Having those codecs installed by default is a real time saver.
It might be that it's not talked about too much because it really is Ubuntu+.
I'm using the Mate desktop...which is basically gnome2 continued from the perspective of the end user. I don't like Unity. KDE's ok...but quite the resource pig. I once was an e2 user....but I don't care enough to customize a desktop that much any more.
The truth is I don't much care what OS my desktop runs (Windows or *nix) ...let alone what Destop environment is on it....as long as the software I need to use is there.
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