Incessant Ramblings: jetsam on …

Incessant Ramblings: jetsam on Windows and Linux media playing.
I don’t like Windows Media Player. On occasion I’ve used it, and it’s big, it’s slow, it’s clunky. I agree that skinning the application serves no purpose. If it’s playing MP3s, it’s more than likely going to be behind some other application anyway so why waste the clock cycles drawing fancy graphics?
A bigger issue is codec installation. Yes, it does download the codecs for common formats from some Microsoft website. Yes, it’s easy. Yes, a new user could an Indeo 5 avi file playing easily.
No, a new user couldn’t get a divx video playing as easily. I’ve tried, God knows I’ve tried! It’s now come to the stage where it’s easier to play movies in Linux than it is in Windows! In Windows XP I’ve never managed to get WMP8 to play Divx files. In Win2K I can view older Divx files, but newer ones fail, and AFAIR the required codecs don’t seem to install for some reason.
My freshly installed Red Hat 8.0 desktop can play all sorts of movies. How did I do it? “apt-get install mplayer” and copy the codecs from their homepage into a directory. It’s not as if mplayer is hard to find or anything, and the download page clearly points out the Win32 codecs available.
These are my experiences using these bits of software, they’re not the experiences of a newbie (who wouldn’t know a tarball from an rpm) but mine, and I’ll bloody well raise my hand and claim my right to be counted as a “computer user” no matter what! *bah*

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