Can't play music files in Ubuntu Linux

I hav purchased a dell vostro 1088 laptop. It came with a ubuntu linux DVD. I was able to install it in my lappy but the problem is that it can't play any type of music file though i can listen the startup and shutdown sound. I had a graphics card and hence i installed all the required drivers. Still it can not play any music file.
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  1. What are you trying to play it with? does it play if you open it with mplayer or ffmpeg? are you using ALSA, pulse, OSS?
  2. yes i m using ALSA. It can play the startup tone or the wav files but no mp3 file. it needs the mp3 codecs. though the default dvd has the codecs but it displays an error with some kind of architecture( i think it is i386 but not sure)..
    so where can i find the codecs??
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