8 Jan 2005 rbultje   » (Master)

As you can see in this screenshot (clickertyclick), we now support language selection. The same method seems to work for selecting subtitles, too. In the screenshot, I'm swapping between an AC-3 and a LPCM soundtrack on a DVD. Note that DVD subtitles don't actaully work yet, but with the recent work, this won't be more than a minor adjustment to get working.

Some small TODO items before I commit the subtitle + stream selection patches (they'll be committed together):

  • Stream disabling isn't perfect yet.
  • The patch to the queue element makes our testsuite fail on Ogg radio (argh!).
  • Font selection for the subtitles.

Where we are:
So far for the good stuff. In the recent Gnomedesktop.org article on the new GStreamer releases, I was kind of stunned by attitude, but the main point is a good question: how far are we (cmp. mplayer/xine)? So let's see. Note that I'm talking about my local version here, which is not CVS (although all my patches are available through bugzilla) and definately not a release.

  • Media support: we support most popular media formats (e.g. h.264/AVC or MPEG-4), we're on par there. Compared to Xine/mplayer, we're still missing WMV9 and QDM2, and that won't change anytime soon. All of those depend on binary .dll loaders, which we don't support. Another area in which we lag is Real-media support. Real appears to be randomly threatening parties with legal action if they talk to their shared libraries (this recently happened to the Matroska team), so we're not too motivated to do that. There's a whole bunch of more exotic formats that we support and they don't (e.g. monkeysaudio, musepack).
  • Input support: we mostly support the same sources as them (mms, http, file, dvd, audio-cd, vcd, svcd). We don't support rtp/rtsp, they do.
  • Special features: we all support language selection, subtitles (although no DVD subtitles yet). Xine additionally supports DVD menus, which we don't (in Totem), neither does mplayer.

There's also some areas in which we don't lack with respect to them, but they still need fixing, e.g. error messages (our errors displayed aren't exactly HIG compliant in some cases) or metadata display (although we support metadata, it isn't always displayed in totem; I know why, but I don't have time to fix it). So in short, TODO list (in random order):

  • DVD menus.
  • DVD subtitles.
  • RTP/RTSP support.
  • WMV9/QDM2 support.
  • Better Realmedia support.
  • Better error messages.
  • Improve metadata display (e.g. in Totem).

So that's not too bad, but far from perfect. The thing that does annoy me in the gnomedesktop.org comments is the random attitude where Joe Random User will tell me what to work on and how important his requested $feature is for the general wellbeing of GStreamer or GNOME. During the past three months, I've worked non-stop on improving such things, and it starts feeling rather endless. But seriously, everyone can work on fixing and improving error messages in applications, so why isn't that happening? So let's try something else. Here's your chance, interested hackers and soon-to-be hackers. There's lots of small things that need fixing, that are not too hard but will be a very valuable contribution to GStreamer and GNOME. I'll gladly help you getting into this, I'll poke you in the right direction if you need that and generally be available to answer questions. If you want to contribute, come online on #gstreamer on irc.freenode.net or mail the list, and by doing that, contribute to a very lively part of the GNOME desktop!

This appears to be the section in which people with a hackergotchi tell you what they've been doing yesterday. So, I went to a music concert in Amsterdam with performances from DJ Tiesto, Blof, Acda en de Munnik and some more. Was pretty cool. Met up with some people there and got home late and had a headache. It's interesting how young people in this country are being motivated to be involved in society (this was charity for Asia); disaster happens, so let's do a cool concert. They did this for Theo van Gogh, too. It feels kind of weird to have a great time because a disaster happened... Ohwell, I guess it works, it was crowded as hell. :-).

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