Playing commercial DVD movies in Totem

Using Linux as my desktop operating system at home gets me involved in many areas I don’t get involved in at work. Playing commercial DVD movies is one of those.

While I’ve previously written about my purchase of Fluendo’s licensed plugins for gstreamer, I haven’t yet had a chance to try out the DVD player from the same company (a personal budget matter). For now I decided to experiment with the free gstreamer plugins available for Totem.

There’s actually a pretty informative article on this over at the Solaris Multimedia site, where Murray Blakeman details how he got it to work on his favorite O/S.

For me, making it happen on Linux, in particular CentOS 5.3, was a matter of installing the gstreamer-plugins-ugly (and its dependencies) package from rpmforge. The only annoyance with this setup for me was having to load the disk by opening it from the toolbar by selecting Movie... Open Location... dvd://. The “Play Disc” option wouldn’t work for me.

Totem Playing a DVD

(the screenshot is of the opening minutes of the film Alien Planet, a very cool speculative science piece from Discovery on what kinds of life we might find on an extraterrestrial planet)