debian base) won’t do well is to stream Internet TV stations from subscribed in2streams.com. I was able to get Mplayer in Fedora to run it somewhat clumsily. Freespire is preloaded with Mplayer but has so many audio and video codecs and drivers it has been overwhelming trying to juggle these to work. In2streams states it doesn’t yet support Linux but will in the future. Please consider a future article regarding configuring codecs in Linux for downstreaming video and audio.

Thanks again for a great column and keep it going for I’m sure there are a lot more newbies trying to switch from Windows to Linux.

Regards,

Jak

I would agree with your statement regarding Freespire and wireless, but in my opinion, this is what I like to call the “big denial.” See, despite what major Linux distribution sponsors would have you believe, we are still light years behind OS X and Windows with regard to wireless support. In my opinion, this stems from refusing to simply support the vendors that support us, rather than attempting to support every wireless card that comes in from the Windows side of the fence. This, by and large, is why Linux wireless support is generally poor. Also realize that the Linux Fanatics will likely be showing up soon to preach the goodness of Ubuntu and the Feisty Fawn inclusion of that ridiculous lie known as Network Manager. And for every user who has claimed to have had success with it, I can point to fifty that have seen it fail with chipsets that were working in the previous release of Ubuntu. It’s sad and I go off on it every chance I can because the dev team should be ashamed to pass this wireless hoax off as a “fix.” Just because the distro is free does not mean that crappy work should be called “good enough” from developers who choose to include a poorly designed networking utility.

I would also like to save some wasted time pointing out where I am wrong on this. To those of you who plan on commenting, this is not merely my sole opinion based on a couple of chipsets. No, this is based on hundreds of posts coming from pissed off Ubuntu users who are familiar with NDISWrapper among other band-aid solutions, that had working cards with Edgy. Sorry for the passionate feelings on this matter, moving on…

Aside from my unresolved anger with Ubuntu Feisty and Linux wireless as a collective whole, the codec issue you are seeing with that Web site mentioned above is purely something that the Webmaster can be faulted for. You might know of the problem as DRM. With that said, I am only assuming that DRM is the problem in this case, as you had stated that lack of Linux support was mentioned on the Web site itself. But I also found this interesting, as the Web site also claims that it provides support for VLC, which can easily be installed via CNR at any time.

Before writing off in2streams for Linux completely, go to Freespire’s CNR and try installing VLC to see if you have some success there. Just remember to install it with your browser closed, as it may cause problems when trying to view the offered media on the Web site in the future.

As for the future article on configuring codecs, I would do it the simple way – install EasyUbuntu or Automatix. Simple point and click installation of any codec you would possibly need, although in your case, I suspect that DRM is at work instead.

Do you have an Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Simply Mepis, Linspire/Freespire, or PCLinuxOS related question? Perhaps you are just burnt out on writing on the walls with crayons? Whatever the comments may be, drop me a line, and you too can “Just Ask Matt – Linux Edition!

[tags]Codecs, Linux[/tags]

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