First and best way to learn linux basics is the "go and discover" way. If you don't understand something, read help, or use the man pages (in a shell/console type "man program" where program means the name of a prog). Use also the "program --help" command too. If you use your user and not root account, you cannot damage your linux, so don't be afraid of testing and trying out things. If you have some serious problems, just write here to LQ. In linux, just as in any other parts of life, there is a rule: the more you use, the more you know. If you really need a reading, than try this: http://www.linux.org/lessons/beginner/toc.html
And now about your media player: For playing music use Amarok or use xmms. Amarok is a very powerful music player with playlists, music database (collection), installable extra scripts, etc. XMMS does look like a winamp with a classic skin, it can use winamp skins, and you can import the equalizer presets from winamp, and it also has a lot of functions, and plugins. For playing movies, use Xine, or MPlayer. They are both great, so you decide witch you will choose. Don't forget to install the codecs pack for both of them, for complete media support.
About installation: Your distro uses rpm packages, so you will need to search for these. For xine download the gui package too, to have a graphical interface. You must search for a yellowdog rpm source, or find out witch mayor distro's rpm is good for it. Hope I helped you. Good luck!