Friday, August 15, 2008

How to play videos from in Ubuntu [tutorial]

For the past few days I've been really pissed that I couldn't access videos on nbcolympics on my Ubuntu box. I'd have to proxy out of the country to watch them on the BBC (but proxy servers are notoriously unreliable and it was definitely a pain). Recently I discovered a very nice way to watch the videos from on my Ubuntu box. I cannot take credit for any of this at all - rather we should all thank k_i_k on the Ubuntu forums.

In this post I'll tell you how to set things up.

Install (if you haven't already): w32codecs, totem-xine (or your preferred media player. Note: vlc doesn't seem to play sound), python-libxml2, python-lxml, python-xml

The quick way to do this is with this command:

sudo apt-get install w32codecs totem-xine python-libxml2 python-lxml python-xml

Once everything is installed, download this python script - it does all the magic.

chmod 755

Then, as instructed here, browse, find the video you want to watch, and click the link of the video you want to watch. A pop-up window will show up telling you that you that your platform is not supported (bastards). Copy the assetid portion of the URL on the failure screen (after the '=' and before the '&') and enter the following command:

./ the-assetid-you-copied

Once you do this, totem-xine will launch and start playing the video you selected!

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Tom Chandler/Copywriter Underground said...

Excellent. Despite Microsoft's efforts, I'm watching the olympics on my Linux boxes. Life is sometimes sweet...

Alex said...

"Despite Microsoft's efforts"?

That's just completely misguided. Microsoft would've loved to see Moonlight 2.0 delivered in time for the Olympics. If Microsoft didn't want Silverlight supported on Linux, it never would've made a deal with Novell to start with. After all, officially supporting a technology on Linux isn't something Microsoft does every day, so the sheer fact that they are doing it should signal that MS is serious about it.

Michael said...

Very nice. Thanks to these scripts I've been able to send links to my mom to watch on her Win2K laptop.

KLB said...

You and anyone who had a hand in this script are righteous!!

diafygi said...

I am using Karmic, and I don't seem to have python-xml in my repository list. How can I get this script working or install python-xml?

Anonymous said...

Will this work for this Olympics (2012) at

Anonymous said...

Will this work for this Olympics?

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