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Why Linux for media PC? Redux - Page 4

post #91 of 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTimeShifter View Post

however the PC's 320MB RAM didn't meet Ubuntu desktop's 384MB minimum requirement

huh?

384MB is a recommendation for optimum performance, not a minimum requirement. In my experience, 256MB is plenty for typical use.

I even playback HD (network 1080i broadcast) just fine on my mythbuntu AppleTV frontend with 256MB.
post #92 of 275
I just noticed that 356MB is the requirement for the live-CD and 256MB for the install.

I'm trying to install Ubuntu on my new PC, and when I test the disc for errors, it goes to ash and says "(initramfs)" and just sits there. I rebooted and tried again - same thing. I also tried installing and got the same thing. This is with an actual 8.0.4.1 CD I got in the mail from Canonical. I wonder if they sent me a bad disc? I'm going to try the disc I burned that I know works (8.4.0.) - nope, same problem. The hard disk is the one I pulled from my HTPC with Mythbuntu on it - is this causing a problem?
post #93 of 275
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTimeShifter View Post

Will Myth suffice, or do I need something like XBMC for CD and DVD playback? Will Myth burn CDs or do I need dedicated software for that? I might use my all-purpose PC for burning CDs, but might as well use the HTPC for that.

I haven't tried Myth or XBMC for DVDs yet, but VLC is probably the best Linux DVD player right now, and possibly KMplayer with the Xine engine.

The best, most reliable ways to burn CD's are K3B for audio and data discs and IMGburn under Wine for data/video DVDs (pre-authored VIDEO_TS folders), though K3B does data/video DVDs too.

http://k3b.plainblack.com/

That's what's so cool about Linux- top free Windows programs like IMGburn run perfectly under Wine. In fact, at this point, Wine runs lots of old Win 3.1/9x/Xp programs *better* than Vista! Moving forward, MS will continually diverge the Windows line from legacy compatibility, while Wine will continue to run more and more older programs. The fact is, there's an almost infinite library of perfectly good legacy Windows programs going back to Win 3.1, though I think you'll find the bulk of the "good stuff" for Win98/XP.

Wine helps fill in the gaps for programs like Print Shop Deluxe v6 (for Mom's and those odd signs you want to print ), DVD Fab, TmpgEnc DVD author and odds and ends like MPEG2toHDTV
post #94 of 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rgb View Post

...but VLC is probably the best Linux DVD player right now, and possibly KMplayer with the Xine engine.

I prefer Kaffeine, which also uses the Xine engine. You can also configure Kaffeine to watch HDTV using your digital capture card. You don't even need MythTV, unless you want to record and timeshift programs.
post #95 of 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rgb View Post

...which is why I only buy LCD's

How is the burn in issue with current model plasmas? I have been tempted by the contrast/blacks/dynamic range of plasma, but computer compatibility keeps me with LCD. The $999 or less prices for top tier 768p 50" plasmas like Samsungs I've seen recently have been very enticing.

LCD's have made year over year improvements in contrast, black level and dynamic range, with variable LED backlighting really taking off. The gap keeps getting more narrow year over year re: picture quality.

In the lobby area where I work a plasma tv was hung that displays schedule info and ads. In less than a week it was already suffering from some major burn in. Much worst than a CRT would have. It was however still set to factory settngs (bright)
post #96 of 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by waterhead View Post

I prefer Kaffeine, which also uses the Xine engine. You can also configure Kaffeine to watch HDTV using your digital capture card. You don't even need MythTV, unless you want to record and timeshift programs.

Kaffeine can also use gstreamer. But I'll second the nomination of Kaffeine-xine. It was my early favorite and I still use when I absolutely need dvd menu support.

Although I've switched to SMPlayer for 90% of my viewing because I prefer it's zoom, time skipping, and fast forward and fast rewind features (and it skips over all the crap before the start of the movie that I usuallly don't want to see anyway). It doesn't have dvd menu support, but I usually don't need the menus.
post #97 of 275
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by waterhead View Post

I prefer Kaffeine, which also uses the Xine engine. You can also configure Kaffeine to watch HDTV using your digital capture card. You don't even need MythTV, unless you want to record and timeshift programs.

VLC purportedly uses the same source code as Xine for DVD menu support, compiled into its own binaries (i.e. VLC doesn't call the xine engine separately if you have it installed).

I haven't figured out why there is no simple desktop media player DVR app like WinTV2000 for Linux- we basically only have Myth for DVR/PVR functionality on tuner cards.

If Kaffeine can show video from a tuner card, why can't it just save the video to a file with simple Recrod/timer functions?
post #98 of 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rgb View Post

I haven't figured out why there is no simple desktop media player DVR app like WinTV2000 for Linux- we basically only have Myth for DVR/PVR functionality on tuner cards.

What, you never heard of LinDVD?

http://www.intervideo.com/jsp/Produc...e.jsp?p=LinDVD

I installed it once from the Mandriva package. It seemed ok.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LinDVD
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=302887
post #99 of 275
Wow ya think you could even get lindvd if you tried? I remember the rather lack of hype when it was announced that you got it with Mandriva or Mandrake or whatever it was back then (I think it was that or maybe Suse?) It's almost like they got paid to pretend to make it to show that nobody would buy it and prove the content masters are all knowing and powerful benign dictators. I forgot it even (possibly) existed!
-Trouble
post #100 of 275
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by waterhead View Post

What, you never heard of LinDVD?

http://www.intervideo.com/jsp/Produc...e.jsp?p=LinDVD

I installed it once from the Mandriva package. It seemed ok.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LinDVD
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=302887

LinDVD supports recording analog cable from a Hauppauge PVR150?
post #101 of 275
I misread it as DVD, not DVR. We were discussing DVD support, so my bad.
post #102 of 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rgb View Post

The best, most reliable ways to burn CD's are K3B for audio and data discs and IMGburn under Wine for data/video DVDs (pre-authored VIDEO_TS folders), though K3B does data/video DVDs too.

http://k3b.plainblack.com/

The built-in Rythmbox works fine for playing audio CDs, but when I tried to copy the CD using the built-in Brasero, it kept getting stuck at 2% and slowed down to 1.6x speed. I posted this problem in Ubuntu forums, but didn't get any reply. I guess I could try K3B, but don't know why the built-in utility doesn't work.
post #103 of 275
^^^^ That's probably due to CDParanoia seeing errors on the disc and slowing down the rip. I can't recall off the top of my head which rippers use paranoia and which don't.

Personally, I still use EAC in WINE for ripping CDs. I have a lot of learning time invested in it and I know I can make it do what I want it to do in every case, so I refuse to switch...
post #104 of 275
I prefer something native, especially when it's built-in to the distro, but I if I have to, will run Nero under Wine or virtual box.
post #105 of 275
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTimeShifter View Post
I prefer something native, especially when it's built-in to the distro, but I if I have to, will run Nero under Wine or virtual box.
For backing up/ripping CD's , there is nothing better than Ruby Ripper on Linux, IMO.

http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index....tle=Rubyripper

http://code.google.com/p/rubyripper/

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=799621

Attached .deb for Ubuntu 7.10+/debian/mint.

It's the "native EAC" of Linux, and from my testing, I think its easier and "better" overall. I used CDex on Windows- I didn't like EAC. CDex appears to work under Wine, but I'd recommend RubyRipper-
http://appdb.winehq.org/objectManage...ation&iId=1579


RubyRipper has a nice simple GUI, great error checking, freedb-like disc/track titles, flac/mp3/wav ripping, just what's needed in that minimalist style most serious audiophiles prefer. RubyRipper is a great example of what a core native Linux app should be.

Just like backing up a DVD, you *never* should do a disc-disc copy of a CD. First rip the disc or tracks you want with Rubyripper to hard disc, then burn with K3B or NeroLinux, same process I used to follow in XP. There are lots of other native audio CD burners for Linux, you'll have to try/test them and do the research.

When I was on Win98SE/XP, I preferred burnatonce for audio CD burning, which apparently works perfectly in Wine:

http://appdb.winehq.org/objectManage...rsion&iId=5858

http://www.burnatonce.net/

While I strongly prefer Linux native apps, the Wine guys are doing a phenomenal job filling gaps and offering a bridge for newcomers as they get comfortable with the *nix "way". Being able to run another couple thousand apps & games combined doesn't hurt, either

 

rubyripper_0.5.0-0mk1_i386.zip 97.4169921875k . file
post #106 of 275
I don't understand why you wouldn't copy cd to cd.
post #107 of 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rgb View Post

Just like backing up a DVD, you *never* should do a disc-disc copy of a CD. First rip the disc or tracks you want with Rubyripper to hard disc, then burn with K3B or NeroLinux, same process I used to follow in XP.

So D3B won't do both rip and burn to make a copy of an audio CD?

On XP, I've just been using Nero 6, which copies to hard disk, then burns to disc since I only have 1 drive.

I only have 1 drive in my Ubuntu PC, so I was afraid maybe Brasero requires 2 drives to do a disc copy and doesn't copy an image to the hard disk in the process. Copying a disc to memory first is quick enough, even on my old Pentium 2, that I didn't think I'd need 2 drives to copy discs.

I also have another Ubuntu problem. I got networking (Samba?) set up real easy just by opening up my network places and connecting to my XP PCs to copy files between them and my Ubuntu PC, but can't do the same with my Vista PC. When I open the XP network shares, nautilus shows me the C$, D$, Documents and Settings, etc., but when I open my Vista network share, I just get a blank window area. I've confirmed that I can see the Vista shared folder on an XP PC. I posted about this problem in Ubuntu forums a couple of days ago, but haven't received any reply.
post #108 of 275
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mym6 View Post

I don't understand why you wouldn't copy cd to cd.

For the same reason audiophiles used EAC in Windows. Read the "Correction Mechanism" section of

http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index....tle=Rubyripper

Also see

http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index....ure_Ripping.3F

Audio bits on a red book audio CD are not recorded on the disc in a filesystem (ISO9660/UDF) like the video data on a video DVD. Therefore, there is less error recovery/redundancy overhead on an audio CD. You need to take extra steps to ensure the bits you extract from an audio CD are accurate.
post #109 of 275
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTimeShifter View Post

So D3B won't do both rip and burn to make a copy of an audio CD?

.

K3B *can* rip/burn like Nero, but it might not be *secure ripping* like EAC/RubyRipper. Nero might not have been secure ripping either.

See "What is Secure Ripping?"

http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index....ure_Ripping.3F

For casual backups for car use, etc, I used the Nero "Copy CD" pick, too. But for archival backups or flac media server jobs, I would only rip with RubyRipper.
post #110 of 275
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTimeShifter View Post


I also have another Ubuntu problem. I got networking (Samba?) set up real easy just by opening up my network places and connecting to my XP PCs to copy files between them and my Ubuntu PC, but can't do the same with my Vista PC. When I open the XP network shares, nautilus shows me the C$, D$, Documents and Settings, etc., but when I open my Vista network share, I just get a blank window area. I've confirmed that I can see the Vista shared folder on an XP PC. I posted about this problem in Ubuntu forums a couple of days ago, but haven't received any reply.

MS changed sharing protocols again in Vista.

I suspect that XP machines prior to SP2 probably don't see Vista shares due to a later file sharing patch pushed by MS, but I am only guessing.

I believe Ubuntu 8.10 will have an update to help address this. Don't blame Ubuntu/Linux- blame MS's proprietary /closed/secret protocol policies...

...something about absolute power corrupting absolutely
post #111 of 275
Crap. I was going to reformat my 2 XP PCs with Ubuntu, but I guess I'll have to wait for Ubuntu 8.10 so I can still access my Vista laptop.
post #112 of 275
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTimeShifter View Post

Crap. I was going to reformat my 2 XP PCs with Ubuntu, but I guess I'll have to wait for Ubuntu 8.10 so I can still access my Vista laptop.

I don't think you need to wait- Ubuntu "betas" are FAR closer to release equivalence than most other "beta" software, and it should update to the release level without major incidents via its auto-update functionality.

http://www.ubuntu.com/testing/intrepid/beta

At best, it may work for you now re: Vista samba/filesharing compatibility, at worst, you may have to re-install when the 8.10 final is released 10/30/08 -only next week.

It's probably related to Vista's UAC or similar extra security/restrictions controls- just another guess.
post #113 of 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post

Nearly every LCD HDTV, that is. Plasmas don't have 1:1 mapping unless you get a 1080p set (still expensive and I'm not sure if they support it even then), and some don't allow res higher than 1024x768 over VGA. Plasmas in general do not make good PC monitors, but in general they have superior colors and black levels for watching HD TV.

Having said that, my 768p plasma does a great job with 1080i component-in from my Myth box, but I did have to tweak the GUI to compensate for overscanning.

Actually, Panasonic 768p monitor accepts native resolution in both Windows and Ubuntu (latest Nvidia drivers for both). I had to provide custom timings, but it works (VGA connection).

And regarding the thread, drivers are still not "there" for Linux, I am sorry to say. I had problems with my Linksys NIC and my X-Fi card. I resorted to the onboard solutions just to try out Ubuntu, but that's a workaround and not a permanent solution.
post #114 of 275
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gorman42 View Post

And regarding the thread, drivers are still not "there" for Linux, I am sorry to say. I had problems with my Linksys NIC and my X-Fi card. I resorted to the onboard solutions just to try out Ubuntu, but that's a workaround and not a permanent solution.

I think a *lot* of drivers are "there"- a blanket statement about "all" Linux drivers is probably unwarranted.

Why wouldn't you use your on board NIC? Not gigabit? Like selecting hardware for any OS, verifying somethings already been tested in Linux is prudent. I bought a Zonenet PCIe Gigabit Ethernet card to upgrade a machine's onboard 100Mbit Ethernet, and read the reviews on the product page at newegg

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16833130040

which confirmed Linux performance. Works great for me.

re: X-Fi

If analog audio quality is your goal, something from M-Audio or Turtle Beach is probably a better choice. For routine audio playback and digital SPDIF out, on board audio is fine in 99% of cases.

To be blunt, I don't think anyone's taken anything from Creative Labs seriously since the first SoundBlaster live (I think that's the consensus around the net and among AV-phile media PC people)
post #115 of 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rgb View Post

I think a *lot* of drivers are "there"- a blanket statement about "all" Linux drivers is probably unwarranted.

Sorry, I didn't imply "all". It was a generic statement regarding the overall state of drivers. Surely there's a lot out there working, but see below.
Quote:
Why wouldn't you use your on board NIC? Not gigabit? Like selecting hardware for any OS, verifying somethings already been tested in Linux is prudent. I bought a Zonenet PCIe Gigabit Ethernet card to upgrade a machine's onboard 100Mbit Ethernet, and read the reviews on the product page at newegg

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16833130040

which confirmed Linux performance. Works great for me.

I did end up using it, but the onboard NIC is somewhat defective, which is why I ended up buying an add-on NIC, in my case Linksys.
Quote:
re: X-Fi

If analog audio quality is your goal, something from M-Audio or Turtle Beach is probably a better choice. For routine audio playback and digital SPDIF out, on board audio is fine in 99% of cases.

To be blunt, I don't think anyone's taken anything from Creative Labs seriously since the first SoundBlaster live (I think that's the consensus around the net and among AV-phile media PC people)

X-Fi, apart from one specific model which is low end, and I don't recall, is not that bad. I wouldn't have had problems with using onboard audio, and in fact while trying out Ubuntu, I did. But it ended up having mismatched channels for the output, which I should have solved by using the .asoundrc file. Now, I consider myself decently literate when it comes to computers but, for the love of me, and after three days of research, I could not manage to have it working as it should have.
I ended up switching jacks and using the provided solution in the Windows Realtek control panel to switch the outputs. Which is point and click under Windows and still text editing under Ubuntu (which is supposedly the most user friendly distro).

I'm just saying, from personal experience, that the transition from Windows to Linux is still, sadly, far from being "plug and play". But don't take this as an attack on Linux or anything. I would love for it to be polished, but my experience has been different, that's all.
post #116 of 275
I installed Ubuntu 8.10 beta a week or so ago when I discovered it had support for my Linksys USB 802.11g wireless device. This device was routinely identified when connected to the bus, but the driver never worked correctly. I had an equivalent 802.11b Linksys USB device which worked with most kernels up until 2.6.24 or so then stopped working with later kernel releases. Just being able to connect at 54 Mbit was a big incentive to upgrade.

I will say it took a bit of work to get everything back on track though. Previously, using Fedora 8, the nVidia driver from Livna worked fine. When I installed the proprietary driver from the Ubuntu repositories though, the text on my screen became microscopic. I had to edit xorg.conf by hand and add
Options "DPI" "100x100"
to the Monitor section so I could read the text on-screen. Ordinary folk are going to throw up their hands when confronted with issues like that. Also the stock open nVidia driver didn't recognize my Sony TV by EDID though the proprietary driver does so.

I'm well over the hump now and generally like 8.10 and KDE 4.1. It's actually somewhat less configurable than KDE 3.5+ though. For instance, you can't set the panel to hide automatically yet though it's promised for a later release. Some applications are no longer in the KDE release either. For instance, I used to use KAudioCreator to rip CDs to flac, but now CD ripping appears limited to K3b. (I had to install the "flac" package as well; otherwise the default is Ogg.)

I agree with rgb, though, that if you can preview Linux support for devices before purchasing it makes life much easier. My daughter's Dell Inspiron laptop runs Ubuntu just fine, but I made sure I had Dell install an Intel wifi card at the factory rather than the problematic Broadcom cards that Dell usually ships.
post #117 of 275
When installing proprietary hardware drivers. I have found that it is usually best to download and compile the drivers. I find this to be true for both video and wireless drivers. If you use the MadWifi driver, always get the SVN version of the driver.

There is at least one kernel driver module that works excellent. That is the b43 driver for Broadcom wireless. It is not problematic at all, in fact in my opinion, it works better than the Intel drivers.
post #118 of 275
Broadcom wireless was notoriously difficult to use with Linux kernels even as recently as a year ago. Most people recommended using ndiswrapper with the Windows driver as a solution. Broadcom refused to release an open-source driver until fairly recently.

You and I may know how to compile drivers, but that's hardly a solution for vast bulk of Linux users, particularly new users coming from a Windows background. As someone who started using Linux in 1994, I consistently advocate Linux to my clients and my friends. But I'm not blind to the problems Linux still faces as it becomes more widely available. I'm optimistic based on developments over the past couple of years that hardware manufacturers are starting to realize they need to support Linux as well as Windows and Macs.

What we really need is a commitment among the major systems integrators - Dell, HP, Sony, and the like - to start shipping systems with Linux pre-installed. And not just a couple of limited options hiding in the back of the web site as is the case with Dell today. I'm a patient man, though; I expect Linux will be much more widely accepted a decade from now, just as it is more widely accepted today than it was a decade ago.
post #119 of 275
For Ubuntu, all you need to do is install the firmware, by running this command:
Code:
sudo /usr/share/b43-fwcutter/install_bcm43xx_firmware.sh
How difficult is that? Suse is similarly simple.

There is a lot of misinformation out there. Here is a site with the correct info.

http://linuxwireless.org/en/users/Drivers/b43

Broadcom has never released a Linux driver. They have all been reverse engineered by dedicated Linux programmers. NDISwrapper does not give the complete funtionality that the b43 driver provides.
post #120 of 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rgb View Post

MS changed sharing protocols again in Vista.

I suspect that XP machines prior to SP2 probably don't see Vista shares due to a later file sharing patch pushed by MS, but I am only guessing.

I believe Ubuntu 8.10 will have an update to help address this. Don't blame Ubuntu/Linux- blame MS's proprietary /closed/secret protocol policies...

I just updated to Ubuntu 8.10, and opened Nautalis but have the same problem - I see a blank pane when I open up the Vista PC. I tried the following procedure: http://blogs.zdnet.com/Bott/?p=238 but when I tried to make the link, got "Operation not permitted" error:
link /mnt/vista_public ./vista_public
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