The Future of KDE Multimedia

Did you also feel at times that KDE Multimedia is being held back from becoming truly amazing? I did.

Ever since I took over maintainership of Phonon, the loveliest multimedia abstraction layer for Qt and KDE applications, I found myself thinking about how to make the overall multimedia experience in KDE better. Now that the KDE Multimedia sprint in Randa is over I have a fair idea how.

by surfergirl30@flickr
by surfergirl30@flickr

For as long as I can remember KDE Multimedia was a rather fragmented effort. On the one hand we have the KDE Multimedia module (as released along the KDE Workspace). It contains applications such as Dragon Player and JuK as well as other multimedia related technology such as thumbnail support for videos. On the other hand there are “unofficial” applications like Amarok, Bangarang, K3b and Kdenlive.

All these applications try to provide the best possible user experience and the best interface for their specific tasks. But put together they do not form a coherent experience of what is KDE Multimedia.

This is about to change. In Randa I became Lord President of KDE Multimedia with the primary agenda item of unifying what belongs together: the people behind our great multimedia applications.

So what are we going to do?

  1. Make multimedia.kde.org awesome
  2. Tear down the imaginary wall between “offical” and “unofficial” multimedia applications
  3. Form an awesome unified KDE Multimedia community
  4. Find ways to create more amazing technology throughout KDE Multimedia
  5. Ascend to become creatures of pure awesome
All aboard for the train to Amazing.
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30 thoughts on “The Future of KDE Multimedia”

  1. “Tear down the imaginary wall between “offical” and “unofficial” multimedia applications”.
    +100,000 to this point.

    Not only in KDE multimedia but throughout all of KDE.

    1. No, please. You are basically killing the idea KDE Workspace. Which could be old, but still… the other DE didn’t destroy it.

  2. what about voice and webcam which was going to be supported by phonon, it seems phonon is deficient for KDE telepathy for voice and webcam communications…is anything being envisioned for it in future?

    1. I guess you do not see any ingratiation issues between KDE-multimedia and KDE-communication projects like KDE-telepathy voice/video effort.

    1. Even though I liked the Global Menu Qt patches that brings Unity compatibility to KDE apps. I want feature paritty with KDE 3.5 when I think about the global menu.

  3. I wish you good luck on your “mission”.

    Though I really had to smile when reading “Lord President”. ;)
    Are you showing your Austrian heritage here? Title (sic?) for everything? :D

    1. I am glad you ask :P
      There are two Doctor Who references in this post, one you just found, the other one is more subtle but related to Lord President… perhaps someone finds it ;)

  4. apachelogger: “Ascend to become creatures of pure awesome.”
    Rassilon in The End of Time part 2: “Ascend to become creatures of pure consciousness.”
    Watch out for the Master…

  5. Great news! Are you planning closer collaboration with the KDE-imaging group as well? It is becoming more and more commong that media center software (including plasma media center) and TVs support image databases, image programs and services like digikam and photobucket support videos, digital still cameras support video, and digital camcorders support still pictures. The line between imaging and other forms of multimedia seems to be blurring. Because of the growing overlap between your needs, I think working closely together (or maybe even merging) would probably benefit everyone.

      1. It would be limited to simple operations. Cropping, perhaps light correction…

        I had a chat with the author of Gwenview and I think the best way to do this is to supply each video frame to Gwenview, which then can run its already present graphics manipulations on each frame and send it back to Phonon for re-encoding. Not the fastest of approaches but more than sufficient for the presented usecase of having recorded a short video with your camera. The supplying for frames we already have sort of working and encoding is on our todo, so we should be able to get something working by next year I hope.

        If you have a video >5 minutes a more professional video editing solution is probably a good idea anyway.

        1. The number of times I’ve had new users ask me why the rotate button worked on some items (which happened to be images) but not others (which happened to be video). They just wanted to rotate the thing they were looking at onscreen with Gwenview!

    1. Quite frankly I never completely understood why KDE Graphics and KDE Multimedia are two different things. Really only the combination of content makes for *multi*media, so by that definition Amarok was not multimedia for a long time (as it only did Audio), whereas Gwenview did still pictures and videos alike.

      But to answer the question: ultimately yes. Right now I’d like to get “core multimedia” into a proper shape for successful growth and innovation though. Either way the most obvious way to share effort is in providing the graphics developers with a tool to easily access multimedia. This is already done by Phonon. Other than that I personally can only think of high level integration. Like in the example of Plasma Media Center that you highlighted. This is a project of the Plasma team. They will want to have good integration between pictures and other content forms, how they do that is up to them.

  6. Even after trying many times, I never liked much of Dragon Player. MPlayer being my first choice and then VLC.
    I think that *unofficial* like KPlayer and Amarok do it bettter.

  7. Hello.
    Any project to improve support for pulseaudio in kmix?? Global Graphic Equalizer on KMix?
    Thanks.

      1. Oh, good to know!
        Do you know if the KDE team involved in this development? Or is it from other developers? Are there alpha/beta versions for testing?
        Thanks!

  8. Oh noes… I just switched from Kubuntu back to Ubuntu too… I really love the consistency that K has within the applications. Even more consistency just means more awesomeness.
    Hmmm… I have distro-hopped for less :p

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