Linux still missing the basics

Yesterday I had another play with Linux. I had put Fedora Core 4 on my PC as a second boot item a while back, and so when we had a power outage, my PC booted back into linux instead of Windows. As I had been listening to some music before the outage, I thought I’d just try and play it from Linux instead. After all, what can be simpler than listening to a few music files?

My first challenge was seeing the files. They were located on an NTFS partition, but I yum’d the correct module, mounted the partition and bingo, could see my files.

I knew the sound card was running under FC4, which was good because my Dell PC has some weird ADI Soundmax IC and it used to output the sound through the wrong outputs. Since FC3 though, sound has worked out of the box.

I decided to put a shortcut to my music directory onto the desktop. This is not as easy as it sounds. There is no ‘create shortcut’, no ‘link’ that works, and dragging the folder icon to the desktop tried to copy or move the files. Interestingly move didn’t complain that I was moving from a Read Only mounted volume. I did eventually work out that SHIFT-CTL drag would create a link (I think!), but it would have been so much easier if there was a right-click menu option.

Anyways, back to playing the files. Playing the files was actually not really the issue, the issue is really my pleasure in listening to them. My PC is attached to some Altec Lansing speakers which include a bass woofer. To make this sound good, I normally have to bottom out the low frequencies on an EQ to drop out a lot of the bass, otherwise the music booms a lot.

XMMS: My music is a mix of OGG, MP3 and iTunes AAC (unprotected). XMMS would play all these formats once I yum’d for xmms-aac. Unfortunately the equalizer wouldn’t work except for MP3 files.

Rhythmbox: Would play the files, but there is no equalizer.

Helixplayer: Claimed unknown format.

Xine: Would play the files, but there is no equalizer. Xine also ‘jumped’ music when I was doing other stuff. Like opening a folder view was too intensive for it!!

mplayer: This actually opened the files, but the GUI is really clunky and non-standard. The playlist editor needs some serious work. I eventually got the equalizer working, but turning that on made the volume much quieter than usual.

At this point I gave up, booted into Windows and bathed in quality sound.

When you can’t even enjoy playing music files from Linux, there can be no doubt Microsoft has nothing to fear from Linux on the desktop.


  1. me said,

    September 15, 2005 @ 5:16 am

    tried amarok ?its way way better than anything on windows ?

  2. 42 said,

    September 15, 2005 @ 12:15 pm

    I will give amarok a go and update the post

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