You can find many applications for windows to play many kind of codecs.
Some of the windows applications are windows media player, real player, vlc, mplayer
Ubuntu equivalent : vlc, mplayer, helix player
To have Ubuntu playing all kinds of stuff, you need to install many codecs.
Add the new repository and update your system.

$ sudo wget http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1402212/karmic.sources.list –output-document=/etc/apt/sources.list.d/full.list

$ sudo apt-key adv –recv-keys –keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com 2EBC26B60C5A2783 0DA7581859566E92 D739676F7613768D 43BB102C405A15CB 6AF0E1940624A220 2ED6BB6042C24D89 632D16BB0C713DA6 A6DCF7707EBC211F F9A2F76A9D1A0061 5A9BF3BB4E5E17B5 A040830F7FAC5991 FA3A1271 7FB8BEE0A1F196A8 0CC1223EE2314809 7889D725DA6DEEAA 28A8205077558DD0 2D79F61BE8D31A30 6E871C4A881574DE 66D5C734F6EFB904 DCF9F87B6DFBCBAE 2A8E3034D018A4CE F0876AC9 978228591BD3A65C 6298AD34413576CB FC6D7D9D009ED615 4FEC45DD06899068 2A423FD95416E75D

$ sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade


Installing vlc and mplayer (plays almost everything):

sudo apt-get install vlc mplayer


Common packs

sudo apt-get install non-free-codecs libxine1-ffmpeg gxine mencoder mpeg2dec vorbis-tools id3v2 mpg321 mpg123 libflac++6 ffmpeg libmp4v2-0 totem-mozilla icedax tagtool easytag id3tool lame nautilus-script-audio-convert mozilla-helix-player helix-player libmad0 libjpeg-progs libmpcdec3 libquicktime1 flac faac faad sox ffmpeg2theora libmpeg2-4 uudeview flac libmpeg3-1 mpeg3-utils mpegdemux liba52-dev


Gstreammer 0.10

sudo apt-get install gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg gstreamer0.10-fluendo-mp3 gstreamer0.10-gnonlin gstreamer0.10-pitfdll gstreamer0.10-sdl gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad-multiverse gstreamer0.10-schroedinger gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly-multiverse totem-gstreamer


More programs

sudo apt-get install gstreamer-dbus-media-service gstreamer-tools ubuntu-restricted-extras


Enable dvd support

sudo aptitude install libdvdcss2 && sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/./install-css.sh


Flash
sudo apt-get install gsfonts gsfonts-x11 flashplugin-nonfree

 

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