Do you recall NowPlaying? The dataengine/widget pair for Plasma that tells you what your media player is currently playing, and allows you to control it?
Well, now it supports MPRIS2. What does this mean for you?
Well, probably not much right now. Juk doesn’t support MPRIS2 (although I intend to change that for 4.9/5.0), Amarok worked before (although it should use marginally less power with MPRIS2 rather than the old MPRIS interface), VLC doesn’t support MPRIS2 (yet; version 1.2 will). A handful of other players support MPRIS2, though, including the Raven Music Server.
The main thing, though, is that support for MPRIS2 is increasing in media players, partly because of Ubuntu’s adoption of it as the mechanism for its sound menu to talk to media players. Spotify now supports MPRIS2, for example. And now the Now Playing widget can support them.
MPRIS2 has many advantages over the original MPRIS specification, not least of which is not having to query the media player every second for up-to-date position information. As a result, the nowplaying dataengine will prefer the MPRIS2 interface to the MPRIS interface for a media player that offers both.
The only quirk to be aware of is that Amarok’s MPRIS2 support isn’t quite right in the 2.4.x series, and this will affect a couple of features of the Now Playing widget (seeking and enabling/disabling of the next/previous buttons); this shouldn’t be an issue though, as these problems are fixed for Amarok 2.5, which will be released before KDE Plasma Workspace 4.8.