Tag Archives: video

Huh. huh?

I wasMrs. Clinton trying to play a QuickTime movie on Ubuntu (“Hardy Heron”, 8.04) and was surprised to find out that Totem (the default Mozilla plug-in for streaming movies) had a (ahem) hard time to play the movie. VLC to the rescue: well, almost. It’s the codecs, dude.

First verify if the ‘ubuntu-restricted’ downloads are installed: You can either issue an ‘sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras’ or you can look in the ‘Add/Remove’ option in the Application Menu. Select ‘All Available Applications’ and do a search for ‘ubuntu-restricted’. If not, on to the hard way.

First I recommend to get rid of the default Mozilla/Firefox video plugin (which is Totem and it totally sucks): sudo apt-get remove totem-mozilla mozilla-plugin-vlc xine-plugin kaffeine-mozilla helix-player mozilla-helix-player.

Then, install Mplayer by invoking sudo apt-get install mplayer mozilla-mplayer

After this, you should be able to view Quicktime movies in all of your installed videoplayers (Totem, VLC and MPlayer). When MPlayer is installed, don’t forget to enable the software-mixer in the preferences: and if you’re SOL, you may want to restart the computer right after that (I had some bad luck with my machine which may have been unrelated to the MPlayer installation).

I think my troubles started with the fact that I originally installed ‘Gutsy Gibbon’ on my machine: the dist-upgrade to Hardy Heron, issued just yesterday, most likely didn’t automatically finish the setup of the ‘ubuntu-restricted’ package, so, if you started out from scratch with ‘Hardy Heron’, you should not have any troubles viewing WMV/Quicktime, since it is supposed to have been installed. If you plan to stick to Gutsy (and upgrade to Hardy afterwards) , you most likely want to follow the steps mentioned above.

And now, back to watching Apple trailers or, uh, watching Evil Hillary movies.

Update 1: Notice that even if you issue ‘manual apt commands’, the installed packages will add the correct program icon to the appropriate ‘Application menu’ in Gnome. I assume, the same is true if you’re working with Kubuntu or Xubuntu.

Update 2: If you noticed that Ubuntu has problems playing sound in concurrent sessions (i.e. sound in a Flash player goes OK in FireFox, but no sound in MPlayer/Banshee or vice versa), you should definitely follow these instructions to correct the problem. Requires some editing of resource files: nothing spectacular.

What definition?

Yesterday, while watching Dream Warriors’ “My Definition of a boombastic jazz style” video-clip, I was amazed about the visuals used in that video. The clip prominently features (besides a lot of colours and pantomime) the (artistic) use of a focal depth of field. I didn’t have to look too long to find the director’s name: Tarsem Singh. Apparently, he also directed R.E.M.’s “Losing my religion”, which features similar used techniques as the one made for the Dream Warriors. Like it or not, both video clips are amazing and compelling works.

I also found out that Tarsem Singh is the man behind the movie “The Fall” (2006), a movie which video trailer was just recently released and (I believe) the movie will probably be showing in a theatre near you really soon now. As expected, “The Fall” has all those features that made the previously mentioned videoclips stand out. Reviews are mixed: from good to bad.

The language

I watch Are you experiencedsome (video)clips online at the regular websites (Crooks and Liars and Onegoodmove, as you may have already known), most of time just to view the best parts of ‘The Colbert Report’ and ‘Jon Stewart’s Daily Show’.

Obviously, both shows have gained a lot of popularity in the last couple of years, which is proof of the talents of both show’s hosts. What I find interesting is that both shows target all sides of politics, not just left or just right: the last 8 years their focus was reporting on the current Republican administration’s failures and I have no doubt that they’ll continue the same thing when the Democratic party takes over power. I think the best part of both shows is that they’ve raised the standards of good comedy writing. Take for example this quote from a ‘The word’ segment from The Colbert Report, where Stephen Colbert takes Republican presidential candidate McCain to the task about his comments about decisions in the past and living in the future (OneGoodMove video):

We are where we are. This is where McCain says where we can question him. We can only question him in the pastless and futureless present. This infinitesimal slice of existence, the zero-dimensional theoretical plot point of the now, where eternity intersects time. And if that’s what he’s saying, the question is not, senator, how did you vote or, senator, when will we withdraw, but senator McCain, are you high?

Who wrote this brilliant monologue?