An anonymous reader writes with this good news from the Debian developers who have been working hard to release the next version of the distro: "We now have a target date of the weekend of 4th/5th May for the release. We have checked with core teams, and this seems to be acceptable for everyone. This means we are able to begin the final preparations for a release of Debian 7.0 — 'Wheezy'. The intention is only to lift the date if something really critical pops up that is not possible to handle as an errata, or if we end up technically unable to release that weekend (e.g. a required machine crashes or d-i explodes in a giant ball of fire). Every other RC fix that does not make it in time will be r1 material. Please be sure to contact us about the RC fixes you would like included in the point release!"
Of particular interest to casual users, from the list of changes in 7.0
: "Debian wheezy comes with full-featured libav (formerly ffmpeg) libraries and frontends, including e.g. mplayer, mencoder, vlc and transcode. Additional codec support is provided e.g. through lame for MP3 audio encoding, xvidcore for MPEG-4 ASP video encoding, x264 for H.264/MPEG-4 AVC video encoding, vo-aacenc for AAC audio encoding and opencore-amr and vo-amrwbenc for Adaptive Multi-Rate Narrowband and Wideband encoding and decoding, respectively. For most use cases, installation of packages from third-party repositories should not be necessary anymore. The times of crippled multimedia support in Debian are finally over!"