Posts Tagged ‘KDE4’

MPRIS2 Support in NowPlaying

10th November 2011

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?

The Now Playing widget (with an old theme)

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.



8th July 2009

It’s been a while since I posted. Such is life.

I’m really enjoying my first Akademy. I managed to forget a power adapter to convert between my British plug and the European sockets, but Nuno lent me one for a few days. I now have to find my own, though, as he went home today.

So, the conference. The keynotes on Saturday morning were really good. I recommend watching them when the videos are online (which they may be already). Of course, there is some furore over Richard Stallman’s talk, but I think that was always expected.

Yesterday was the KDE e.v. meeting, which I didn’t go to (not being a member of the e.v.). Instead, I slept in (sleep has been in short supply), went to the beach, and hacked. I put together a small plasmoid (87 lines of javascript) to show some controls for a media player. The idea is that you can put this on an auto-hiding panel on your desktop so that they don’t take up screen real estate, but are easily accessibly just by moving your mouse. The other half of the job, of course, is to do one that displays information. Then you can have the information about what song is currently playing permanently visible, and the controls only appear when you want them.

Today we had a very productive discussion on moving KDE to Git. The aim (if everything goes swimmingly) seems to be to move before KDE 4.4 goes into freeze. Amarok is intending to move very soon, though.

Speaking of Amarok, we’ve been sitting in one of the labs discussing things since the Git BoF. It’s amazing how much gets decided how quickly, especially when you’re used to deciding things on mailing lists. This is particularly true for user interface decisions. I’m expecting great things from the next release of Amarok.


3rd December 2007

Given how my motivation went out the window when the interminable discussions about kdeprint happened (and it wasn’t even me or my work being attacked), I have great admiration for the people, like Aaron and the Oxygen team, who have carried on working despite being constantly attacked on the Planet and on the mailing lists for what is perceived as the sorry state of the desktop.

I can’t claim to have done huge amounts of work on Plasma, but I’ve done some and I keep up with what’s going on there, mainly.  On top of that, I’ve been running KDE 4 as my default session for a couple of weeks now, and I regularly rebuild everything.

I’m extremely impressed at the rate of improvement of the desktop.  Every time I svn up and recompile, some bug is fixed or some feature starts working correctly, or some new feature appears.  I’m becoming more and more comfortable with KDE 4 as my desktop.

Just in the last week, Jason Stubbs fixed the system tray.  Aaron posted that he’d fixed the Plasma crash on logout (I, meanwhile, couldn’t even figure out how to get a backtrace, since “killall plasma” doesn’t create the crash and logging out means Dr Konqi disappears before it loads the backtrace).  The Solid Device Notifier started working properly.

All these little improvements add up.  And the remaining major issues are being worked on as I write – in particular, the taskbar (which is functional, but not brilliant), panel placement and panel autohiding.

I can’t wait for the release!

PS: I also love the composite effects in KWin.  It’s really annoying that turning it on with my computer (ATI X300, free drivers) causes artifacts to appear that make using it really irritating.  When I get the chance, I’ll check with Compiz to see where the bug lies.