Nice to hear you've been able to install a program from source
If your XMMS is freezing, you might want to look for some other sound problems, or select another sound output device in the xmms options... but honestly, I don't hope your entire computer freezes by running XMMS.
If you want to be able to uninstall a program later, use the "checkinstall" program. instead of "make install", you can run "checkinstall", and it will create an RPM (or dep/tgz) package for you
it needs to be installed from source first though
sometimes, you need to enable extra features for the ./configure script. type "./configure --help" for more info. most features are very standard, so you don't need to read everything exactly. stuff like --enable-... can be cool.
quickly reading the README and INSTALL files can be usefull too