Playing music on PCs have become extremely common. It is rare that I don't have some music going at work and at home. The mp3 format is very popular, but it is a closed format encumbered by patents. .ogg
is a popular audio format among open source and free software enthusiasts because it is patent-free and many claim it is better than mp3. Most Linux music players support mp3, ogg Vorbis, FLAC
, .wav, CDs, and more.
A quick note: Some audio and video formats require MS Windows codecs to be installed to work with Linux. A google search for "win32 codecs" turns up some good information on how to install these for your distribution. If you're using SUSE, you can download the w32 codec RPM here.
Another note: Some Linux distributions intentionally cripple some of their media playing capabilities due to what kind of free software can be shipped with other kinds of software and patent concerns. SUSE is such a distribution, so to get many of the most popular media formats to play with SUSE, you'll need to remove some versions of media software shipped with SUSE and install non-SUSE versions. This is not very difficult, a decent summary on how to get this going can be found here.
When I used windows, I was a Winamp fan because it was simple, looked good, free (as in beer), and played what I needed it to play. Unfortunately Winamp is not available for Linux, but there is a very similar player called xmms (X Multimedia System). It is very similar to Winamp in it's function, GUI, and simplicity.
Kaffeine is KDE's primary media player and as such plays most audio and video file formats.
amaroK has been steadily growing in popularity. This music player is packed with features and prsented in a way users have come to love. If you're the kind of person who likes total control over playlists and want every possible feature available, you'll likely want to try amaroK.
Rhythmbox is GNOME's primary music player. It is similar to amaroK mentioned above, but seems to have fewer features. I have never used Rhythmbox before, but I have read plenty of great reviews by satisfied users.
Popular CLI music player: mp3blaster (mp3blaster tutorial)