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Complete Guide to Playing Movies and Music on Linux

Jul 17, 2009, 15:02 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Will Kraft)

"If it provides any reassurance, it helps to know that this problem is not specifically limited to Linux. Windows XP and some of the low-end editions of Vista are unable to play DVDs out of the box as well, and no version of Windows offers out of the box Blu-Ray support.

"Even if you have the requisite codecs, you may still be hindered if the file you are trying to play is protected by strong DRM. Many people have gotten burned over the years by DRM-encumbered media that has a built-in time limit, requires a special player, or must "phone home" for license confirmation each time you want to play it. The last method is especially bad, since you will no longer be able to view the files you are legally entitled to if the media company suddenly shuts down the authentication server; this has happened several times in the past and customers were left high and dry in all instances. Aside from breaking the copy protection (which requires some skill in most cases in addition to being technically illegal thanks to the infamous Digital Millennium Copyright Act) there is little you can do in such instances except hate the media companies that insist on such strong measures."

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