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First Impressions of Ubuntu 7.10 Desktop Edition : Page 4

A veteran Linux Desktop user breaks down his first experience with Ubuntu 7.10 Desktop Edition, exploring its new features, and explains why he came away impressed.

Installing UbuntuStudio (optional)

Author's Note: This section presents a kitchen sink installation of audio tools. I leave it to you to separate the necessary applications from the fluff.

If you want to explore the audio/video capabilities of Ubuntu, consider installing UbuntuStudio. UbuntuStudio not only installs a staggering number of audio software tools, but the install also takes care of the all the software dependencies for you.

Sound editing with Linux is improving as well. I can vouch for the Audacity Sound Editor, the Hydrogen Drum Machine, and the Sound Juicer CD Extractor. You can create drum tracks with the Hydrogen Drum Machine, export them as .wav files, and then edit them with Audacity. Audacity provides single-track audio recording and simultaneous recording with playback of up to 16 separate tracks. However, Linux-supported hardware for simultaneous multitrack recording and a good interface for recording Digital 5.1 surround sound still elude me.

As for the rest of the UbuntuStudio Audio software suite, some very serious studying is required to comprehend all of the possibilities. The video suite currently includes CinePaint, Kino, Pitivi Video Editor, and Stopmotion. Each of these tools appears to offer various forms of video editing.

To perform the kitchen sink audio installation, enter the following in a terminal:

terminal@yourmachine:-$ sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install ubuntustudio-desktop
ubuntustudio-audio ubuntustudio-audio-plugins ubuntustudio-graphics ubuntustudio-video

Missing from the kitchen sink audio install is the cross-platform multimedia player XMMS. To install XMMS with .mp3 playback (see Figure 4), enter the following in a terminal:

terminal@yourmachine:-$ sudo apt-get install xmms xmms-cdread xmms-goom xmms-infinity
xmms-mad xmms-skins xmms-volnorm xmms-wma

Click to enlarge
Figure 4. Installing XMMS with .mp3 Playback:
Missing from the kitchen sink audio install is the cross-platform multimedia player XMMS.

MP3 exporting from the Audacity sound editor requires LAME (Lame Ain't an MP3 Encoder). The following steps will install .mp3 export ability to Audacity from source:

  1. Download lame-3.97.tar.gz to your Desktop.

  2. Open the terminal. Make sure the terminal working directory is the same as the location of the lame-3.97.tar.gz file:
    terminal@yourmachine:~$ cd /Desktop

  3. Decompress the lame-3.97.tar.gz file:
    terminal@yourmachine:~$ tar xzvf lame-3.97.tar.gz

  4. Move the terminal working directory into the lame-3.97 folder:
    terminal@yourmachine:~$ cd lame-3.97

  5. Install the GNU compiler tools to build software from source:
    terminal@yourmachine:~$ sudo apt-get install build-essential

  6. Configure and make the install:
    terminal@yourmachine:~$ ./configure
    terminal@yourmachine:~$ sudo make install

  7. Clean it up by deleting the lame files from your desktop or chosen download location.

The first time you try to export a sound file labeled .mp3 (File -> Export), Audacity will prompt you for the location of the libmp3lame.so.0 file. The default install above puts this file in /usr/local/lib/libmp3lame.so.0.

For video playback, Mplayer is an essential alternative to Totem that integrates well with the Mozilla Firefox web browser. Install it as follows:

terminal@yourmachine:-$ sudo apt-get install mplayer mozilla-mplayer mozilla-plugin-vlc

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