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View Poll Results: What Should You Expect From Linux When It Comes To Multimedia Performance?

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  • Linux is mostly fast.

    20 42.55%
  • There are a few problems.

    16 34.04%
  • It is difficult to make Linux live up to my expectations.

    6 12.77%
  • I do not know/No straigth forward answer.

    5 10.64%
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I mostly use my Linux box for multimedia, and I haven't had many problems so far. I'm not adverse to using Realplayer from time to time, but I take watching ...
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  1. #21
    Linux Guru fingal's Avatar
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    I mostly use my Linux box for multimedia, and I haven't had many problems so far. I'm not adverse to using Realplayer from time to time, but I take watching dvds completely for granted: for this I use Kaffeine (a Xine engine programme) and mplayer, which I run in a terminal.

    On rare occasions a dvd won't play because it has an unusual file structure (or that's my assumption). I work around this by handing mplayer a specific chapter number (usually between 1-9).

    I use Grip to rip CD tracks and encode them as OGG files, or mp3s ... The only major hang-up I had was when I tried to use my OS to run a tv card ... That was a complete dead end, but overall Linux makes for a very good multimedia box. I do find quite a few bugs in XMMS visualisation plug-ins though ... the same thing applies to Amarok which is rapidly becoming my MM app. of choice.
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  2. #22
    Linux Engineer LondoJowo's Avatar
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    Re: Depends...

    Quote Originally Posted by techieMoe
    If I talk to Broadcom, they'll tell me that the specifications I need to write a Linux driver are trade secrets and they could not possibly release them to me without a fee of some sort, or they'll just flatly refuse to release them at all. The problem with most hardware that doesn't work in Linux is that the people who make the hardware do not make drivers for Linux, and in most cases outright refuse to allow other people to make Linux drivers either.
    You're right on the money, I know Pinnacle Systems has no plans of releasing a driver or the information to develop a driver.
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  3. #23
    Linux Guru bigtomrodney's Avatar
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    Re: Depends...

    Quote Originally Posted by techieMoe
    Let's say for instance I want to write a Linux WiFi driver for a Linksys WMP54G wireless PCI card. If I write to Linksys, they'll say they didn't make the chipset, and I need to talk to Broadcom. If I talk to Broadcom, they'll tell me that the specifications I need to write a Linux driver are trade secrets and they could not possibly release them............................... In order to make a proper driver without doing something illegal (like reverse-engineering a MS Windows driver)
    Just for the record -

    Broadcom do release linux drivers, along with HP-UX/Solaris/BSD etc.....

    Reverse engineering for the purposes of compatibility is not illegal, just stealing the original code to build the driver would be.

  4. #24
    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    Re: Depends...

    Quote Originally Posted by bigtomrodney
    Just for the record -

    Broadcom do release linux drivers, along with HP-UX/Solaris/BSD etc.....
    That's good to know, but my example is just that. <insert chipset name here>

    Reverse engineering for the purposes of compatibility is not illegal, just stealing the original code to build the driver would be.
    Perhaps we have different definitions of what "reverse engineering" is.
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  5. #25
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    I don't have much of a problem with multimedia, and about codecs I kinda like the solution used for gstreamer on arch... You install an app depending on gstreamer, and gstreamer, and then you install every multimedia-plugin you need manually, or if you prefer that, one meta-package grabbing all the plugins. That way you get to choose which formats you need. Also, in gentoo most seems to be there by default with the right USE-flags.

    I used to have that problem with fedora however, at the time being pretty much a n00b with a high-cost ISDN network which my linux box could'nt connect to before after finding an ISDN-card, the only solution I found was installing mpg321/mpg123 from an old redhat-cd to play the MP3's, something which conflicted with arts... Later on, I managed to find XINE-rpms, and even later I found XMMS-plugins for MP3... Finally I moved to mandriva which supported all I needed by default, frustrating indeed.

    About performance on old hardware, I have pretty much old hardware myself, at the current box I have:

    Amd Sempron 1.1 GHz CPU
    256 MB RAM
    40G harddrive
    NVIDIA GeForce2 MX with 32MB memory

    It's basicly a HP Pavilion 7880, with replaced power-supply and cd-writer, and some more ram.

    The things I found speeded it up most, was:
    1) 600% extra performance in 3D-graphics with nvidia's drivers instead of the open source ones (obviously. And yes, I tested.)
    2) Turning on DMA, on my harddrive it made the writing 10 times faster (yes I tested that aswell)
    3) Running more minimalistic enviroments than KDE and Gnome, it seems like gnome 2.12 running on arch used 40% of my RAM for buffers (not calculated yet, just a look in the system monitor), while fluxbox used little above 10 MB of ram IIRC. You really do notice it, and when I move windows, it laggs behind a bit in gnome, not in fluxbox.


    About gaming and such, it works really smooth with cube (2005 edition) and those other lightweight games, havent tried Nexiuz on it yet, however I assume it runs smoother than on the ATI Radeon 7000 with DRI, at least glxgears and those did...

  6. #26
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    Re: Depends...

    Quote Originally Posted by techieMoe
    Quote Originally Posted by burnit
    Maybe Linux need a better support for hardware...
    This is a broad generalization. ...
    You're right... it's a my way to cry "Why I can't have your support? " (reffered to the hardware engineer of that Savage4).

    However... I have to work with this graphic card... and I finally found a boss that wants to support Linux and OpenSource, giving me projects about multimedia that I can develop on Linux... a rare chance for me!!!
    However, because the poor (NULL?) support for that graphic card, I'm being frustrated because my work is not perfect because... you know...

    Now, after backgrounding, how is multimedia support in Linux... depends... maybe need a better support for hardware!
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  7. #27
    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    Re: Depends...

    Quote Originally Posted by burnit
    Now, after backgrounding, how is multimedia support in Linux... depends... maybe need a better support for hardware!
    Again, perhaps that should be clarified with "S3Graphics needs to better support their hardware on non-Windows operating systems..."
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  8. #28
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    Correct. Sorry.
    When using Windows, have you ever told "Ehi... do your business?"
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  9. #29
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    Not-so-hot. This is why Windows is and will remain my primary OS until things change. Granted, there is nothing that Linux or any distrobution can do to fix my issues, they still exist.

    1: ATI-related poor performance and image quality. My games run choppy in Linux where they'd run silky-smooth in Windows. In addition to the lower performance, I can't enable any 3D settings. No AA, no AF, no vsync. I can live without Anti Aliasing, but Anistropic Filtering is very important to keep textures sharp no matter what the viewing angle is, and without vsync I always notice tons of tearing--even if my framerat's through the roof, it seems choppy to me without vsync. From what I understand, Nvidia cards don't have either the performance or IQ issues I mentioned.

    2: Many of my games will not run on Linux. This is mostly due to them using Direct3D as opposed to OpenGL. Yes, there are some games that I have that run on Linux such as Doom3, UT2k4 and Red Orchestra, but the performance and IQ issues are still there. (as well as some open-gl emulation issues in Red Orchestra) My favorite game, Natural Selection, will not run in Linux despite it running on the OpenGL half-life engine. My new addiction is the HL2 mod Dystopia, which will not run on Linux due to it being coded for D3D. There are some free open-source games that run on Linux such as Nexuiz, but most of these are not up to my standards. (graphically, gameplay etc) I'm more of a tactical gamer, and I like slower-paced, highly team-oriented games. (such as NS and Dystopia) Red Orchestra qualifies there and runs in Linux which is great, but I wish that there were more.

    3: No full-screen minimize in any game. Self-explanatory.


    Like I said at first, there's nothing any Linux dev can directly do about these issues. It's up to ATI to make cards/drivers that don't suck in Linux, and it's up to game devs to use OpenGL, not D3D and to support Linux.

  10. #30
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    You can use antialiasing in linux... I found an option for it in nvidia-settings not long ago. Haven't tried it thought... And about drivers, on my box I haven't noticed any difference between win2k and linux with the nvidia drivers.

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