Up until now, playing video files has been problematic in Fedora as we haven’t been able to include the necessary codecs for popular video formats. This is now changing in Fedora 31 Workstation.
We have two independent changes that landed just yesterday:
- gstreamer1-plugins-bad-free 1.16.0-4.fc31 adds support for AAC, which is the audio format used in most .mp4 videos
- gstreamer1-plugin-openh264 2.0.0 package adds support for main/high H.264 profiles, which is the video format used in most .mp4 videos
These changes together enable .mp4 video playback without having to use extra third party repositories such as rpmfusion.
The openh264 codec is available through the fedora-cisco-openh264 repository that we include by default, but is set to enabled=0. You can either edit /etc/yum.repos.d/fedora-cisco-openh264.repo and edit it to enabled=1, or just rely on gnome-software automatically offering to install it and enable the repo when playing videos through Totem (note that you need to grab fixed gnome-software from updates-testing for this to work).
AAC support is enabled through the fdk-aac-free library that is included on the install media.