8.2. Playing Digital Audio Files

Digital audio has become very popular in recent years. Users enjoy the technology because the sound quality is excellent compared to analog tape or records, and the files are compact (audio files can easily be transferred across the Internet).

To take advantage of this technology, Red Hat Enterprise Linux includes the powerful X Multimedia System (XMMS), a cross-platform multimedia player which allows you to play several digital audio file formats.

Figure 8-3. XMMS Interface

XMMS can be used for more than just playing digital audio files. By default XMMS can play Ogg Vorbis, RIFF wave, and most module formats. Additionally, XMMS can be extended via plugins to play a number of other digital multimedia formats.

To launch XMMS, go to Main Menu => Sound & Video => Audio Player.

To launch XMMS from a shell prompt, type the command xmms.

8.2.1. Using XMMS

To play an audio file with XMMS, click the Open button and choose a file from the Load File(s) window.

Figure 8-4. The Load File(s) Window

In Figure 8-4, you see that there are several files to choose from. The files that end in .ogg are Ogg Vorbis files, a popular new audio file format, while the .pls file is an audio playlist file. You can use XMMS to add audio files into a list and then save it as a playlist. This can be convenient if you have several audio files and you want to categorize them (for example, by genre or artist). Highlight the file you wish to play (if you have multiple files, click and hold the mouse button and drag it over all of the files you want to open) and click OK. Notice that XMMS begins to play your audio files immediately. To adjust the volume click and drag the volume slider (the long slider above the Open button) to the left to lower the volume or to the right to increase it like a CD player. There are also buttons to stop, pause, and skip (backward and forward) your audio files.

To learn more about using XMMS and its many options, refer to the man page by typing man xmms at a shell prompt.