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Well, it was a partial success...

I rebuilt ffmpeg. Still have some A/V sync problems. This isn't a surprise. The machine couldn't sync Matroska/h.264/mp3 videos under Windows. Just didn't have the processor power.

Everything else is running as well or better than when the machine was running Windows.

So notes?
  • Ubuntu Linux is perfectly fine and the install is dirt-simple
  • The CIFS (SMB, Samba, or Windows Networking client) support in Ubuntu is kind of weak
  • VLC Media Player isn’t bad, but the linux version doesn't support direct browsing for media over CIFS protocol
  • If you're going to have to mount your network media file system, and you have the option, NFS is a much better protocol choice for Linux.
  • MPlayer is an even simpler media playback tool than VLC, and it’s got a wide range of codec support
  • MythTV, while being pimped as a DIY DVR box, also provides a great front-end for accessing your media library and playing it through MPlayer

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