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Multimedia freedom with Mandriva Linux

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MDV

A Mandriva Linux PC is a multimedia powerhouse. It is excellent for playing and editing audio and video in many formats, although running multimedia applications under Linux poses challenges.

Linux also plays DVDs, but because commercial DVDs are encrypted, most official distributions will not play DVDs out of the box. The required software, called libdvdcss, is available for download, but breaches patents and is illegal to use.

If you buy the boxed version of Mandriva then a version of the WinDVD application called LinDVD is included; it’s legal to use for DVD playback. Another hassle is that Apple’s iTunes will not run on Linux, though it is possible to connect an iPod and manage its music library.

In some ways Linux users get the best deal, since free software such as Amarok lets you copy music from and to the iPod, which iTunes does not. Some things in Linux take a little more work, but the outcome may be better than the alternatives.

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