I wasn't sure whether to be overjoyed or furious. I mean, after all the time I spent trying to get embedded media to play correctly… Let's review the sequence of events.
- Installed MediaPlayerConnectivity and xine.
- Installed MPlayer (and XMMS).
- Removed MPlayer, xine and MediaPlayerConnectivity.
- Installed VLC.
- Removed VLC.
- Reinstalled MediaPlayerConnectivity and xine.
- Holy shit, it works!
Maybe files lingering from one of the other packages made it possible for xine to play embedded media it couldn't play before. I doubt they came from VLC; it had more problems than xine did. MediaPlayerConnectivity doesn't include any codecs, and XMMS had been on my system before I ever tried xine. That leaves MPlayer.
I decided to investigate the xine documentation. It contains a section that recommends downloading Dynamic Link Libraries (DLLs) from the MPlayer site in order to play QuickTime files. On the other hand, it recommends a similar solution to playing Windows Media Video (WMV). I still can't play WMV in xine—or any other media player, for that matter. Eat my shorts, Microsoft. You and your proprietary video format can suck my USB dongle. In any case, I'm not willing to discount the MPlayer theory yet. I'll look into this tomorrow if I have time.
By the way, xine has beautiful DVD playback. All I had to do was get the libdvdcss2 package. I've seen suggestions that the use of this decryption library is illegal in the U.S. So it's illegal to play a DVD I bought with my own money in a computer likewise purchased? That's ridiculous. Nonetheless I feel obliged to warn you. Now here's how to install the package.
sudo apt-get install libdvdcss2
It's that easy. Go enjoy your favorite movie. You are big winner.