cannot play audio on .3gp movies

Bug #125835 reported by Nicolò Chieffo on 2007-07-13
This bug affects 5 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
ffmpeg (Ubuntu)
ffmpeg-free (Debian)
Fix Released
kaffeine (Ubuntu)
xine-lib (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Binary package hint: kaffeine

kaffeine 0.8.4-0ubuntu3
libxine-extracodecs 1.1.4-2ubuntu3
libxine1 1.1.7-1ubuntu1
w32codecs 20061022-0medibuntu1

If I open a .3gp video made with my cellphone, I cannot hear audio. But I can see the mute video.
I've heard that the audio is coded in AMR

Christian González (droetker) wrote :

It doesn't work on mplayer either - a codec problem?
The funny thing is - on Windows, mplayer plays it WITH audio (At least the "3gp- Player" for Windows - which uses mplayer)

It does play (audio and video) using VLC, however, you do need to download a package from Medibuntu before getting the audio to work. I'm not really sure what package that is, but after setting up Medibuntu on my repo list, and after upgrading, the audio just worked on VLC. Hope this helps.

Please tell us which package is needed!

I've checked on VLC's codecs, and it has ffmpeg there. Could you verify if that's the package. I'm sorry, but I'm just not sure.

Changing status to Incomplete and leaving Importance to Undecided.

Changed in kaffeine:
status: New → Incomplete
Nicolò Chieffo (yelo3) wrote :

I have ffmpeg the codec in vlc preferences (but I can't hear audio)

is it possible that you tell me which packages you have from medibuntu?

I have the following:
1) libavcodec0d
2) libavformat0d and
3) libpostproc0d
all of them are ffmpeg libraries. It plays your 3gp.

Uh, that was a typo, i meant, I hope those packages plays you 3gps.

Nicolò Chieffo (yelo3) wrote :

I have them installed, from medibuntu. But vlc/totem does not play audio

[00000336] main decoder error: no suitable decoder module for fourcc `samr'.
It must be some other package!

Nicolò Chieffo (yelo3) wrote :

I'm attaching a .3gp movie so that we can all test from this file

Nicolò Chieffo (yelo3) wrote :

Have you tested my file?

Since I'm helping out by testing Gutsy, this gave me a chance to recreate this bug. I reinstalled Gutsy - Beta, and tried installing codecs from scratch. Now I can't play 3gpp files. Well, it plays, but no audio. I can't remember what I did or installed the last time to make this work. I'll be researching this. Will give updates.

Nicolò Chieffo (yelo3) wrote :

Thank you very much

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

[Expired for kaffeine (Ubuntu) because there has been no activity for 60 days.]

Nicolò Chieffo (yelo3) wrote :

I still have the problem. Only vlc+medibuntu is able to play sound in my case

Changed in kaffeine:
status: Invalid → New
rothchild (marc-rothera) wrote :

I've been trying to work around this bug / issue I understand it's a licensing issue with the AMR codec there's more info here: but unfortunately the actual site (and the build script for the amr code seems to be down :-( )

There's also a thread here: and a fairly useful walk through here: although I've been getting stuck on how to bring the AMR codec and FFMPEG together in compilation.

Some people have said that I should just install realplayer and be done with it but the point is really that I don't want my machine littered with different media players and have to know that I need different ones for different files I just want one that just works ;-)

I can't find it again now but there is a SOC project on AMR and there's also a guide here with a link to the AMR codec from the phenomenally awfull 3gp website here:

Hope this gives someone with the appropriate wisdom the tools to make this happen by default in ubuntu (or perhaps a simple to use medibuntu package?)


Pander (pander) wrote :

Here is a converter for 3GP to MPEG:

Please provide support for 3GP in Ubuntu.

In , Darren Salt (dsalt) wrote :

Some codecs listed in ffmpeg_popular_codecs (in are not listed in src/libffmpeg/ff_{video,audio}_decoder.c. These, or reasons why not, should be added there and in src/xine-engine/buffer{.h,_types.c}.

In , Darren Salt (dsalt) wrote :

VC1 is done; see cset b9d8d256fe22.

In , Darren Salt (dsalt) wrote :

• Remaining "missing" video codecs:

 • Remaining "missing" audio codecs:

 • Implemented in xine-lib-codec-support:

 [Edit log:
 2007-10-12 22:15 GMT - comment 6

I don't think we use the image decoders from libavcodec at all, so some of them shouldn't really be listed.

CODEC_ID_NONE // You don't want this

 // These are image codecs we don't really use from FFmpeg as it is.

Fabián Rodríguez (magicfab) wrote :

AMR (the audio codec in 3GP) has important licensing restrictions and is covered by several patents. Currently there is no way to freely distribute it unless potentially breaking local laws.

I've documented what I found in a similar gstreamer-related bug:

This basically means there will most likely never be official support for AMR in Ubuntu unless this is resolved otherwise.

So, marking this as wishlist, incomplete for now.

Changed in kaffeine:
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
status: New → Incomplete
Craig Maloney (craig-decafbad) wrote :

I tried this with the Hardy Heron version of Kaffeine, and was able to play the 3GP movies available from Cranky geeks ( Please check with Hardy Heron and if it works, please close this bug. Thanks!

Have you got w32codecs installed?

Risto H. Kurppa (risto.kurppa) wrote :

What I found out was that ffmpeg from default repos doesn't have amr encodec in it, but by installing it form medibuntu you get the amr support and audio works. But as you already knew, in some countries this might be illegal. Hate those licensing issues..

Please, include at least AMR audio codecs (widely used in mobile phones, mostly with 3gp videos) support - now various Linux distros are patching xine-lib packages for AMR support, see for example this patch:
Currently I can't hear sound when playing 3gp video with totem-xine (libxine-ffmpeg is installed on my system), while totem-gstreamer plays sound in same 3gp video without problems on same system with same ffmpeg installed.
You can get sample file with AMR audio from
There are lots of bugreports about AMR support in various xine frontends, see for example at

The AMR libraries are incompatible with GPL. Distributing binary builds of xine-lib linked against them is violating the GPL license xine is licensed with.

I suppose I should actually look for all the binary packages containing xine-lib linked with AMR support and ask for their removal.

In , Darren Salt (dsalt) wrote :

I see three possible solutions:

* Use libdl to access the AMR libs.

* Get agreement from everybody who holds copyright in the relevant source files to agree to an exception. (This is the "openssl solution".)

* Write GPL-compatible clones of the AMR libs.

That said, the only case that matters to us is when we're using statically-linked ffmpeg libs; otherwise, I see no problem with xine-lib knowing about AMR codecs and being able to use them should they be available.

Reinhard Tartler (siretart) wrote :

confirming that 'ffplay' from intrepid does play video but not audio on the provided test file.

Changed in ffmpeg:
status: New → Confirmed
Changed in ffmpeg-free:
status: Unknown → New
Fabián Rodríguez (magicfab) wrote :

I am asking other colleagues at Canonical what is the process to adding proper support (detection, installation, support for future updates, etc) in Ubuntu for this or other codecs. This Brainstorm suggestion may provide more context to anyone wondering why this is not supported in Ubuntu:

Reinhard Tartler (siretart) wrote :

bug is valid, but not easy to solve. see xine-lib upstream bug report about license status

Changed in xine-lib:
status: New → Confirmed
Changed in xine-lib:
status: Unknown → Confirmed
Reinhard Tartler (siretart) wrote :

the ubuntu part of this bug is tracked in bug #93849

Changed in ffmpeg:
status: Confirmed → Invalid
Pander (pander) on 2008-11-18
Changed in kaffeine:
status: Incomplete → Confirmed
kernel_script (kernelscript) wrote :

Bug is not a duplicate of this one, please fix.

Changed in ffmpeg-free (Debian):
status: New → Confirmed
Changed in ffmpeg-free (Debian):
status: Confirmed → Fix Released

** Changed in: ffmpeg-free (Debian)
      Status: Confirmed => Fix Released

Does this mean that we will be able to play 3gp with amr-encoded audio?

Changed in xine-lib:
importance: Unknown → Medium
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