Enabling mp3 support in CentOS

I recently installed CentOS 5.1 on my system as I want to prepare for the RHCE exam. Though I’m not a music buff, I do like to listen to music now and then and sadly most of the music are the ugly mp3 format files. Many linux distros do not have out-of-the-box support for mp3 format for licensing issues. CentOS which is an unbranded form of RHEL is one such distro. So, we have to find a workaround to give life to our mp3 collection.

The easiest and the best thing to do is to install “VLC Mediaplayer“. Open a terminal and do:

yum install vlc. And you are done.

The other way is to use fluendo’s mp3 decoder if you are using GNOME, which uses gstreamer. Use these links:
1. http://core.fluendo.com/gstreamer/src/gst-fluendo-mp3/
or
2. https://shop.fluendo.com/

The first link is for the source code. Do the regular, compile-install stuff if you like it that way.

The second link takes us to the fluendo webshop, select the mp3 decoder which is ‘sold’ free-of-cost, go through their process and download the file. Unzip the file and copy the ‘libgstflump3dec.so’ file to “$HOME/.gstreamer-0.10/plugins” or if you are a root copy it to “/usr/lib/gstreamer-0.10”. Once this is done, run a test, “gst-inspect-0.10 flump3dec”. If it doesn’t return any errors then we are done. We can open any application that uses gstreamer to enjoy the mp3 music.

I said installing VLC is easiest and best because it is a ‘mediaplayer’ with decoders for all possible formats, not only the mp3 format.  So, by installing VLC we also get to listen music file in other proprietary formats, and get to watch  proprietary format movie files.  The second option though is only to enable mp3 support in the mediaplayers that use gstreamer.  Anyway, isn’t it good to know more than one way of doing things. 🙂