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How To Play VP9 Codec WebM Files in VLC on Ubuntu

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In the world of multimedia playback, compatibility issues can sometimes arise due to the vast array of file formats and codecs available. One such codec is VP9, a popular open and royalty-free video coding format developed by Google. It is often used in conjunction with the WebM container format, which is also developed by Google. In this article, we will guide you on how to play VP9 Codec WebM files in VLC on Ubuntu.

Quick Answer

To play VP9 Codec WebM files in VLC on Ubuntu, make sure you have VLC version 2.1.2 or newer installed. If not, update or install VLC using the mc3man/trusty-media repository. Additionally, install the necessary plugins by running sudo apt-get install vlc vlc-plugin-*. After installation, you should be able to play VP9 Codec WebM files in VLC on Ubuntu.

Understanding VP9 and WebM

VP9 is a successor to VP8 and competes mainly with MPEG’s High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC/H.265). It offers a higher compression ratio, which results in better video quality at the same file size. WebM is a multimedia container format designed to support VP8 and VP9 video codecs and Vorbis and Opus audio codecs.

VLC, being a versatile and robust media player, supports a wide range of codecs including VP9 and container formats like WebM. However, to ensure smooth playback, it’s essential to have the correct version of VLC and the necessary plugins installed.

Checking Your VLC Version

Before proceeding, you need to check the version of VLC you have installed on your Ubuntu system. You can do this by opening VLC and navigating to Help > About. If your VLC version is 2.1.2 or newer, it should support VP9 by default.

Installing VLC and Necessary Plugins

If you do not have VLC installed or your version is older than 2.1.2, you will need to install or update VLC. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Open a terminal. You can do this by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or searching for ‘Terminal’ in your system’s application launcher.
  2. Add the necessary repository by running the following command:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mc3man/trusty-media

This command adds the mc3man/trusty-media repository to your system’s software sources. This repository contains the latest version of VLC and other multimedia software.

  1. Update your system’s package list by running:
sudo apt-get update

This command fetches the latest list of available software from all your system’s configured repositories, including the one we just added.

  1. Install VLC and its plugins by running:
sudo apt-get install vlc vlc-plugin-*

This command installs VLC and all available VLC plugins. The * in vlc-plugin-* is a wildcard that matches all packages starting with vlc-plugin-.

After the installation is complete, you should be able to play VP9 Codec WebM files in VLC.

Troubleshooting

If you’re still experiencing issues, it could be due to the specific file or a compatibility issue with VLC. You can try playing the file in another media player like Totem to see if the problem persists.

If the issue is specific to VLC, you could try installing the ubuntu-restricted-extras package. This package includes additional codecs and plugins that may be required to play certain file formats. You can install it by running:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

If the issue persists, you may need to install the gstreamer package. However, the specific gstreamer packages required can vary, so you may need to experiment or seek further assistance.

Conclusion

Playing VP9 Codec WebM files in VLC on Ubuntu is a straightforward process if you have the correct version of VLC and the necessary plugins installed. If you encounter any issues, there are several troubleshooting steps you can take, including installing additional packages or trying a different media player. By following the steps outlined in this article, you should be able to enjoy your multimedia content without any hitches.

What is a codec?

A codec is a software or hardware device that compresses and decompresses digital media files, such as audio and video, to reduce file size while maintaining quality.

What is VP9?

VP9 is a video codec developed by Google. It is an open and royalty-free format that offers a higher compression ratio, resulting in better video quality at the same file size.

What is WebM?

WebM is a multimedia container format developed by Google. It is designed to support VP8 and VP9 video codecs, as well as Vorbis and Opus audio codecs.

Why is it important to have the correct version of VLC?

Having the correct version of VLC ensures that it supports the VP9 codec and WebM container format, allowing for smooth playback of VP9 Codec WebM files.

How can I check the version of VLC installed on my Ubuntu system?

You can check the version of VLC by opening VLC and navigating to Help > About. The version number will be displayed in the About window.

How do I install or update VLC on Ubuntu?

You can install or update VLC on Ubuntu by adding the mc3man/trusty-media repository to your system’s software sources and then running the appropriate commands in the terminal. Please refer to the installation steps provided in the article.

What should I do if I still can’t play VP9 Codec WebM files in VLC?

If you’re still experiencing issues, you can try playing the file in another media player like Totem to see if the problem persists. You can also try installing the ubuntu-restricted-extras package or the gstreamer package to resolve compatibility issues.

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