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Why is Movie Player in Linux so utterly worthless?

Posted on 2010-08-17
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Last Modified: 2013-12-16
Movie player (the default media player in Ubuntu) couldn't find a codec or play a movie it I locked it in a box full of horny codecs just looking for a night out on the town with a video player.

Double click on an xvid, divx, or whatever file, Movie Player opens up and stupidly asks: "Search for suitable plugin?" If you hit 'Search' it never finds anything.

Why?

mplayer from the command line works fine. VLC works fine.

Why does Movie Player suck so much?

Or.... what did I not configure so that it will play stuff?
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Question by:DrDamnit
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8 Comments
 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:csalaski
ID: 33461081
Are they flash movies? In Ubuntu, I can watch Flash videos using Flash Video Downloader from http://flashvideodownloader.org

I also have Adobe Flash installed as well.

I think I've only used Movie player to play wmv files.

I've downloaded a few different players through Ubuntu Software Center just to have alternatives if one


Do a search for gstreamer in Ubuntu Software Center make sure Movie Player, GStreamer, and all the Gstreamer plugins are installed.
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:csalaski
ID: 33461094
Btw, the website for the default movie player with documentation is here.

http://projects.gnome.org/totem/#codecs
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LVL 18

Accepted Solution

by:
TobiasHolm earned 500 total points
ID: 33461284
Hi!

You need to add codecs to your Movie Player! Read: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/RestrictedFormats

Click on the "Click here to install the ubuntu-restricted-extras package" link on the page I linked to!

Regards, Tobias
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Expert Comment

by:ChiefoftheChiss
ID: 33461865
LOL! love your question btw!
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LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:torimar
ID: 33463062
It is not the movie player that sucks, and it is not Ubuntu.
There are several codecs (like mpeg) that are not free but proprietary, i.e. owned by a corporation or research institute. Integrating proprietary software into Ubuntu would mean a breach of the Ubuntu license, so it does not come with these things preinstalled, but leaves the installation to the user.
The same applies, by the way, to Flash, Java, Nvidia drivers and the dvd codecs required to playback video DVDs, to name just the most prominent examples. Experience Ubuntu users know this and the first thing they do after a fresh install is to get that restricted proprietary stuff.
You could use a HowTo like this one: http://howtoforge.com/the-perfect-desktop-ubuntu-10.04-lucid-lynx

If you want to run an Ubuntu without this hassle, simply use Mint: http://linuxmint.com/
It is basically Ubuntu with some improvements and a different licence, so it comes with all the restricted stuff installed out of the box.
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LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:torimar
ID: 33463247
ps:

The quick way of fixing this "annoyance" is of course the one linked to by TobiasHolm above.
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LVL 32

Author Closing Comment

by:DrDamnit
ID: 33467365
Exactly what I needed. :-)
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LVL 32

Author Comment

by:DrDamnit
ID: 33467388
PS. I love Ubuntu. I figured that there was something I was missing, I just didn't know what.

In fact, all my servers are Ubuntu with the exception of the Exchange box.

I am slowly moving to Ubuntu as a primary desktop platform as well. Since I spend so much time in the shell, silly things like "Movie Player" have escaped my attention.

@ChiefoftheChiss:

I aim to entertain. :-)
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