Multimedia/9.2

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Your PC-BSD system has been pre-configured to allow you to play multimedia in many formats. For example, if you insert a music CD or a video DVD, supported desktops will indicate that a new media is available and will offer options for accessing that media. Depending upon the desktop, several player applications may already be installed for playing various media formats. Most desktops also provide a graphical utility for configuring sound devices and inputs/outputs.

For desktops that don't provide a built-in device notifier or who don't support PC-BSD's built in devd system, the volman application runs in the background to provide this functionality for USB devices. This means that any desktop should notify you if a media is inserted into a USB CD/DVD device.

If you insert a CD/DVD media into an internal CD/DVD device and your desktop does not notify you, you can still mount the media manually as the superuser. This command will mount a CD inserted into the first internal CD device:

mount -t cd9660 /dev/cd0 /media

While web browsing, you should be able to play most media formats, including Youtube videos, Internet radio, and many trailer and movie sites.

NOTE: If you happen to come across a file that you can not play in a web browser or media player, it is probably because it is in a proprietary format that requires a licensing fee or restricts distribution of the codec that is required to play that media format.

The Multimedia category of AppCafe® contains several dozen applications for playing and editing multimedia. It includes these popular applications (click the links to view screenshots):

  • Amarok: music player that includes integrated support for many web services such as Last.fm, Magnatune, Echo Nest, Ampache, MP3Tunes, Jamendo, OPML, and Librivox.
  • Ardour: digital audio workstation that provides non-destructive, non-linear editing with unlimited undo and more than 200 LADSPA & LV2 plugins.
  • aTunes: full-featured audio player and manager that can play mp3, ogg, wma, wav, flac, mp4 and radio streaming, allowing users to easily edit tags, organize music and rip audio CDs.
  • Audacity: multilingual audio editor and recorder.
  • gtkpod: graphical user interface for the Apple iPod.
  • Miro: HD video player that can play almost any video file and offers over 6,000 free Internet TV shows and video podcasts.
  • Rhythmbox: integrated music management application

Troubleshooting Sound

By default, PC-BSD loads the snd_hda.ko driver at boot time. This is a meta-driver that automatically loads all supported sound cards. This means that sound usually "just works".

If your sound does not work, type mixer. You should receive output similar to the following:

Mixer vol      is currently set to 100:100
Mixer pcm      is currently set to 100:100
Mixer mic      is currently set to  50:50
Mixer mix      is currently set to  60:60
Mixer rec      is currently set to  75:75
Mixer igain    is currently set to 100:100
Mixer ogain    is currently set to 100:100

If any of these settings are set to 0, set them to a higher value, by specifying the name of the mixer setting as seen in this example:

mixer vol 100
Setting the mixer vol from 0:0 to 100:100.

If you only get one or two mixer settings instead of the settings shown above, you need to change the default mixer channel. As the superuser, try this command:

sysctl hw.snd.default_unit=1

To see if that changed to the correct channel, type mixer again. If you still only have one or two mixer settings, try setting the sysctl value to 2, and if necessary, to 3.

Once you have all of the mixer settings and none are set to 0, your sound should work. If it does not, see the section Finding Help. When reporting your problem, include your version of PC-BSD and the name of your sound card.

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