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Old 02-04-2008, 07:16 PM   #1
KeeperOS
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Registered: Mar 2007
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Question What's the easiest multimedia-wise distro right now?


I'm not sure whether I'm being clear although it's fairly simple.

(Mostly) all major distros can do almost everything the other distros do.
It's just a matter of how much you have to work for it post-install.

Well, in my case I have an Athlon 64 X2 6000+ and an ATI Radeon x1950Pro (a well know linux UN-friendly graphics card) and I'm looking for THE distro that will work the best with minimum effort for the most complete multimedia support/experience.

MP3s, OGGs, AACs and even more importantly, protected DVDs, avis, mp4s, Matroska files with h264 HD video, multiple audio streams and a-ss/ssa styled subtitles with embedded fonts or VodSub subtitles...
You get the idea.

It doesn't HAVE to have it out-of-the-box as long as it'll be easy and relatively fast to get it working, i.e. install one or two meta-packages with all the configs already in place instead of DLing and installing 10+ packages and then setting up each one...

Also, it's not enough to be ABLE to play it but also play it properly i.e. being able to make use of the more-than-enough hardware capabilities of my CPU and GPU instead of fighting with generic vesa drivers and the like.

(I think it goes without saying that I don't give a damn about the "x" or "y" driver being non-free as long as it works right...)


Thanks in advance!

CheerS!
 
Old 02-04-2008, 07:33 PM   #2
BrianK
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Registered: Mar 2002
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For some reason, I don't like to recommend Ubuntu. I think it's because it hosed a few of my machines when it did an upgrade through its own upgrade manager.

That said, I run Ubuntu on my laptop & am pretty impressed with how functional it is out of the box. I know there are a few other distros made for multimedia stuff, but as a complete package, Ubuntu is relatively easy to setup, has a great package manager & can play back most multimedia you'll find.

Between ubuntu, mplayer, vlc, and djv, you should be able to do most, if not all, of what you want.

Personally, I prefer Debian, but it takes a little more work to get going vs Ubuntu.

Last edited by BrianK; 02-04-2008 at 07:36 PM.
 
Old 02-04-2008, 07:56 PM   #3
jailbait
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Registered: Feb 2003
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Distribution: Debian Jessie, Linux Mint 17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeeperOS View Post
I'm not sure whether I'm being clear although it's fairly simple.

(Mostly) all major distros can do almost everything the other distros do.
It's just a matter of how much you have to work for it post-install.

Well, in my case I have an Athlon 64 X2 6000+ and an ATI Radeon x1950Pro (a well know linux UN-friendly graphics card) and I'm looking for THE distro that will work the best with minimum effort for the most complete multimedia support/experience.

MP3s, OGGs, AACs and even more importantly, protected DVDs, avis, mp4s, Matroska files with h264 HD video, multiple audio streams and a-ss/ssa styled subtitles with embedded fonts or VodSub subtitles...
You get the idea.

It doesn't HAVE to have it out-of-the-box as long as it'll be easy and relatively fast to get it working, i.e. install one or two meta-packages with all the configs already in place instead of DLing and installing 10+ packages and then setting up each one...

Also, it's not enough to be ABLE to play it but also play it properly i.e. being able to make use of the more-than-enough hardware capabilities of my CPU and GPU instead of fighting with generic vesa drivers and the like.

(I think it goes without saying that I don't give a damn about the "x" or "y" driver being non-free as long as it works right...)


Thanks in advance!

CheerS!
I recommend the distribution that I am using, Debian 4.0. The things that Debian has going for it which apply to your needs are that Debian has a huge repository of application packages, probably the largest of any distribution, and that the default configurations are excellent. I rarely have to change the default configure in a package that I download from Debian.

So you can install Debian and run the gauntlet of whether or not Debian supports your particular collection of hardware. If it installs successfully then you are in business. You start the GUI version of the package manager which is called synaptic. In synaptic you select the multimedia section and synaptic will list 536 multimedia packages available. The ones installed on your machine are checked in green. Those available but not installed are checked in white. You go through the list and check the additional multimedia packages that you want installed and then click on "apply". Debian will download and install all of your new choices. (It may also offer to upgrade some of your installed packages whether or not the potential upgrade package is in multimedia or not.) The installed packages will have very reasonable defaults and will at least work without you having to fiddle with the config files.

Ubuntu is based on Debian but I am don't think that the Ubuntu application collection is as extensive as Debian's. So if you run into snags in your Debian install then I suggest that you try Ubuntu or Kubuntu. The difference is that by default Ubuntu installs a Gnome desktop and Kubuntu installs a KDE desktop. In general, the Gnome default settings are better than the KDE default settings but if you decide to change your desktop settings then KDE is far easier and saner to make changes to than Gnome.

-------------------
Steve Stites
 
Old 02-04-2008, 10:01 PM   #4
KeeperOS
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Registered: Mar 2007
Posts: 11

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Thanks for the help.

Well, last time I tried it was early in Ubuntu 7.10 (about October to November) and it was a total mess.

My Radeon x1950 Pro (which is NOT the same as the 1900) was totally unsupported by both the O.S. and even ATI's own proprietary drivers so I ended up with a very fast machine that couldn't even play an h.264 matroska file in full screen, even with frame drops!!!

Now I don't expect to have the same performance as with the windows drivers but come on!!!
There's GOT to be sth more than that!!!

MPlayer DEFINITELY needed some fiddling too.
Supposedly it can play exactly what I ask in the OP but all I could get from it were some SRT-type semi-opaque subtitles that I needed to manually enable as well (instead of it auto-loading the default subs)...
Isn't there sth that has all those things configured from the get go?
 
  


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