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Feisty Fawn and media formats

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n case you haven’t heard, the new version of Ubuntu, 7.04 Feisty Fawn is out. One of the new features Jacob told us about in his introduction was a new codec download feature. He explains it well, so I’ll reiterate that here:

Another addition, and the best in my opinion, is the option to automatically install the required codecs for a video file when you try to play it. You simply click to open the file, and if you do not have the codecs installed, Totem (the movie player) will ask you if you would like them to be installed for you. Click Yes, check a box, and click Install. You now have all of the codecs you need to play movies, including WMV9 (GStreamer only) without the need of the w32codecs package.

Curious as to how this works, I fired up my Ubuntu Feisty virtual machine and headed over to a site with a QuickTime video on it. Here are my experiences of this new feature.

It wouldn’t play in the browser, but I could easily extract the URL of the .mov file and paste it into the Totem movie player.

On realising the format, Totem displayed this dialogue box:

Full Story.

Also on same site:

Chances are, if you use Debian, Ubuntu, or Freespire, you’ve heard of it: APT. But what is it?

APT stands for Advanced Packaging Tool, and was developed for the Debian Linux distribution. Basically, it allows you to install anything supported on your system with one line in the terminal.

Most people prefer to use a GUI for this type of thing. Many APT-based distributions also have a GUI for installing and removing applications. This usually is Synaptic. Many other GUI’s are also derived from Synaptic: The Update Manager and Add/Remove applications both use it as a backend.

APT, unlike a vanilla RPM distribution, uses things called repositories to find packages you can install. Many of them are turned on by default in a distribution. You can add more yourself, as well as disable any that you don’t like.

Most of the time, you can manage your software by using Synaptic, Adept, or another GUI. But what if you boot your system in failsafe mode, and there isn’t one?

Mastering APT.

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