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Installing almost anything.

I am still struggling with Fedora. Nearly anything I try to install gets met with the "sorry, that didn't work" message. Fedora has a lot of plain, white bread boring apps, and I understand that they don't want to infringe on copyrights or anything, but most of the stuff I want to install is already out there copyright free and readily available in other Linux distros and apparently, already installed in Fedora by most of you. I am an animator and videographer, so I want media codecs and some animation programs. Any suggestions for installing this stuff? I tried to update and install free and non free repositories, tried to install from website downloads, tried to follow suggestions here and so far, nothing works. Even those articles about the next 11 steps after installing Fedora and stuff like that suggests that any trained monkey can install all these programs, but I guess I am not trained well enough yet.

Thanks for any help!!!