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Claire

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« on: February 13, 2005, 05:27:56 pm »

There are days I don't understand why the whole world isn't rushing to Linux.

Then there's today.  :angry:

My DVD player bit the dust yesterday. I decided it was time to set up my laptop computer to play DVD movies (long overdue).

Downloaded mplayer. Tried to install with Fedora's package installer.

Long list of unsatisfied dependencies. Not word one about how to satisfy them. (Mandrake was much better at this.)

So.

Googled my way to an enthusiastic endorsement of a program called yum. Whoopee! A Linux installer that analyzes dependencies and satisfies them all while installing the package you want. Something for Linux that's EASY . What a concept.

Yum is not easy. (What else did I expect?) Although I already have it on my system, it takes another hour of Googling to get it working.

So. Yum works now. Zippo bang. It downloads and installs mplayer and all its dependencies for me. Am I a happy girl?

No.

Mplayer won't run.

There mplayer sits in the GUI's menus. But won't run from the menus. When I click, a tiny popup window appears for a nano second, then disappears so fast it's impossible to read whatever it said. Nothing more.

There it is in /usr/bin/ in the file browser. But when I click on it, it just sits there.

I type mplayer in at the command line. Thank you so much, I get an incomprehensible list of command-line options that mean exactly nothing to me. (And don't say man pages to me, oh please. Don't even say that terrible word "man.")

I go to the movie DVD in the drive, find the MPEG file and tell it to open with mplayer. Nada.

I try everything as user. I try it as root. Mplayer might as well have been stillborn.

I already know that this computer will play sound and video files. It plays CDs. It plays Flash animation. It plays realmedia. It plays MP3s. So it's not the computer. It's mplayer.

But I am out of Googleness. My Googling fingers are worn to a nub. I am lost in the wilderness of Linux, staggering, starving, dying!

Multimedia. This is one area that Bill Gates makes so, so, so simple. And Linux makes so hard I think I'll take up rappelling down glaciers to make life easier.

Help?

Claire
« Last Edit: February 13, 2005, 05:34:43 pm by Claire »
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Claire

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« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2005, 05:33:37 pm »

Addendum. One of you Chivarous Geeks once told me privately that I'd need to download DeCSS (?) decryption rpms to play commercial DVDs or Windows media on Linux. If yum failed to do that, then perhaps I still need to, somehow.

However, that wouldn't seem to understand why mplayer just sits there like a lump and won't open at all. Sigh.

Claire

Further addendum: A correspondent just sent me to a little online video clip (MPEG format). When I downloaded it, it gave me the option of using mplayer. I opted. Mplayer played the little clip just fine -- but still won't open on its own or play the movie that's in the DVD drive (also MPEG format). Whassupwiththis, anyway?
« Last Edit: February 13, 2005, 05:46:12 pm by Claire »
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Just as the flattery of friends often leads us astray, so the insults of enemies often do us good. -- St. Augustine, Confessions, Book IX, Chapter 8


When faith ceases to be a challenge to the standards of polite society, it is no longer, or has not yet become, faith. -- Donald Spoto, Reluctant Saint:  The Life of Francis of Assisi


My life is my message. -- Gandhi

Junker

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mplayer
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2005, 05:49:54 pm »

No help here. Sorry, Claire, but I'm in the same boat. I just the last few days installed a DVD player in my box, but haven't done much but google around looking for the program to play the movies. So far none of it looks good. So me too-- help!
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Claire

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« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2005, 05:56:26 pm »

Quote
No help here. Sorry, Claire, but I'm in the same boat. I just the last few days installed a DVD player in my box, but haven't done much but google around looking for the program to play the movies. So far none of it looks good. So me too-- help!
Sigh. Well, at least we can share the boat together, Junker.

Yes, I also noticed that none of the players really looked great. People recommend Xine, Ogle, and Mplayer most often, but each seems to have major drawbacks.

What's odd is that, here in 2005, the Linux players all seem to have the same drawbacks they had back in 2002, when there was a large spate of writings about them (each of those writings saying Linux was on the brink of becoming a good multimedia system, but not quite there yet). Three years. That's ancient history in computers and nothing seems to have improved greatly.

I chose Mplayer because it seemed to be the most versatile.

Let's hope one of the CGs has some pretty serious help.

Claire
« Last Edit: February 13, 2005, 05:57:18 pm by Claire »
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Just as the flattery of friends often leads us astray, so the insults of enemies often do us good. -- St. Augustine, Confessions, Book IX, Chapter 8


When faith ceases to be a challenge to the standards of polite society, it is no longer, or has not yet become, faith. -- Donald Spoto, Reluctant Saint:  The Life of Francis of Assisi


My life is my message. -- Gandhi

ZooT_aLLures

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« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2005, 06:34:12 pm »

Claire,

Try this

mplayer dvd://<track> [-dvd-device <device>]


example would be

mplayer dvd://1 -dvd-device /dev/hdc


I got this info from
http://www.mplayerhq.hu/DOCS/HTML/en/dvd.html
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Even some cowboy and indian outlaws in the 1800's eventually stopped sleeping under buffalo skins, and came to town to entertain paying customers. For some I imagine the bruising of their ego never healed.

We all have some scar tissue that never lets us completely forget the intent of the adventure.

Claire

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« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2005, 08:10:54 pm »

Quote
mplayer dvd://1 -dvd-device /dev/hdc
 
Thanks, ZooT. Your sample command seemed to fit my system to a T. But alas ...

Quote
[root@littledog ~]# mplayer dvd://1 -dvd-device /dev/hdc
MPlayer 1.0pre6-3.4.2 © 2000-2004 MPlayer Team
CPU: Intel Celeron 2/Pentium III Coppermine,Geyserville (Family: 6, Stepping: 3)Detected cache-line size is 32 bytes
CPUflags:  MMX: 1 MMX2: 1 3DNow: 0 3DNow2: 0 SSE: 1 SSE2: 0

Opening joystick device /dev/input/js0
Can't open joystick device /dev/input/js0 : No such file or directory
Can't init input joystick
Setting up LIRC support...
mplayer: could not connect to socket
mplayer: No such file or directory
Failed to open LIRC support.
You will not be able to use your remote control.
Playing dvd://1.
libdvdread: Using libdvdcss version 1.2.8 for DVD access
Reading disc structure, please wait...
There are 1 titles on this DVD.
There are 28 chapters in this DVD title.
There are 1 angles in this DVD title.
libdvdread: Invalid title IFO (VTS_01_0.IFO).
Cannot open the IFO file for DVD title 1.

Exiting... (End of file)

 :(  
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Just as the flattery of friends often leads us astray, so the insults of enemies often do us good. -- St. Augustine, Confessions, Book IX, Chapter 8


When faith ceases to be a challenge to the standards of polite society, it is no longer, or has not yet become, faith. -- Donald Spoto, Reluctant Saint:  The Life of Francis of Assisi


My life is my message. -- Gandhi

ZooT_aLLures

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« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2005, 11:17:28 pm »

Geez Claire,

a wander through the Mplayer Docs says that IFO files deal with subtitles

try adding the

-noautosub


flag to your commandline
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Even some cowboy and indian outlaws in the 1800's eventually stopped sleeping under buffalo skins, and came to town to entertain paying customers. For some I imagine the bruising of their ego never healed.

We all have some scar tissue that never lets us completely forget the intent of the adventure.

Leonidas the Younger

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« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2005, 11:33:15 pm »

Sorry to be of such little help, I use (quite happily) xine for all of my video needs, including a dvd player.

I'll check it out tommorow when I'm not so tired, though.

-- Leonidas
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rockchucker

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« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2005, 11:53:08 pm »

Regrettably, you're right on the money, Claire.

I wish I could help more, but this is a case where Fedora really falls down. One thing is that, since it's a "bleeding edge" distribution, lots of "extras" don't come out until a while after the release of a new release.

But, there is some hope. One thing to do is to point yum at the "extras" repository. Example: in /etc/yum.repos.d/ create the file fedora-extras.repo, containing:
Code: [Select]
name=Fedora Extras - $releasever - $basearch
baseurl=http://download.fedora.redhat.com/pub/fedora/linux/extras/$releasever/$basearch/
gpgcheck=1
gpgkey=http://download.fedora.redhat.com/pub/fedora/linux/extras/RPM-GPG-KEY-Fedora-Extras

[extras-debug]
name=Fedora Extras - $releasever - $basearch - Debugging packages
baseurl=http://download.fedora.redhat.com/pub/fedora/linux/extras/$releasever/$basearch/debug/
gpgcheck=1
gpgkey=http://download.fedora.redhat.com/pub/fedora/linux/extras/RPM-GPG-KEY-Fedora-Extras
enabled=0
That'll get you more available packages.

Also (and I haven't messed with this yet), the other place for "extra" Fedora packages is Livna. I haven't looked too much there, but they too are getting their packages brought up to snuff for FC3. Livna will work with either yum or up2date.

And, finally, there's Fresh RPMs. It isn't, AFAIK, accessible via up2date or yum. But I admit I haven't really looked into that -- if it is, it isn't obvious from their website.

What I typically do, is download the rpm files I want from Freshrpms, provided I know what it is I want. Sometimes, the list of failed dependencies isn't exactly informative regarding what RPM file you need to get file flizwhoopher.so, but then you knew that.  :P

And yes, Freshrpms has libdvdcss. I'm surprised the MPAA hasn't stomped on them. And yes, you need it.

Here's a list of everything you'll need to run mplayer without it bitching too much.
Code: [Select]
libpostproc-1.0-0.14.pre6a.1.fc3.fr.i386.rpm
mplayer-1.0-0.14.pre6a.1.fc3.fr.i386.rpm
libdvdread-0.9.4-6.1.fc3.fr.i386.rpm
libdvdcss-1.2.8-4.1.fc3.fr.i386.rpm
libXvMCW-0.9.3-1.1.fc3.fr.i386.rpm
libmad-0.15.1b-3.1.fc3.fr.i386.rpm
xvidcore-1.0.3-1.1.fc3.fr.i386.rpm
lame-3.96.1-2.1.fc3.fr.i386.rpm
aalib-1.4.0-5.1.fc3.fr.i386.rpm
mplayer-fonts-1.1-2.fr.noarch.rpm
lirc-0.6.6-4.1.fc3.fr.i386.rpm
lzo-1.08-4.1.fc3.fr.i386.rpm
faad2-2.0-2.20040923.1.fc3.fr.i386.rpm
IIRC, all of these are available from Freshrpms. Sounds as if you have some of these already. Ignore the warnings about missing stuff like the IRC thingie, unless you have your machine setup to use an infrared remote.

Also, AFAIK, once you have all those goodies in place, you'll have gmplayer, which is the GUI front-end for mplayer. Makes life easier. You might want to also get mplayer-skins (also from Freshrpms, IIRC), which is just a collection of different configurations for the gmplayer control panel. My opinion is they all such, but then I've never been on of the "the computer interface ought to look just like a compnent" types anyway.

The syntax for mplayer is indeed frightfully obtuse. I think the reason is that it really isn't intended to be used without the gui.

One other tip. I was watching "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" on the Linux machine, as a test, and what I got was the movie with the director's (and somebody else's) voiceover commentary. On my DVD player, it's pretty obvious how to turn that stuff off. In mplayer, you have to right-click on the gui control panel, and select ... OK, I don't remember. I'll just pop a DVD in here ...

Well. using the funky little underlined up-arrow thingy, it doesn't seem to want to let me open /dev/hdd. So, I right-click on the control panel, choose DVD, then Open Disk. Then right-click again, choose DVD, then "audio languages" and change to the other "english".

So, it isn't up to working as well as my DVD player, at least for watching the movie. But mplayer has a lot of cool advantages, and that's why the command line is so cluttered with options. For example, extracting just the audio from the movie, and saving it to disk, or ( /me looks around  warily for any MPAA agents
 :ph34r: ) ripping the movie to disk, or capturing a seqence of frames.

And oh, BTW, Freshrpms also has the MP3 library you need to have XMMS play MP3 files, since RedHat has caved to Fraunhofer on the patent thing. Well, I guess I can't blame them, they have to worry about their stockholders.
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rockchucker

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« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2005, 01:56:31 am »

Also, you probably should hit the download site and grab the extra codecs, otherwise mplayer will barf on newer WMV files.

And, BTW, yum works well for a lot of things, but it sucks for doing searches -- at least for people like me on dialup. I tried a "yum search [regex]" and it started downloading megabytes of metadata. I dunno why it doesn't just send the query up to the repositories, but I guess that'd be too easy or something.

Update: The "essential" codec package doesn't contain codecs for the latest WMV format (or mplayer can't find them? I didn't have any trouble on my old RH8 box). The US FTP Mirror has the "all" codec tarball. Oh buggers! The README file for the essential codec package is wrong. It says to copy the files to /usr/local/lib/codecs/ but it should be /usr/local/lib/win32/ at least for some of the files. Maybe all of them. I don't know -- I just copied the .dll files from /usr/local/lib/codecs/ to /usr/local/lib/win32/ and my WMV files play OK now.

I always extract the tarballs in a temp directory first, and see the README files. But, as I just discovered, unfortunately, take them with a grain of salt, and be sure to look for pathnames in the error messages.

I hate this crap, because I wind up with files in places where I don't need them to be.

Oh, and remember, once you've created /usr/local/lib/codecs/ and/or /usr/local/lib/win32/, to do a chmod 755 on the directory files, to all users can read files in those directories. I also did a chmod 755 on the files in those directories, although I don't know whether they need to be executable. or not.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2005, 02:18:57 am by rockchucker »
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Claire

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« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2005, 07:00:23 am »

Rockchucker,

Thanks for all of the above. Looking at the list of dependencies you include  :blink:  I get a sense of deja vu. Familiar, they are. I'd have sworn that those were the files (or ones very much like them) that yum grabbed and installed along with mplayer.

And I did configure yum to visit Fresh RPMs, along with several other repositories (though I don't know from which one it actually grabbed its packages).

Alas, my next step is to re-install Fedora. The OS was great, fine, wonderful for the first few weeks, but it's gradually become corrupted. I'm getting several screen freezes a day now, and on boot it wants me to "run fsck manually" and clean up literally 100s of errors about every other time.

So I'm going to take care of that first, then perhaps tackle mplayer again.

The thing is, though, as much as I appreciate your digging deep and offering so much advice, what I'm really looking for isn't a way to hack and finagle mplayer into working. (And oh, cuss, do I hate hearing once again that the docs on some Linux program contain misinformation so the user has to go out and figure what the docs should have said instead.)

What I'm really looking for is software I can just install and use.

I know that notion probably inspires some tech-heads to ROFL or snort in scorn. But this little desktop user finds that a perfectly reasonable concept.  :huh:

Lot of good help you offered there, though. And once I've re-Fedoraed, I may get the courage to come back to it.

Claire
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When faith ceases to be a challenge to the standards of polite society, it is no longer, or has not yet become, faith. -- Donald Spoto, Reluctant Saint:  The Life of Francis of Assisi


My life is my message. -- Gandhi

Leonidas the Younger

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« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2005, 07:14:15 am »

Quote
Alas, my next step is to re-install Fedora. The OS was great, fine, wonderful for the first few weeks, but it's gradually become corrupted. I'm getting several screen freezes a day now, and on boot it wants me to "run fsck manually" and clean up literally 100s of errors about every other time.

??!????!??!????!

&*^* *^*&) !!&(* 9(!)(@) !)(*)*!( !!!!!

Fedora has descended THAT far down?

WTF have they done to linux??!???!

Does Bill Gates secretly own RedHat or something?

Might I (yet again) suggest Debian? :)

-- Leonidas
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-- What have you *DONE* for freedom today?
-- Collectives may exist under individualism, but individuals are not suffered to exist under collectivism.
-- I don't beg anyone for my freedom any more.  It isn't theirs to give me.  It's mine to take and to live. - Lightning.
-- Educated men are as much superior to uneducated men as the living are to the dead. - Aristotle

Claire

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« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2005, 08:54:00 am »

Quote
Does Bill Gates secretly own RedHat or something?

Might I (yet again) suggest Debian? :)
 
Sigh. Leonidas, you may indeed suggest Debian -- and I might even follow that suggestion shortly.

I just did the re-install, which I have to say was an extremely smooth and quick one. Thanks to having /home and /data on separate, untouched partitions, Fedora came back up with everything intact from email files to proxy and cookie settings for Firefox. I'll have to reinstall a few extras like Real Player and Flash, but no sweat.

It's possible that I did something to screw up Fedora -- though I don't know what that might be. I haven't done any serious system hacking and have installed only a bare minimum of apps. Can't put the blame entirely on Microsoftian black-ops agents infiltrating the rebel Penguinistas. But yes, the OS did destabilize within a month of installation. Very unLinuxlike behavior.

If Fedora shows signs of instability again, I'll try Debian or SuSE. (Mandrake, my original and old favorite Linux, won't work on this machine ever since they went from 9.x to 10.x)

Claire
« Last Edit: February 14, 2005, 08:56:58 am by Claire »
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Just as the flattery of friends often leads us astray, so the insults of enemies often do us good. -- St. Augustine, Confessions, Book IX, Chapter 8


When faith ceases to be a challenge to the standards of polite society, it is no longer, or has not yet become, faith. -- Donald Spoto, Reluctant Saint:  The Life of Francis of Assisi


My life is my message. -- Gandhi

ZooT_aLLures

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« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2005, 11:12:58 am »

Hey Claire,

Just fer shitzn'gigglez.....did any of the goodies the linux fairy brought have mplayer on them?
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Even some cowboy and indian outlaws in the 1800's eventually stopped sleeping under buffalo skins, and came to town to entertain paying customers. For some I imagine the bruising of their ego never healed.

We all have some scar tissue that never lets us completely forget the intent of the adventure.

rockchucker

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« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2005, 11:33:38 am »

Quote
Alas, my next step is to re-install Fedora. The OS was great, fine, wonderful for the first few weeks, but it's gradually become corrupted. I'm getting several screen freezes a day now, and on boot it wants me to "run fsck manually" and clean up literally 100s of errors about every other time.
Regrettably, I have to tell to be a little less suspicious of the OS and other software, although it's possible that there's where the problems lie.

Fedora Core 2 had a reputation for being unstable, and FC3 by all accounts I've read is much improved. My own experience is that FC3 is very solid.

In particular, having it tell you to run a filesystem check is something you should pay attention to. Hardware does fail, and it'd be a real shame to have some intermittent error in a disk drive or controller escalate to a major failure resulting in a loss of data. The kernel developers exercise great care in the pieces that deal with disk drives. Since the Fedora installer doesn't provide the options of using the slightly less mainstream filesystems, I have to assume you're using ext3, which is very stable. I can't say it's bug-free, but it's just ext2 with journaling added onto it and ext2 has been solid for years.

I suggest you log in as root once a day and check your local e-mail. The reason being that Fedora sets up various chron jobs to scan the system logs and produce reports of things of particular note which appear in the system logs. You might even scan /var/log/messages from time to time for any error messages regarding filesystem or disk problems.

I understand the frustration factor, but it's not a good idea to just attribute the system instability you've described to Fedora. And when I read a comment like "Fedora has descended THAT far down?" and "WTF have they done to Linux"  I have to stop and say, "Back up the wagon here and don't jump to conclusions".

And also don't forget the Fedora is by definition a bleeding-edge distribution. It's prpose in life, from RedHat's point of view, is a that it's a sort of proving ground for the latest stuff. Yes, it's also a "community based" distribution. So maybe it isn't a good choice for the "just plug it in and have it work" installation.
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... it is poor civic hygiene to install technologies that could someday
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Put a little birdhouse in your soul. -- TMBG

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