Pick a Free OS

Somebody stop me!

Word had been going around that the special effects for

Titanic were made on a Linux cluster. In spite of this and

all the spectacular stories we hear about Linux, I still

couldn't see Jim Carrey yelling "Somebody stop me" on my

machine. Well, this is not true anymore. Now, not only can I

listen to Jim Carrey, I can also hear the dinosaurs stomping

in my backyard! Video is very much alive and kicking on Linux.

This article is a look at the video libraries and players

available on Linux.

1. Smpeg [http://www.lokigames.com/development/smpeg.php3]

Loki software is more famous for making Linux gaming a whole

new experience. They have released the motion jpeg and mpeg

players which they use in their software to the public domain

(GPL). Smpeg is an mpeg player, which can do both audio and video

playback. Smpeg is now part of the Red Hat distribution. It also

supports fullscreen display using SDL.

2. Avifile [http://divx.euro.ru/]

Mpeg4 Divx ;-) movies are of very high quality and more

importantly, small size. But, there was no open source

implementation available till now. Wine came to the rescue. What

we have now, is a very good Divx ;-) and asf player for Linux

based on Wine. It uses the Windows dll's to play the video. Audio

is played separately. Try playing the Divx ;-) trailers available

from http://divx.ctw.cc/. Requires SDL and Qt libraries.

3. Xtheater [http://Xtheater.sourceforge.net/]

GTK based GUI for playing video. It uses avifile and smpeg

and hence can support Divx ;-), asf and mpeg movies. It also

comes with the usual bells and whistles -- GNOME compliance,

drag and drop plus full screen display using SDL.

4. XMMS plugins [http://www.xmms.org/]

Now you can manage your mp3 and movie play lists in one place.

XMMS has an smpeg-xmms plugin to play mpeg movies and VCD's. It

supports full screen playback using SDL. There is an avi-xmms

plugin, which uses the avifile library to provide support for Divx ;-)

inside xmms.

5. XMPS [http://xmps.sourceforge.net/]