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Old 03-31-2007, 07:57 PM   #1
CJ Chitwood
Registered: Dec 2006
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Distribution: Mint. Regrettably.
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Video Codecs and Various Players

Short version:
What's the difference between w32codecs and win32-codecs packages for Debian; and why, after installing every codec package I can get my hands on, can I still not play Xvid and DivX in Xine even though less-intuitive (read, barely functional) players like mplayer can?

Full version:
Hello all,

Running Debian Unstable i386-32, I have installed xine, mplayer, vlc, totem, and probably a couple others which I have forgotten since I never use them. I still have trouble viewing a few formats.

I still run into trouble playing about half of the videos I download. Sometimes xine will play them, often not... so I next try mplayer -- which often works, but when it doesn't I'll failsafe to one of the others I have until either I view it or I delete it.

However, there's not a doubt in my mind they would play in Windows, complete with Trojan installation.

So, I have found the packages for Debian called win32-codecs and w32codecs. One is larger than the other, but that's about all I know. Is the larger one better, or is it simply more bloated?

Even so, I had tried to install both, and one tried overwriting files belonging to the other. I decided after a few moments to simply force an overwrite to be sure that even if they were "overinstalled", I'd at least have all the codecs if, e.g., they each had some files the other didn't.

However, this did not solve the problem. Xine still will not play e.g. the Quicktime .mov files from my Kodak C700-series, nor will it play half of the Xvid and DivX files I download. I wouldn't mind using the others, if their controls were more intuitive (and mplayer's GUI completely does nothing at all on my machine)

Any advice?


CJ Chitwood

Last edited by CJ Chitwood; 03-31-2007 at 11:49 PM.
Old 03-31-2007, 08:48 PM   #2
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What's the difference between w32codecs and win32-codecs
Simple answer in & -

All silliness aside, where did you install the codecs? the usual place is /usr/lib/win32.

Have you checked your config settings for the various video players to see if they have the location of the win32 codecs?
Old 03-31-2007, 11:49 PM   #3
CJ Chitwood
Registered: Dec 2006
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Originally Posted by {BBI}Nexus{BBI}
where did you install the codecs? the usual place is /usr/lib/win32.
I installed from .deb packages; The packages' files were indeed installed to /usr/lib/win32. I since have removed both packages and reinstalled the larger of the two (I believe that was w32codecs). I do still have files there.

Earlier today, I made a simple spreadsheet. In each of two columns, I listed the files Synaptic reported for each package in the "Installed Files" section, and in a third column, I listed the files that actually existed in that location at that time. I expected an overlap, but there was none. For this reason, I believe that the Synaptic "Installed Files" listing I had was just the final outcome; that is to say, when the one package overwrote the other's files (when I did the --force-overwrite), it "took ownership" of this from Synaptic's (apt's?) point of view. Regardless, both were removed, and I installed the one that was larger (in hopes it is more complete as opposed to more bloated).

Originally Posted by {BBI}Nexus{BBI}
Have you checked your config settings for the various video players to see if they have the location of the win32 codecs?
I don't know the other players' settings yet since I haven't toyed with their interfaces enough. However, I do know that xine's settings allow for entry of the location of "Win32 codecs", and that field did indeed point to /usr/lib/win32, right where the packages were installed.

Oh, and a revision: I should have been a little more specific in my original post: I can play some DivX/Xvid in xine, just not all. I admittedly haven't taken the time to study what the videos I can't play have in common. However, I can't seem to play any QuickTime movies from my Kodak in xine whereas mplayer has no trouble with them whatsoever.

Edit to original post: I discovered a typo in the O.P. while authoring this reply. mplayer CAN play files that xine cannot. I typed cannot for each originally.

If I can figure out where, for example the QuickTime codecs that mplayer is using, are installed, then would it be bad to symlink to them inside the /usr/lib/win32 directory?


codec, divx, mplayer, w32codecs, win32, xine, xvid

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