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Fedora Core 4 Test 2--Plenty to Look Forward to in FC4 - page 4

Looking Forward

  • April 25, 2005
  • By Bill von Hagen

Though beloved of developers, Fedora Core provides most of the tools that standard desktop users would want to use. I would say "all of the tools," but someone would inevitably say, "Hey, it doesn't provide xman or the Mxyzptlk window manager, you clueless loser." Therefore I hide behind weasel words.

That said, FC4T2 includes up-to-date versions of Helix Player, Rhythmbox, XMMS, gnome-cd, kscd, xcdroast, and the Sound Juicer CD ripper. It also includes things like k3b, an excellent and easy-to-use CD and DVD burning utility. One thing missing from Fedora Core is MP3 support, which was also missing from the last few Red Hat releases due to a combination of legal paranoia and corporate greed. The MP3 music format and some aspects of its encoding (compression) are owned by Thompson Multimedia and Fraunhofer Gesellschaft. So Red Hat (and now Fedora Core) doesn't ship with MP3 support. This means that I have to waste time going to http://www.fedoraforum.org/forum/showthread.php?t=140 or http://www.gurulabs.com/goodies/downloads.php to get MP3 support for XMMS with every new FC release.

Don't the greedy boneheads at Thompson Multimedia and Fraunhofer Gesellschaft see that they are poisoning their own water supply by causing the Open Source community to develop better, and free, codecs like Ogg Vorbis? The MP3 patents (like Unisys' GIF patents before them) are a driving force for software evolution, except that in this case the species that don't deserve to survive are thoughtful enough to kill themselves off.

For video and television fans, FC4T2 provides Totem and TVTime, both great applications. Xine is available for previous FC releases in the online fedora-extras repository, and should be available for FC4 by the time FC4 is officially released. Figure 5 shows the k3b application's primary interface on a simple FC4T2 desktop.

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