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Get Chromium on Ubuntu To Play mp4, H.264, MP3 & view PDF files natively

Google ChromeOS will do many wonderful things – the free and open-source version ‘Chromium OS’ sadly won’t.

Many of these ‘features’ can, given the nature of what Chrome/iumOS is, be enabled easily in both – including in the current browser versions of Chrome/ium.

Mp3 playback

Wondering whether ChromeOS will be able to play back music files? Well, Yeh-uh! Except unlike traditional desktop media players this one will be embedded in the browser.

Due to licensing issues with many of the codecs required for MP3 playback the open-source version of ChromeOS – ChromiumOS – will lack this support. We see this situation with many Linux distributions too, so it’s nothing shocking.

You can, however, re-enable it at your own discretion in the browser by installing the ‘chromium-codecs-ffmpeg-extra’ package from the Chromium PPA of your choice (Stable, Beta, Dev or Daily).

chromium-codecs-ffmpeg-extra (Click to install)

MP4 & H.264 Playback

As with MP3 playback, certain video formats are also restricted in Chromium. Again, one package soon fixes that: -

chromium-codecs-ffmpeg-nonfree (Click to install)

Built in PDF

Finally Chrome comes with a very neat (emphasis on the very there kids) built in PDF viewer. No more need to download then open in Acrobat etc., just click > view.

The procedure to install this is a little bit more complex and Chrome Story have the steps summed up perfectly. Redirect yourselves to chromestory.com/2010/11/how-to-enable-chromes-inbuilt-pdf-plugin-in-chromium-ubuntu/ and follow along.