April 17, 2007

Why is Fedora a multimedia disaster? - Here is why.

we need multimedia

I install a fresh Fedora7 (test 3) then run web browser and go to fedora magazine page - from there I download some video ogg files from it.

Why is it that when I click on the file I can't view the video? Player just crashes! And the default player is kamboodle! Why is that?!? That is the worst video player I have seen ever! On any platform! Opensource or not there is no excuse to put that player as the default one!

Fedora 7 experience was a bit better than FC6 one - because in FC6 when I tried the same experiment I got an error message that ogg is a unknown format and system doesn't know how to open it!

Great! And that was an OGG file with 0% proprietary fibers in it :)
How do you expect to get people to use linux as a destop when the MOST simple multimedia desktop scenario doesn't work!?!

If you can't play "official" video form redhat pages then this is a serious case of TERRIBLE multimedia desktop usability!

I know about all the great effort that has gone into fedora releases, and I love it. It is the best linux distro for me, but I know how to set it up, iron out the quirks that mess up the destop experience and configure it for optimal work/play flow.

But please, please make it a lot easier on non-geek people so that they can also use this great stuff called fedora. And belive me there are people wanting to do so, but they can't because we don't let them. They need some features to be enabled by default or else they won't know how that they even exist.

So please change the default video player to totem or something else, just NOT kamboodle because it just doesn't work and it sucks GUI vise.

Regarding proprietary video codecs RedHad developers just say something like this: "We talked with out lawyers and they said no." Ok? And? Where can we see this discussion? I know that you can't put MP3 support in fedora, but that you can't even put an link for some European server that has all the codecs? Lawyers say that RedHat can be sued even for puting links that enable multimedia. Ok, maybe I believe it but it is maybe possible that some one would sue, but hardly win that case.

But there are legal ways around that, you can put a text saying that it is legal to enable multimedia codecs only if you live in a country that doesn't have software patents - like I do.

It is possible if you want it - Ubuntu has shown that because they will be doing just that, and even a step beyond that. Ubuntu will have a Ubuntu for European market and other countries that don't have software patents (my country doesn't!) with all multimedia codecs embedded within the distro!

So please let's start the discussion because believe me there is a great need for this because there are lot's media files that are every where (internet, youtube, divx rips of dvds, etc...) that people have a need to watch and listen.

Hope to hear from Fedora/RedHat developers and Desktop usability experts what are their opinions.

I send this message to three Fedora mailing-lists:
so you can also join the discussion there.


  • fiber optics and networking engineer from Croatia.