A.3. Multimedia

The following section introduces the most popular multimedia applications for Linux. Get to know media players, sound editing solutions, and video editing tools.

Table A.3. Multimedia Software for Windows and Linux


Windows Application

Linux Application

Audio CD Player

CD Player, Winamp, Windows Media Player

KsCD, Grip, Banshee

CD Burner

Nero, Roxio Easy CD Creator


CD Ripper


Grip, kaudiocreator, Sound Juicer, Banshee

Audio Player

Winamp, Windows Media Player, iTunes

amaroK, XMMS, Rhythmbox, Banshee

Video Player

Winamp, Windows Media Player

Kaffeine, MPlayer, Xine, XMMS, Totem

Audio Editor

SoundForge, Cooledit, Audacity


Sound Mixer


alsamixer, Kmix

Music Notation

Finale, SmartScore, Sibelius

LilyPond, MusE, Noteedit, Rosegarden

Video Creator and Editor

Windows Movie Maker, Adobe Premiere, Media Studio Pro, MainActor

MainActor, Kino

TV Viewer

AVerTV, PowerVCR 3.0, CinePlayer DVR

xawtv (analog), motv (analog), xawtv4, tvtime, kdetv, zapping, Kaffeine


KsCD is a neat little CD player application for the KDE desktop. Its user interface very much resembles that of a normal hardware CD player, guaranteeing ease of use. KsCD supports CDDB, enabling you to get any track and album information either from the Internet or your local file system. Find more information at http://docs.kde.org/en/3.3/kdemultimedia/kscd/.


Grip provides CD player and ripper functionalities for the GNOME desktop. It supports CDDB lookups for track and album data. Ripping can be done using the built-in cdparanoia capabilities or via external rippers. Find more information at http://www.nostatic.org/grip/.

Sound Juicer

Sound Juicer is a lean CD ripper application for the GNOME desktop. Find more information about Sound Juicer at http://www.burtonini.com/blog/computers/sound-juicer.


Banshee is a digital jukebox very similar to iTunes.


K3b is a multitalented media creation tool. Create data, audio, or video CD and DVD projects by dragging and dropping. Find more information about K3b at http://www.k3b.org/ or refer to Chapter 16, K3b—Burning CDs or DVDs (↑Applications).


Kaffeine is a versatile multimedia application supporting a wide range of audio and video formats including Ogg Vorbis, WMV, MOV, and AVI. Import and edit play lists of various types, create screenshots, and save media streams to your local hard disk. Find more information about Kaffeine at http://kaffeine.sourceforge.net/.


Totem is a movie player application for the GNOME desktop. It supports Shoutcast, m3u, asx, SMIL, and ra play lists, lets you use keyboard controls, and plays a wide range of audio and video formats. Find more information about Totem at http://www.gnome.org/projects/totem/.


The amaroK media player handles various audio formats and plays the streaming audio broadcasts of radio stations on the Internet. The program handles all file types supported by the sound server acting as a back-end—currently aRts or GStreamer. Find more information about amaroK at http://amarok.kde.org/ or refer to Section 14.2.1, “amaroK” (↑Applications).


XMMS is the traditional choice for multimedia playback. It is focused on music playback, offering support for CD playback and Ogg Vorbis files. Users of Winamp should find XMMS comfortable because of its similarity. Find more information about XMMS at http://www.xmms.org/ or refer to Section 14.2.3, “XMMS” (↑Applications).


Rhythmbox is a powerful, multitalented media player for the GNOME desktop. It allows you to organize and browse your music collection using playlists and even supports Internet radio. Find more information about Rhythmbox at http://www.gnome.org/projects/rhythmbox/.


Audacity is a powerful, free sound editing tool. Record, edit, and play any Ogg Vorbis or WAV file. Mix tracks at your whim, apply effects to them, and export the results to WAV or Ogg Vorbis. Find more information about Audacity at http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ or refer to Section 14.4, “Hard Disk Recording with Audacity” (↑Applications).


LilyPond is a free music sheet editor. Because the input format is text-based, you can use any text editor to create note sheets. Users do not need to tackle any formatting or notation issues, like spacing, line-breaking, or polyphonic collisions. All these issues are automatically resolved by LilyPond. It supports many special notations like chord names and tablatures. The output can be exported to PNG, TeX, PDF, PostScript, and MIDI. Find more information about LilyPond at http://lilypond.org/web/.


MusE's goal is to be a complete multitrack virtual studio for Linux. Find more information about MusE at http://www.muse-sequencer.org/index.php.


Noteedit is a powerful score editor for Linux. Use it to create sheets of notes and to export and import scores to and from many formats, such as MIDI, MusicXML and LilyPond. Find more information about Noteedit at http://developer.berlios.de/projects/noteedit/.


Rosegarden is a free music composition and editing environment. It features an audio and MIDI sequencer and a score editor. Find more information about Rosegarden at http://rosegardenmusic.com/.


MainActor is a fully fledged video authoring software. Because there is a Windows version of MainActor, transition from Windows is easy. Find more information about MainActor at http://www.mainactor.com/.

xawtv and motv

xawtv is a TV viewer and recorder application supporting analog TV. motv is basically the same as xawtv, but with a slightly different user interface. Find more information about the xawtv project at http://linux.bytesex.org/xawtv/.


xawtv4 is a successor of the xawtv application. It supports both analog and digital audio and video broadcasts. The xawtv4 package contains several useful applications apart from the TV viewer: pia4 (a command line controlled movie player for streams recorded by xawtv4), mtt4 (a video text browser), alexplore (a DVB channel scanner; built-in), dvbradio (a DVB radio player; needs an initial channel scan), and dvbrowse (an EPG browser). For more information, refer to http://linux.bytesex.org/xawtv/.


tvtime is a lean TV viewer application supporting analog TV. Find more information about tvtime, including a comprehensive usage guide, at http://tvtime.sourceforge.net/.


A TV viewer and recorder application for the KDE desktop supporting analog TV. Find more information about kdetv at http://www.kdetv.org/.


A TV viewer and recorder application for the GNOME desktop supporting analog TV. Find more information about Zapping at http://zapping.sourceforge.net/cgi-bin/view/Main/WebHome.