« What I learned today | Main | Dalek »

What I learned today (2)

  1. Azureus is a bittorrent client that works on my home system. It does not, thankfully, appear to use Python anywhere.
  2. The first thing it prompts you for in the configuration is where to put the torrent, not the downloaded file as I thought. Use the default directory offered for that.
  3. The directory it prompts you for after starting a torrent is the place where it will put your downloaded file. Do not use the default directory offered for that.
  4. Contrary to this user's expectation, the XVid codec for linux will compile without plunging the hapless user into Library Trouble, and will even allow itself to be installed. The instructions for what to do next are gobbledygook, but I've managed to try a few things involving the Totem media player before my computer hung.
  5. If your computer hangs, you may have trouble finding the downloaded file.
  6. It is very easy to waste time on this crap, but I still don't understand how, given all the hurdles involved, file sharing has become so popular. As far as I can tell, it is a huge hassle of the sort that no sane, non-obsessed person should have any patience for.
  7. I have no idea how to tell any of the media players on my system how to use the XVid libraries (that's the part of the XVid instructions that were gobbledygook). I tried adding a symlink to the library to the Totem plugins folder, but that didn't do a thing. I also feel that I need better media software than Kaffeine, Totem and (gak) Real Player, but the last time I tried to install any, I ran into Library Hell. Answers on a postcard to reinder@despammed.com.
  8. Ditto with the DivX codec, or indeed, come to think of it, anything other codec I've tried to get to work since 2003.

Below the cut, I'll mention some specifics and go through some of my reader mail:

Specifically, the bit in the XVid installation instructions that I tripped on was:

[snip] # make install

This copies the shared and static libraries to the prefix location passed to the ./configure tool (/usr/local by default)[/usr/local/lib in my case -RD]. The xvid.h include file is also copied during the "make install" run.

Voila, xvidcore is installed on your system, make sure your runtime linker knows about the xvidcore prefix lib dir where it is installed. And make also sure that it generates a symlink to its

As an educated guess, I read the bold bit as "Tell Xine (which Kaffeine runs on) and/or Totem where to find the libxvid stuff" but there doesn't seem to be any obvious way to do this. Symlinking to the Proprietary Plugins directory for Totem doesn't do the trick, and there isn't any obvious space in Kaffeine's widget for configuring Xine to put that information. Puzzling, that.

Reader Squiddharta, who used to comment here when the blog still had comments (they will be back in a few weeks, though the implementation will be very different from what everyone remembers), suggested I checked out the Videolan Player, which I was already looking into from the studio. It looked like a very convenient setup, eliminating, for the time being, the need to collect and hoard codecs from all over the space/time continuum. Unfortunately, the unofficial SuSE 9.* packages gave me the worst case of Library Hell ever! 2 dozen libraries were reported as missing, including XVID, which I know for a fact I have just installed, FreeType and Mozilla. Yup, it demands that I have Mozilla on there, and Firefox apparently won't do. Bit of a downer, that.

May 6 update: reader Squiddharta translated the gobbledygook in a way that may make sense: It means my LD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variable should be made to include the directory where the library file lives. OK, that may sound like gobbledygook to many of you as well, but I understand what it means: it means I have to write a line in a file that linux uses to find library stuff. As for where that line has to go, I don't know yet, but it's something that Squiddharta and I will find out eventually.

May 7, wee small hours update: I followed Squiddharta's instructions for setting those variables; however I can't follow his instructions for checking if they worked (details later, if they turn out to be applicable). Somewhere in the process, I managed to get sound working for XVID- and DIVX- based AVI files as well as some MPEGS that didn't used to work before. Or was that working all along? Kaffeine reports that these have MPEG audio Layer 3, which sounds... familiar. As best I can remember, these movies (including "Dalek") didn't use to open on the home machine at all, but my memory or my haphazard testing may be playing tricks on me.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 5, 2005 11:02 AM.

The previous post in this blog was What I learned today.

The next post in this blog is Dalek.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Powered by
Movable Type 3.34