Monday, January 25, 2010

Plugins Needed in Ubuntu 9.10

I was trying to play a .wav file in 64-bit Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala).  (This was a compressed .wav in 4-bit 22 kHz IMA ADPCM format.)  I double-clicked on it in Nautilus.  Movie Player opened up and gave me this message:

Search for suitable plugin?

The required software to play this file is not installed.  You need to install suitable plugins to play media files.  Do you want to search for a plugin that supports the selected file?

The search will also include software which is not officially supported.

I went with that.  Unfortunately, the next message said this:

No packages with the requested plugins found.

The requested plugins are:

image/ decoder

I clicked OK.  That gave me another message:

An error occurred

The playback of this movie requires a image/ decoder plugin which is not installed.

A search for relevant terms led to a thread in which someone asked whether the user had "the w32codecs" installed.  I didn't see that package in Synaptic.  But then someone else in that thread said maybe I wouldn't need it for my 64-bit Ubuntu.  One person pointed toward an extended tutorial in setting up multimedia in Ubuntu.  There was some discussion on whether 32-bit codecs (e.g., w32codecs) were necessary in a 64-bit system; the consensus (supported, of course, by the actual error message on my system) was that they might well be.  The same opinion emerged in another discussion.  The way to get those 32-bit codecs seemed to be, first, to add the Medibuntu repository to my Ubuntu installation.  The simple way to do this was to cut and paste this command into Terminal:
sudo wget --output-document=/etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list$(lsb_release -cs).list && sudo apt-get --quiet update && sudo apt-get --yes --quiet --allow-unauthenticated install medibuntu-keyring && sudo apt-get --quiet update

all on one line.  For additional multimedia options and capabilities and such, it was also recommended that I enter these commands:

sudo apt-get --yes install app-install-data-medibuntu apport-hooks-medibuntu

sudo apt-get install libdvdcss2
sudo apt-get install w64codecs

So I did that.  This all went smoothly.  I was now able to play other .wav files, but I was not able to play that particular one.  I tried playing it in Windows, using IrfanView, and got these error messages:

[filename]:  Can't read file header !

Unknown file format or file not found !

IrfanView: i_view32.exe - Corrupt File

The file or directory [filename] is corrupt and unreadable.  Please run the Chkdsk utility.

So possibly that was why Ubuntu had been unable to play it.  I had checked its properties in Ubuntu, but had not seen any such message.