MLB.TV, now even on Linux

I have a confession to make. I’m a Linux geek.

For the past two years, I’ve been using the Ubuntu Linux distribution. It’s a free operating system which has a lot of quality, and has supressed a lot of my frustrations with Windows (I could have gotten a Mac, but hey, I wanted something I could use in my existing computers and besides, the Apple Store is located at the Galleria in Houston. That should tell you how pricey it is).

And, during the past five seasons or so, I’ve also been a subscriber to MLB.TV. The ability of watching every game live in my computer no matter where I am has been quite useful to my work of writing for the Astros and baseball in general. Last year, I did a radio show with highlights and live commentary and analysis, so it was an useful tool.

The issue was trying to make MLB.TV work in Linux. So many workarounds, plugin installations, you name it. It was a lot of hard work. So hard, in fact, I ended up carrying a laptop with a dual-boot install of Windows and Linux, so I could get my MLB.TV most of the time. I’ll tell ya, I did MLB.TV run in Linux almost 90% of the times. I even demonstrated it to my friends at the Astros Spanish Radio Network last year and they were very impressed, both with the Operating System and MLB.TV itself. Alex Trevino, my colleague and friend at the booth, is also a technology follower and he saw the potential instantaneously.

But I have to say, I’m part of a minority yet. That’s why I was so excited when I saw that MLB.TV was ditching other technologies which limitated its growth outside the Windows OS. And they chose to go with Adobe which, despite the fact not being 100% free software, it has chosen to be available in every platform in the Sun, be Windows, Mac or Linux.

Installing Flash in Ubuntu is a breeze. You can even go to Adobe’s website directly and get a .deb file for installation. And the new media player is a breeze to play with, going from a single game view to picture-in-picture, being able to watch up to four games at the same time. That’s worth the price of subscription in itself. And the Flash technology makes it workable, light and fast, unlike the past Mosaic version which was good, but not good enough.

So I have to congratulate my BAM friends in making MLB.TV finally truly multi-platform. I had to write this since I had to tell you how wonderful it is, and you tend to appreciate it even more when you’re in this business. Go ahead, give it a try, and tell me what you think. And now you know: if you use Linux and love baseball, now you don’t have to be afraid of your MLB.TV not working.

It does. Beautifully.

4 Comments

This is definitely good news…
I have been using Ubuntu for almost 3 years now & I love it. Yet I was aware of the problems of getting MLB.TV to play nicely under Linux. Now that, as you said, MLB.TV can be played under Linux, that has made my day & will be subscribing to their great services. It is true, the service pays itself off with everything it offers, compared to MLB Extra Innings offered by satellite / cable companies.
I have a home theater pc (HTPC) set up on my 40in TV, running also on Ubuntu Linux &…Well, I guess you know my plans with MLB.TV
They just got a new customer. Hopefully they wont change things back to Microsoft’s Silverlight….
Great post…

…Forgot a very important question: Can all the features of premium be used on Linux, especifically Ubuntu?? Do you need to download / install any program to get any of the advertized features being offered on the premium??? Thanks in advance…

Thanks for asking man. As far as I know, some features like DVR recording and HD requiere the NexDef plugin, which is only available on Mac and Win. Probably (I haven’t tried yet) if you make Firefox or IE run under Wine you can also try to use NexDef but personally I haven’t done it so since the picture quality already is awesome and haven’t felt the need.

Well, this is news to me! I’m an ubuntu geek as well (and proud of it!), but I have always switched over to my windows laptop to watch MLBTV. Thanks for the tip! Here is my tip: Although the mental picture is pretty, MLBTV on your computer does not mix well with an above ground pool…

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