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Old 09-10-2005, 04:58 AM   #1
Registered: Feb 2004
Location: 'Ol Blighty
Distribution: SLED 10, SUSE 10.3
Posts: 722

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For 9.3 users having probs with DVD playing

It definitely seems that some can get this to work while other can't so there really MUST be something slightly different in the base 9.3 distro depending on where you got it from.

I've removed EVERY POSSIBLE multimedia library with a fresh install, followed the various instructions to the letter and IT STILL DOESN'T WORK.

I did get the 10 Beta 4 to work so a far as I am concerened DVD playing on Rel 9.3 is a dead issue (for me) --especially with the release Candidate 1 of rel 10.0 now available and the whole multimedia issue seems to have been addressed by Novell (at last).

Here's an excerpt of a recent article on this issue.


Multimedia support... or lack of it
SUSE's disregard for proper multimedia playback has officially gotten out of hand. While I am not a lawyer and I confess to not knowing all of the specifics regarding the legalities of MP3 playback, the only other distribution guilty of crippling it (that I am aware of) is Red Hat. So what are the other distros (Linspire comes immediately to mind) doing to ensure their users are able to listen to their music and watch their videos? SUSE has really done a thorough job at crippling media playback in version 9.3 and it's a really sad thing to see. What's even worse is trying to fix it. Lack of a viable MP3 playback solution upsets me not only because I have tons of CDs I've ripped to MP3 over the years and can't even listen to them on this distro, but knowing that I could install practically any other distro on the planet and be back to normal again. The only way to play MP3 files on the newest SUSE release is to use the included RealPlayer 10. Nothing against Real's software, but it's not full-featured enough to be considered the default player for MP3 files, especially with the likes of Amarok on the system. Even the aging XMMS has more features.

From what it looks like, GStreamer, Arts, and aKode (the latter two are both included in the kdemultimedia packages) were all compiled without MP3 support. Unlike Red Hat, where all you need to do is install a single file to resolve, SUSE has crippled their distro in such a way that it's extremely difficult to fix. Considering the main components are part of a larger package set, you'd need to recompile KDE's multimedia section in order to properly right the situation. The problem with this would be that you're throwing off the balance of package management at that point, so future upgrades might have unpredictable results. It's also a nightmare to recompile these packages on SUSE, as you'll end up installing many development packages for the likes of KDE, Xorg, etc... not to mention the need to grab source code for other key pieces such as lame, flac, and taglib. The fastest way I was able to cure the problem was to grab the SUSE 9.2 kdemultimedia packages from a reliable KDE mirror. While this cured the problem temporarily, the next time I installed something from YaST, it reinstalled its multimedia packages. Frustrating.

This is especially concerning when you take a look at the way they are advertising this release. According to their PR material, SUSE 9.3 has Apple iPod support and that's a great thing because iPod is the hottest music player on the market these days, but what file format is most commonly found on iPods across the world? You guessed it: MP3. It also supports AAC, WAV, and a few other less common formats but as you know AAC isn't as common as MP3... not even close. If you're storing WAV files on your iPod, you're not using space wisely, as WAV files are on average ten times larger than a comparable MP3. To date, Apple has not built OGG support into their devices and I don't foresee it happening any time soon. So there goes iPod support on SUSE. It doesn't do a lot of good having support for a device that you aren't willing to provide proper playback facilities for on the desktop.

I contacted reviewer support at SUSE, and after several days I received as response confirming that it was indeed by design. They also went on to say the following:
Novell is improving the multimedia experience for audio enthusiasts with the SUSE LINUX Professional 9.3 release.

Out of the box we have standardized on RealPlayer, based on the Helix Open Source project this player provides a unique experience including a web browser plugin and is capable of playing all major multimedia formats.

For the music enthusiast we are now providing several free add-on multimedia option packs via YaST Online Update (YOU).

Those packages include players, mixers, equalizers and everything you need to set up a home music studio.

This new approach will allow us to better address the rapidly changing packages in the multimedia marketplace.
I could be wrong, but this sounds like they've realized a mistake and are going to correct it after the fact... but that still doesn't explain nor excuse the crippling of standard packages, or if they intend to right the situation at hand.

End of quote.

Cheers everybody and have fun with 10.0

Old 09-10-2005, 08:23 AM   #2
Registered: Mar 2005
Location: West Texas
Distribution: Sidux - Mint - PC Linux - Ubuntu 7.04 - Mepis 7 Beta5 - DreamLinux 2.2
Posts: 234

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SuSE 9.3 is SuSE 9.3 - if you want to play DVDs do this -
Old 09-10-2005, 08:54 AM   #3
Registered: Feb 2004
Location: 'Ol Blighty
Distribution: SLED 10, SUSE 10.3
Posts: 722

Original Poster
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I've done exactlly that about a Zillion times

There is NO WAY I can get this stuff running on a Sony VAIO Laptop (Screen resolution 1400 X 1050) with a panasonic ujb 845 drive -- it might be because this drive also plays DVD RAM as well as DVD +R(W) , DVD-R(W) and Dual Layer Discs that the hardware could be incompatable with Kaffeine etc.

However as I am now going to SUSE 10 I am not wasting any more time on this issue -- I've been playing with it for over a week.

DVD playing worked IST TIME using SUSE 10 (and the method above)


Old 09-10-2005, 02:47 PM   #4
Registered: May 2005
Location: Fareham, UK
Distribution: HP-UX 11i, Fedora, Ubuntu, Debian, RHEL, OEL, CentOS
Posts: 75

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Re: For 9.3 users having probs with DVD playing

I've removed EVERY POSSIBLE multimedia library with a fresh install
A fresh install from where? SuSE? By doing that you're just replacing the packages with the originals which are on the CD.
Add the Packman source into Yast in "Change Source of Installation", the details are....

Protocol - HTTP
Server Name -
Directory on Server - suse/9.3

The only packages you have to replace are mplayer, kaffeine, xine-ui and libxine1, just uninstall the originals and reinstall making sure you pick the Packman versions in Yast. When installing mplayer from Packman, Yast will automatically prompt you to install 'w32codecs' which also gives support for Windows codecs such as WMV, WMA etc.

DVD playing on Rel 9.3 is a dead issue
As in it works if you do the above & install libdvdcss?

...the only other distribution guilty of crippling it (that I am aware of) is Red Hat. So what are the other distros (Linspire comes immediately to mind) doing to ensure their users are able to listen to their music and watch their videos?
Both SuSE & Red Hat are based in Germany where German law would require SuSE & Red Hat to pay substantial license fees for the inclusion of certain media decription libraries such as libdvdcss.
One of advantages of having an open development project like OpenSuSE & Fedora is that the development of the distro is not contained in Germany, therefore bypassing this law.

For the music enthusiast we are now providing several free add-on multimedia option packs via YaST Online Update (YOU).
I'm assuming that you didn't update or follow the support advice, as the multimedia option packs will give you full MP3 support in all players and you wouldn't be complaining that you couldn't play or encode MP3's

These solutions have been posted many times on the LinuxQuestions and SuSE forums, look and ye shall find.

Last edited by vinbob; 09-10-2005 at 02:54 PM.
Old 09-11-2005, 02:07 AM   #5
Registered: Feb 2005
Location: Slovenia
Distribution: suse11.0
Posts: 749

Rep: Reputation: 31

I can play DVDs on my system, I can play MP3s I can play WMV files. I could do that on 9.3 and I can do it now on 10.0. But, as vinbob said, You should remove everything related to xine (kaffeine, amarok etc) go to yast, type xine and remove it and all dependencies. Then go to cambuca site, and follow the instructions to install xine. Do not try to install amarok, kaffeine etc again. And that is all. I have xine ( which is now in Multimedia Audio Player instead in Multimedia Video player) playing DVDs and my WMV and MP3s playing from CDPlayer package.

May be it helps.

Old 09-11-2005, 04:01 AM   #6
Registered: Feb 2004
Location: 'Ol Blighty
Distribution: SLED 10, SUSE 10.3
Posts: 722

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 32
I finally got the wretched stuff to play (I wasn't giving up if so many people had reported it could be done) -- But it only worked with an EXTERNAL DVD drive -- my internal Panasonic drive (I'd replaced the original Pioneer drive as I wanted to be able to use Dual Layer discs on my laptop) flatly refused to have anything to do with playing DVD's on 9.3 -- even though it worked fine on Windoze.

I put my old Pioneer (the original one that came with the laptop) drive back again and guess what DVD playing worked.

So I guess there is some hardware / Firmware incompatability between kaffeine / xine, suse 9.3 and my panasonic UJB Dual Layer capable drive I need as out in the field I take a lot of pictures (pro photographer) and have to burn them to DVD's very quickly.

I think there is a firmware update for this drive that might be worth trying -- otherwise the drive is really good especially as there are almost no drives for laptops that write D/L discs -

I'd like to see if anybody has got this drive (Matshita / Panasonic UJB845 B or S model) to work -- I think the Dual Layer capability has something to do with the XINE code as all the CSS stuff (libdvdCSS) seems fine and looking at some dumps the drive appears to return a whole slew of I/O errors.

I don't know enough about I/O programming to get any further --but I certainly would be interested in people with either the above drive or other D/L (Dual Layer) drives that work.

Anyway problem solved

and to all the people who've been pointing me at those links -- thanks -- I have been following those instructions to the letter and did try a couple of differently sourced 9.3 distrubutions just in case there was any difference (shouldn't be as a Mirror is a Mirror) .

So sometimes a piece of hardware just won't work for whatever reason.



Last edited by 1kyle; 09-11-2005 at 04:44 AM.


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