I’m wearing a very special hat today to celebrate the official release of Fedora 8, the latest version of the community-driven Linux distribution sponsored by Red Hat. Codenamed Werewolf, this release serves up some very impressive new features and includes a new visual style.
One of the most impressive new features included in Fedora 8 is the PulseAudio sound daemon, which will allow users to set the volume for each application individually, move streams between devices, redirect audio streams to other computers on the local network, and much more. When we looked at PulseAudio last month when it was officially proposed for inclusion in GNOME 2.22, we said that it would bring a next-generation audio experience the Linux desktop. Fedora 8 is one of the first distribution to use PulseAudio by default. One might say that it’s a sound investment.
The Fedora development community has traditionally declined to include codecs for proprietary encumbered multimedia formats in the distribution for legal and ideological reasons, encouraging users to adopt open formats like Ogg Vorbis and Theora instead. That hasn’t changed in Fedora 8, but the new Codeina utility (don’t call it Codec Buddy) will now make it possible for users to legally purchase support for proprietary formats directly from Fluendo. This is different from Ubuntu’s codec installation tool, which will allow the user to install infringing open-source codecs for free that may not be legal to use in certain countries. Continue reading