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The Five Best Linux Video Players

Feb 23, 2010, 12:03 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier)

"Have some downtime and want to watch a movie or two on your Linux laptop? Linux has plenty of options when it comes to video players. In fact, there might be a few too many to choose from. So here, in no particular order, are the best video players you can find on Linux, and a few resources to help you get started.

"Codecs and Other Silliness

"Let's start with the obvious: Multimedia isn't quite as straightforward on Linux as it is on other platforms. This is not a technical deficiency, it's a legal one. Specifically, due to patent encumbrances, the DCMA, and other licensing silliness, it's either illegal or legally murky for vendors and open source projects to ship codecs to play DVDs or some video and audio codecs.

"This is especially troublesome for vendors doing business out of the United States, because the patent laws and copyright law are so badly skewed in favor of the entertainment industry. Whereas Microsoft and Apple can license (or own outright) the technologies and bundle them as part of the overall cost of the operating system, the costs of licensing codecs and such for Linux are prohibitive for vendors giving away the OS for free."

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