July 9, 2007 · General · Email This Post

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Fluendo's Elisa is a free software media center application that can play your DVDs, video files, music, and pictures. Since it is designed for extensibility, Elisa has the potential to do much more. It does not handle television or video recording functions, but it is a slick and promising project.

Elisa media center Features

  • Elisa supports a wide range for media formats through the use of the GStreamer multimedia framework, including but not limited to Ogg Vorbis, Ogg Theora, Matroska, MPEG 2, MPEG4, Quicktime and Windows Media. Commercially licensed plugins that work with GStreamer and Elisa are available from Fluendo.
  • Elisa supports playing both local music files and web radio stations. So if your media center is connected to your hi-fi system you can use it as a web radio tuner or you can use it as a jukebox for your own music files.
  • Elisa supports any remote control supported by the linux infrared control project, this includes many of the most popular infrared remote controls out there.
  • Elisa can view photos and images in all the most common formats used like jpeg and png. Elisa can also do simple manipulation of the photos like rotating photos that are taken in portrait mode.
  • Elisa supports playing back DVD’s
  • Elisa is cross platform allowing you to install it on both GNU/Linux and Unix systems, but also on Windows systems.
  • Elisa supports DLNA compliant upnp multimedia devices. This means photos, music and videos shared from such devices are available in Elisa. Elisa is also able to share its own files to upnp enabled devices.
  • Elisa can act as a DAAP client so as to browse and play music files shared on the network by iTunes, Banshee or Rhythmbox
  • Elisa is also able to browse and display pictures shared on Flickr

Install Elisa media center in Ubuntu

For Ubuntu Edgy Users

You need to edit the /etc/apt/sources.list file

sudo vi /etc/apt/sources.list

add the following line save and exit the file

deb http://elisa.fluendo.com/packages edgy main

For Ubuntu Feisty Users

You need to edit the /etc/apt/sources.list file

sudo vi /etc/apt/sources.list

add the following line save and exit the file

deb http://elisa.fluendo.com/packages feisty main

Now you need to update the source list using the following comamnd

sudo apt-get update

install elisa using the following command

sudo apt-get install elisa

This will install all the packages required for elisa media center.

If you want to open go to Applications -> Sound & Video ->Elisa Media Center

Once it opens you should see the following screen

On launch, Elisa looks for the configuration file ~/.elisa/elisa.conf. If it does not find one (and it won't the first time you run Elisa), it creates a skeleton elisa.conf file that you can then edit in any text editor.

The important options to customize are the locations in which Elisa will look for media. The default elisa.conf specifies ./sample_data/movies, ./sample_data/music, and ./sample_data/pictures --- directories that do not even exist inside ~./elisa/.

Elisa Media Center plugins

If you want Elisa Media Center plugins check here

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7 Comments to “How to Install Elisa media center in Ubuntu”

  1. thegreateye says:

    that is a really good media center…it resembles Windows Media Center in a way…the one stop solution for multimedia.

    [Reply]

  2. Graeme Burrell says:

    Hi, I don’t have internet access where my Ubuntu box is at the moment. Is there any easy way I can download Elisa (and other programs, drivers etc.) and then install them locally from USB hard drive or CD ROM?

    Apologies in advance if this is an rtfm – I’m experienced in Windoze but an Ubuntu/Linux newbie.

    [Reply]

  3. Chris says:

    Latest version looks like but this application blows chunks and here is why.

    First off if its not ready for prime time, say so. I don’t see a mention of “beta” but then again maybe I missed it. If so, lets make it obvious.

    Second, the documentation on the website is VERY limited and aimed at developers for testing purposes only. There are very very few documents that describe the use of the application from the end user standpoint. They give you just enough to get frustrated.

    Third, The documentation that is there is incorrect and leads you down dead ends that don’t work.

    Fourth, The man page is too limited and also lacks descriptive details on what the application can do and what extended options are available, getting out of full screen mode for example.

    Documentation appears rushed and incomplete. Plugin documentation states “simply drag and drop plugins into the screen”. How does an end user do that when the application is full screen?

    Debian package description indicates that application works as PVR. This is not mentioned in the documentation on the website, nor in the man page.

    Your plugin instructions link is broken by the way.

    While the app itself present a great Idea with a wonderful visual delivery, the functionality is unclear due to the lack of descriptive documentation.

    If you really want to use this application to its full potential my advise is to wait. Yoru only going to get very frustrated with the lack of details on how to get it working and find it does nothing but look good at this point.

    [Reply]

  4. John Acker says:

    I am not trying to bash programs that run with Linux. I have Linux installed on one of my computers and use Open Office exclusively on Windows and Linux based machines. I recently tried to install Elisa Media Center on Ubuntu and when I got into the process it seemed to me to be too complicated. I was not able to get it installed. I did however get it installed on a Windows based machine and found Elisa enjoyable to use. And the install was easy.

    I am wondering why things have to be so complicated with Ubuntu and Linux. I have tried to install other programs resulting in the same frustrations. I suspect that most people reading this don’t think it difficult to edit the “/etc/apt/sources.list file” etc. I may be able to figure this out. After all, I have been dabbling with computers since the days when the Apple II was the latest hot item on the market. I want to emphasize MAY in the preceding sentence. I am a long way from a computer whiz.

    I do think it could be made simpler. Developers that create these programs such as Elisa can also create programs that make the install on Ubuntu and Linux simple. This would do a lot to encourage more people to migrate from Windows to Ubuntu and other similar programs.

    I believe in reuse instead of recycle when ever possible. There are a lot of computers to be found in garage sales and Craigslist and many other sources. If one has to buy software for operating system and applications, many of these computers will go to the dump. But if a person can get a computer for next to nothing or sometimes for nothing and put Open Office on it, that computer will do all the things that most anyone would want to do with words and numbers, or make a dedicated music player using Elisa. Even using a remote to control what one listens to from your easy chair.

    I just think that developers should spend a little more time on making installing their programs easier.

    That’s what John thinks.

    [Reply]

  5. robert says:

    I agree! i did get elisa installed once on ubuntu and it worked better than windows because it showed external drive up clearer, since crashing couldnt install it again so its back to windows and media monkey for my music

    [Reply]

  6. Indie says:

    @John Acker: If you’re looking for an easier method for installing packages then you may want to take a look at openSUSE. It has a One-Click-Install method where you download a .ymp file and that contains any needed repo information that gets added to your system to install your desired package.

    [Reply]

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