Avi files placed in the Video folder show up almost immediately, but for some reason, mp4's do not.
Movie Player will play the mp4's, so I don't think it is a gstreamer situation.
It is a known bug discussed here.
Here's what I always do for the ultimate codec support:
sudo wget http://www.medibuntu.org/sources.list.d/`lsb_release -cs`.list --output-document=/etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list; sudo apt-get -q update; sudo apt-get --yes -q --allow-unauthenticated install medibuntu-keyring; sudo apt-get -q update
sudo apt-get install non-free-codecs
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5 years ago