How To: Play MP3 and other codecs on Moblin 2.1

Moblin (short for Mobile Linux) is a new Linux distribution that is designed by Intel to support multiple platforms and usage models ranging from Netbooks to Mobile Internet Devices (MID), to various embedded usage models, such as the In Vehicle Infotainment systems.

Moblin 2.1 was released recently and you could check out the screenshots here or watch the intro video here for a quick look on how the Moblin 2.1 Netbook looks like. You could check for tested netbook models here. The full release note and download link could be found here.

Looks promising, but the problem is, as with any other Linux distributions, it does not play mp3 and other proprietary codecs out of the box for legal reasons. It only plays Ogg Vorbis audio and Ogg Theora video upon installation and the Gstreamer packages needed to play mp3 and other video codecs are not available from Moblin's repository or from the Moblin Garage. So we have to compile these packages from source.

DISCLAIMER: Try this at your own risk.

Step 1: Download the souce code here. We need the following source codes:

gst-ffmpeg-0.10.9.tar.bz2  
gst-plugins-bad-0.10.16.tar.bz2  
gst-plugins-base-0.10.25.tar.bz2  
gst-plugins-good-0.10.16.tar.bz2  
gst-plugins-ugly-0.10.13.tar.bz2  
gstreamer-0.10.25.tar.bz2  

After installing these, extract them to a directory of your choice (ex. /Home/Downloads).

Step 2: Open the terminal and type this command to download and install necessary development tools and build packages:

yum install gcc bison flex *glib* *diff* liboil*dev*

Step 3: Compile and build the source code. Using the Terminal, use the cd command to navigate to the folder where you have extracted the downloaded source codes (ex. cd /Home/Downloads). Then type these commands in order (press Enter after each line):

cd gstreamer-0.10.25  
./configure -prefix=/usr && make && make install

cd ..

cd gst-plugins-base-0.10.25  
./configure -prefix=/usr && make && make install

cd ..

cd gst-plugins-good-0.10.16  
./configure -prefix=/usr && make && make install

cd ..

cd gst-plugins-bad-0.10.16  
./configure -prefix=/usr && make && make install

cd ..

cd gst-plugins-ugly-0.10.13  
./configure -prefix=/usr && make && make install

cd ..

cd gst-ffmpeg-0.10.9  
./configure -prefix=/usr && make && make install

Then reboot and have fun with your media. I might write an automated script later to do all of these upon execution of the script, but I'm busy at the moment.

Author

John Crisostomo

Software Engineer, currently interested in React, React Native and GraphQL