Many multimedia applications work just fine without fiddling. Others not so much. Particularly when using USB webcams and microphones, supported devices can be difficult to find. Some content types are not well supported and others require the use of special codecs (CODer/DECoder) that are not legal in the United States due to the restrictive DRM laws enacted by Congress under pressure from the dying recording industry.
This chapter deals with multimedia in Linux. It covers some of the applications such as media players and recorders, Internet telephony and choosing compatible devices.