XINE Review

Xine is an excellent program for playing all kinds of audio and video files including some rather uncommon formats.
There’s quite an extensive range of audio file formats that you can play including Ogg Vorbis (.ogg), MPEG Layer 2 & 3 (.mp2 & .mp3), wave (.wav), modules (.xm, .mod, .s3m, .it etc.), Apple Interchange Format (.aif), and audio CDs. While you’re playing audio you can also have a graphical display such as Goom to make things look pretty.
Video formats include the good old audio / video interleave (.avi), Windows Media (.asf, .wmv), Autodesk Animator Flics (.flc, fli), MPEG 1 & 2 (.mpg, .mpeg, .m1v), QuickTime (.mov), and even Saturn .CPK files. Some of the supported AVI codecs include DivX, Duck, Cinepak and M-JPEG files. I even got it to play the audio out of the videos in Need For Speed 2. Extra plugins and codecs can be downloaded such as RealPlayer and Windows Media 8 & 9 formats. You can also play Video CDs, and DVDs too, but DVDs will require an extra plugin if they’re encrypted. Unlike a lot of regular DVD players that won’t let you skip a damn thing, Xine will happily jump to where ever you want in the video stream, so you can avoid annoying advertisements and other junk before the actual movie starts. It can also play DVDs from any region, either straight away, or by telling it what region the DVD is from.
If you’re having troubles playing various things, Xine also has a program which will check your system to see what might need changing. For me in Knoppix it recommended turning on DMA for my DVD drive, because I kept getting warning messages that it couldn’t play smoothly, and that fixed the problem.
Xine also lets you choose different interfaces also, and at their website you can see various examples. There’s a play list, snapshot option, one of those pad things for DVDs and handy keyboard shortcuts like “f” for full screen, “g” to hide the interface, “Alt + 2” for 1:1 ratio, “i” for de-interlacing and so forth. There’s also an extensive option screen that lets you tweak all sorts of things from plugin directories to rendering methods, pop up help delays and even subtitle options, like what font you want, and encoding format. You can even change the logo thatís displayed. All in all I find this to be the best media playing program that I’ve used, mostly due to the range of stuff that it can crack off. Seeing as my DVD drive is kinda half dead at the moment, the software that came with it, (which only works in Windows,) usually dies severely, taking out all of Windows with it when it can’t read a disc properly. Xine however is nice enough to give you an error message that what ever it is you’re trying to play can’t be read, but it certainly doesn’t stop responding.
There aren’t a lot of dependencies that Xine needs either which is good. Only zlib apparently to build it.
Mmm, so that’s all I have to say about it for the moment. The interface is easy to use, it’s very versatile and does what it’s supposed to do.