How to look at the contents of a data DVD?

Asked by richard on 2012-05-04

I have burnt my photos onto a data DVD using brasero (apparently this was successful).

I would like to check that the photos have been written to the DVD. I have reinserted the DVD into the CD/DVD reader. No window pops up asking me how I would like to look at the disc. No default application launches. I cannot see the CD/DVD reader or its contents in the folder explorer or from an application such as Shotwell.

How can I look at the contents of a data DVD?


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Ubuntu gnome-media Edit question
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Barry Drake (b-drake) said : #1

You don't say which Ubuntu version. On all recent versions, you should be able to open the file explorer and on the left hand side, you should see the DVD as a mounted filesystem. From what you are saying, you might have got a bad DVD. The disk utility (if you have it on your version) should help you find that out.

richard (richard-3141) said : #2


Thank you for your help.

I am sorry I forgot the version - I am using 11.10.

I burnt a second DVD and that worked (brasero informed me that I had burnt the first one successfully) so perhaps I was just unlucky with the first DVD I burned.

I have tried inserting three different film/video DVDs but although the DVDs are recognised and I am given the choice of an application to open them, I cannot play them either with Movie Player or VLC.

Move Player tells me it cannot read the disc, but this may be because a decryption library is missing.

Disk Utility tells me the DVD reader writer is a TSSTcorp SH222-AL. It seems that 'SMART status' is not supported.

Barry Drake (b-drake) said : #3

VLC is quite a powerful tool - but there are some commercial video DVD's that are encrypted in a non-standard way I believe. I suggest visiting the VLC site and posting questions there as there may well be hel there. Also what happens when you try to open using RythmBox? I don't think your DVD reader is at fault if it can read disks.

richard (richard-3141) said : #4

Firstly, thank you for your help.

I found some information about playing DVDs under ubuntu

I learned that 'out of the box' ubuntu will not read DVDs with commercial/encrypted formats.

(1) From

I learned that I needed the Ubuntu restricted extras package

The link on that page which claims to install this package did not work :(

In the Ubuntu Software Centre I searched for "restricted" and found and installed the package that way.

(2) This on its own is not sufficient - see also on how to install the libdvdread4 package

After rebooting I was able to play DVDs in VLC, and no doubt other video players will work too.

Now the important point:

Can you imagine Apple expecting a Mac user to do this kind of geekery in order to watch a DVD?

Can you imagine Microsoft expecting a Windows user to do it?

I thought ubuntu was supposed to be the user-friendly face of linux??

I think ubuntu is great, and I am a fan of non-proprietary operating systems.

But what experience are you giving to the newbie? And in reality I am far from being a newbie.

In the interests of the survival of this product and others please ensure the basics: an end user should be able to insert a DVD and expect to watch the film, without help forums, without web searches, without installing additional software, and without unix geekery.

Having to perform this kind of geekery in order to do something which Windows and Mac users take for granted will take you down the road to extinction.

Please, please, ubuntu people, get your act together and sort this out.

I fear this is symptomatic of the Linux philosophy / mindset.

Can you help with this problem?

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