I was told all linux distributions come with broke multimedia because of copywrite laws.
No, that is not the case with all
distributions, but most of them. Basically if you create a distribution for yourself, nobody would even know if you made it include all the codecs right out of the box (for example).
Anyway, first of all you should use your distributions package manager to install XMMS (for example that program). It is a lot easier, and if XMMS has dependencies (other software it needs, but is not installed yet), package manager will download and install them too. Your distribution's package manager should be found in the menus, under "System" or "Configure" or something; here are a few examples:
- RedHats/Fedora (nowadays) uses usually yum
- Debian uses apt
- SuSE uses YaST
to handle software updates and installations (use it!)
- Archlinux uses pacman
That is the preferred way. If you intend to compile software, there are surely tons of documentation about how it is done. Search again
Even for installing software under SuSE using YaST is documented. There are probably numerous posts here at LQ. Search again
Basically I think (haven't used SuSE, but..correct me) you just open YaST, from within it somekind of package management or software updates or something like that, you should find a list of available programs there, click one you desire (XMMS) and apply changes. That's the procedure, rudely, almost on any graphical package tool. YaST has documentation too, so refer to it. XMMS should include mp3 etc. support, but it's available on the net too (check their site xmms.org).