Apparently none of the developers of the players reviewed ever wanted to be accused of supplying inadequate documentation. MPlayer, VideoLAN Client and xine supply especially extensive docs for developers and normal users. Ogle provides somewhat less exhaustive documentation, but it's also the most narrowly focused player reviewed, and its manual page (man ogle) is excellent. All of these players have extensive support available through highly active mail lists and list archives.
The players reviewed all show remarkable longevity and maturity. Linux may not be an obvious first choice for a multimedia platform, but it's certainly becoming difficult to ignore the fact that it is rapidly evolving into a superb platform for audio and video play. I encourage readers to check out the software listed and reviewed here, and I look forward to receiving your reports. Have fun, but remember to try to get some real work done too.
My thanks to all the development teams working to bring a better DVD experience to Linux users everywhere. Thanks also to Siggi Langauf and Bill Fink for their assistance with xine and their astute criticism of my first drafts of this article. I am responsible for remaining inaccuracies and errors, and I welcome civil corrections and addenda.
Dave Phillips is a musician, teacher and writer living in Findlay, Ohio. He has been an active member of the Linux audio community since his first contact with Linux in 1995. He is the author of The Book of Linux Music & Sound, as well as numerous articles in Linux Journal.
Similis sum folio de quo ludunt venti.