There are two schools of thought of enable media codecs in Ubuntu, do it yourself and download a program to do it for you. I use Automatix, it can download media codecs for MP3 and DVD, Flash 9, Java, Microsoft fonts, some essential programs. I personally love it and it never caused me any problems. Others hate it because it uses it own repos and makes updating from one release to the next is a real pain. But I would never update an install, I prefer a clean install.
So if you want to do it yourself you should use this Guide on Restricted Formats
But if you want to do it the easy way and get everything done at once, use Automatix. It's not as bad as the detractors say. Here is how to do it: (works for both 32 and 64 bit versions)
Add Automatix to your source list:
echo "deb http://www.getautomatix.com/apt edgy main" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list
gpg --import key.gpg.asc
gpg --export --armor 521A9C7C | sudo apt-key add -
Update Your System:
sudo apt-get update
Then go to Applications-->System Tools--> Automatrixsudo apt-get install automatix2
From there you can download all the restricted goodies you want.
*Note: Azuerus works so much better from Automatrix than from Ubuntu's own repos. Looks KDEish but actually minimizes to tray without needing a complex fix. But do not use ndiswrapper to enable wifi, use my guide.
edited by pHreaksYcle