Thursday, December 29, 2005

Linux, DVDs, and Myths. . .

So, it seemed strange to me that, in a world with DVD Jon and the like, somebody hadn't released a Linux tool for watching protected DVDs. So I went hunting. A few tantalising comments showed up on Google about Linux users watching such DVDs, but nothing clear on how. A few comments about libdvdcss were about all, and I already had that, so clearly it wasn't the answer.

So I asked on LQ and was told that it could be done. Once again, Iwas pointed at libdvdcss.

Hmmm. . .

So I checked my USE flags for mplayer. DVD support was on, and there's no libdvdcss option. However, libdvdread was off. Odd, since it was mplayer that installed it, but let's ignore that and just alter the USE flags to include libdvdread.

A recompile later, I tried one of my protected DVDs. And you know what?

It played!

What's more, when I tried DVD::rip, it also worked. I got a perfect working Divx5 Avi.

So now I can play any DVD in Linux, and also rip any DVD to carry it around on my GP2X as well! That's me happy again :o)

Apart from anything else, you see, it removed a big obstacle in the way of my hope for a MythTV box. This is basically a bit of software that you use to make a Linux-based complete entertainment center, for TV/Video/DVD/music/game/etc. Like a Tivo, with the ability to pause live TV and record the same show every week even when it's on at different times. Like Linux, it plays any DVD and without forcing you to watch the fecking "Downloading is stealing" crud or the adverts for other films that some obnoxious studios seem to feel is OK to put on a paid-for disc. And so on.

My desire to get around to putting one together was rekindled when I picked up a Linux Format mag with an article about it. To my surprise, when I showed it to Lou & suggested it, she was quite keen - I'd expected a "We already have a DVD player, why waste money on this?" type reaction. But no, she liked the idea.

So I'm going to look around at the various TV card options, motherboards, cases, et al. Then we'll look very seriously into buying & installing. We're both rather tempted by the Knoppmyth project - a Knoppix-based Myth installer that takes a lot of hard work out of the whole thing. Much as I love Linux' configurability all, sometimes I don't want to become an expert on the subject matter before I start, I just want to get on with it. (Plus they have a forum devoted to hardware that works out-of-the-box, which seems a good place to start looking for hardware advice!)

Once we've got it, I'm thinking we'll rip pretty much our whole CD collection to it so we can shove them away under the bed or something rather than having them fill all our shelving units. Any videos we really want to keep access to, we'll copy over to DVD then archive the tapes next to the CDs. I may consider putting a few games on for a bit of fun, but other than that, we'll be pretty much done by then.

Sounds quite cool, doesn't it? :o)


titanium said...

ripping- the best way to regain some precious storage space- go for it!

why be forced to listen to ONLY ONE cd when you can listen to the tracks in any order you like if they are ripped?

Now tell me- mp3 or ogg?

2:02 AM  
Dominic said...

Ogg all the way!

See my previous post for my opinion on MP3s ;o)

9:33 AM  
hari said...

OGG definitely for me since it's a completely open format. Unlike Mp3 which has patent restrictions.

7:50 AM  

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