Chapter 6. Media applications

Table of Contents

Movies, DVDs and videos
Burning CDs and DVDs


Listening to music

You can use gmusicbrowser and Parole Media Player to listen to music on your computer. Parole Media Player may open audio files when they are double-clicked, but gmusicbrowser is better at handling large music collections.

In order to play some popular audio formats like MP3, you will need to install some additional software. Unfortunately, this software cannot be provided by default in Xubuntu due to legal restrictions in some countries.


Read the section called “Restricted and non-free software” before following the instructions below. There are some legal issues that you should be aware of.

To be able to play MP3 files in gmusicbrowser, install the gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly package.

Initially, gmusicbrowser will not automatically search for music files on your computer and you will have to manually direct gmusicbrowser to your music files by doing the following:

  • Open Multimediagmusicbrowser

  • Open the menu (a gear at the top right) and click Settings

  • In the Settings dialog, go to the Library tab

  • Click Add Folder and choose the directory that contains your music files and press OK; your selection will now appear in the Settings dialog

  • If you wish to add other locations of music files repeat the previous step, or otherwise, press Close

  • gmusicbrowser will begin to scan your library. After the Scanning progress bar disappears, you may have to change views (to the left of the search) or restart gmusicbrowser to see your library.

I see wrong metadata (song names, covers) for my tracks in gmusicbrowser

Some music player applications fetch cover art and other information about songs from the internet. However, gmusicbrowser only searches for cover art when you request. Simply right-click the album artwork, and select Search for a picture on internet. You can change the search query or service, but the defaults often work well. Select an image and save it to the album directory.

Sometimes, your music player may not be able to identify a particular song or album correctly. If this is the case, you can add the correct information manually by right-clicking the music file displayed in gmusicbrowser, selecting Song Properties and entering the appropriate information in the corresponding fields.

If you prefer to search for the image yourself, find an album cover on the internet (or other sources) and save the image as cover.jpg in the album directory. Additionally, you can drag the cover art onto the cover art placeholder in gmusicbrowser or right-click and select Set Picture.

Portable music players

Xubuntu will work with most portable audio players, including iPods. Normally, all you have to do is plug the player into your computer and then use File Manager to manually copy songs to and from the player.


Newer iPods (6th generation and newer) will not work automatically with Xubuntu unless you have done an initial synchronization with iTunes first.

If you have a portable music player which can also display photos and videos, you may prefer to use Banshee, which is a music player with good support for such devices. iPod owners may also like to try specialized applications such as GPixPod, gtkpod, and ideviceinstaller for handling multimedia.

Movies, DVDs and videos

You can watch movies and video clips with the Parole Media Player.

Playing DVDs

In order to play DVDs you must install some additional software. Unfortunately, DVD support cannot be provided by default in Xubuntu due to legal restrictions in some countries.


Read the section called “Restricted and non-free software” before following the instructions below. There are some legal issues that you should be aware of.

To be able to play DVDs, do the following:

  • Install the libdvdnav4, libdvdread4 and gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly packages.

  • If you would like to play encrypted DVDs, open AccessoriesTerminal Emulator and type the following into the Terminal followed by the Enter key: sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/install-css.sh

  • Enter your password if prompted. The libdvdcss2 package will be downloaded and installed from a website.

  • Insert a DVD into your drive. It should open automatically in the Parole Media Player.

Playing video

Parole Media Player supports most video types. If you try to play an unsupported video file, Parole Media Player may notify you of a missing plugin. You can then install this plugin by following the wizard. Afterwards, you may need to restart Parole Media Player.

If you are having difficulties getting a video to stream in your browser, Parole Media Player supports streaming most types of video. To open a video in Parole Media Player, right-click the video and select Open with Parole Media Player.

Restricted formats

Some video formats, such as Adobe Flash, QuickTime and Windows Media Video, are proprietary and so support for them cannot be included in Xubuntu by default. You must install some extra software to allow playback.

In order to play the most common proprietary formats in Parole Media Player or Firefox, install the xubuntu-restricted-extras package (see the section called “Restricted and non-free software” for more information).

Burning CDs and DVDs

You can make your own CDs and DVDs by burning files onto a blank disc using the CD or DVD writer drive of your computer.

Xfburn is the default application in Xubuntu to complete these tasks. Xfburn allows you to to easily create audio CDs, burn CDs and DVDs with either plain data or disk images and prepare blank re-writable disks for a new burn.

In order to launch Xfburn, go to MultimediaXfburn.

Once launched, you can insert a CD-R(W) or DVD-R(W) you wish to write to and then select the button corresponding to the action you wish to take (New Data Composition, Audio CD, etc.).