Enable MP4 and WMA playback for Clementine on KXStudio 14.04

29 Apr

This is a quick note on one of the small issues I encountered since I started using KXStudio as my only OS. KXStudio is great Ubuntu-based distribution maintained by the amazing FalkTX, and directed at music production. It has repos that have up-to-date music production apps, as well as extra utilities that make it a lot easier to build your Jack server-based studio.

I noticed that I could not play MP4 out of the box in Clementine, getting an error message like “Your GStreamer is missing a plug-in.”. I simply had to install the “bad” part of the gstreamer plugins – “base”, “good” and “ugly” being already installed. The package is called “gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad” and you can install it by executing the following command in a terminal:

sudo apt-get install gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad

You might also have noticed that WMA files don’t play, with a similar error message. For WMA playback, you will need to install a package that is not in the official repos. For that, add the “mc3man/gstffmpeg-keep” PPA and install the corresponding package with the following successive commands, following the prompts each time:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mc3man/gstffmpeg-keep
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg

Remember to restart Clementine after those changes so it takes into account the new plugins.

This was tested on KXStudio 14.04 with Clementine 1.2.3 (now in the KXStudio 14.04 repos).

The next version of Clementine (probably 1.3) will use gstreamer1.0, which will solve a few issues with it not playing some formats, including lossless WMA for example. So make sure you remove that PPA and uninstall the package when you upgrade Clementine.  But really, you should just convert those nasty files to a different format. Clementine has a built-in transcoder that you can use to convert your problematic formats (MP4, WMA) to open formats that will never bring up issues like this in the future, like FLAC for your lossless tracks or Ogg Vorbis for your lossy ones. And get your new music in those formats too!

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