Petter Reinholdtsen

The sorry state of multimedia browser plugins in Debian
25th November 2008

Recently I have spent some time evaluating the multimedia browser plugins available in Debian Lenny, to see which one we should use by default in Debian Edu. We need an embedded video playing plugin with control buttons to pause or stop the video, and capable of streaming all the multimedia content available on the web. The test results and notes are available on the Debian wiki. I was surprised how few of the plugins are able to fill this need. My personal video player favorite, VLC, has a really bad plugin which fail on a lot of the test pages. A lot of the MIME types I would expect to work with any free software player (like video/ogg), just do not work. And simple formats like the audio/x-mplegurl format (m3u playlists), just isn't supported by the totem and vlc plugins. I hope the situation will improve soon. No wonder sites use the proprietary Adobe flash to play video.

For Lenny, we seem to end up with the mplayer plugin. It seem to be the only one fitting our needs. :/

Tags: debian, debian edu, english, multimedia, web.

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