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Old 08-19-2012, 06:17 AM   #1
Harryuk
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Using Windows Files under Linux


Hello,

I have an old Pc using WinXP. I intend to reformat the drive and ultimately use it to store & play audio & video files.

If I reformat as Linux rather than Windows will I be able to play my existing avi/mkv/mp3s etc under Linux, without further conversion.

I dont see any benefit of running Linux and then setting up a 'virtual windows' to achieve this - tho I'm happy to be advised that I'm wrong on this point.

Thanks
Harry
 
Old 08-19-2012, 06:29 AM   #2
camorri
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Quote:
will I be able to play my existing avi/mkv/mp3s etc under Linux, without further conversion.
VLC media player will play all those formats. See this link.

-->http://www.afterdawn.com/guides/arch...o_play_mkv.cfm

Keep in mind linux is not windows. You are in for a learning curve, if you want to be successful. That curve will last several months, unless you have prior experience. You will have to have your files backup up somewhere, and after the install, restore the files. Linux is much easier on resources than windows, and can be very light weight if you not looking for eye candy. There are linux distros that specialize in media.
 
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Old 08-19-2012, 07:50 AM   #3
schneidz
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i hear linuxmint has patented codecs installed by default so you mite want to look into it. but if the country you live in respects software patents then you mite be violating local laws.
 
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Old 08-19-2012, 09:43 AM   #4
tommcd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harryuk View Post
If I reformat as Linux rather than Windows will I be able to play my existing avi/mkv/mp3s etc under Linux, without further conversion.
I dont see any benefit of running Linux and then setting up a 'virtual windows' to achieve this ...
Essentially all Linux distros can play these media formats.
Many distros include the codecs for playing these files on the install CD or DVD.
Some distros (e.g., Debian and Fedora) will require you to add additional repositories that include proprietary codecs and other proprietary software.

First, choose the distro you would like to use.
Then learn how to add codecs or players (like vlc) that can play these proprietary media formats. This is a minor issue that is easily resolved no matter what distro you use.
 
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Old 08-19-2012, 09:59 AM   #5
jefro
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It would be best to test them all before you attempt it. A live cd with vlc would be able to boot up and test your files.

I have only found some few files that linux can not run. They were home made ones created by a pinnacle brand video capture. Some odd codec used.
 
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Old 08-19-2012, 03:03 PM   #6
TroN-0074
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To test a live CD make sure is one of the distros that include the codecs in it. LinuxMint gives you the option to include the codecs during installation, same does Ubuntu, VectorLinux installs them for you as well.
mkv, avi, mp3, etc they all play just fine so you wont have any problem. so just install the OS already.

Back up everything before you decide to take the plunge. Make a recovery windows disk too, just in case you decide to go back. I dont know why someone would go back though.

Good luck to you!
 
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Old 08-19-2012, 03:11 PM   #7
jk07
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I just want to echo: if you decide to test with a live CD or DVD, make sure that the live CD contains the codecs otherwise you will think that Linux can't play the files when in reality all distros can play media files.
 
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Old 08-19-2012, 03:35 PM   #8
suicidaleggroll
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harryuk View Post
Hello,

I have an old Pc using WinXP. I intend to reformat the drive and ultimately use it to store & play audio & video files.

If I reformat as Linux rather than Windows will I be able to play my existing avi/mkv/mp3s etc under Linux, without further conversion.

I dont see any benefit of running Linux and then setting up a 'virtual windows' to achieve this - tho I'm happy to be advised that I'm wrong on this point.

Thanks
Harry
Keep in mind, these are not "Windows files". These are generic media files that are not associated with any operating system, similar to .jpg or .gif for images. You will need the necessary software/codes to play them in Linux, just like you needed the necessary software/codecs to play them in Windows or Mac. Some Linux distros will include the software by default, for the others you can just install vlc (this is the same vlc that many people install in Windows to play the same media files, since it has much better codec support than Microsoft's WMP).

Last edited by suicidaleggroll; 08-19-2012 at 03:37 PM.
 
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Old 08-20-2012, 03:45 PM   #9
Harryuk
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Thanks for all your replies.

It seems the situation is pretty much as I had assumed, I already use VLC so I know its pretty good and can cope with virtually any format - subject to codecs.

The Linux idea was initially provoked by a ZDNet article which talked about the ease of using 'Mint' or Ubuntu, as a better options than Win8.

Since this Pc is being replaced by a new one, I can play around on this without worrying to much if I screw up. So I guess I now know what I'll be doing on my holiday come Sept.

Harry
 
  


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