Dragon Player 3

Only a few minutes ago Ian Monroe, the creator of Dragon Player, announced at the Desktop Summit in Berlin that there will be a Dragon Player 3.


In 2004 a new video player named Codeine was presented by former Amarok rockstar Max Howell, later adopted by Ian and turned into Dragon Player 2, which has served the KDE workspace as default video player for almost 4 years now.

Today the KDE Multimedia community is proud to announce the next evolutionary stage of this simple but powerful player.

Dragon Player 3 is being created using the latest terrific technologies: Phonon’s currently evolving support for QML/Qt Quick and Qt Quick itself. The combination of these technologies allows for rapid creation of awesome looking graphical applications for media playback.

The estimated feature set of Dragon Player 3 is definitely something to long for.

  • As simple and easy to use as its predecessor
  • All the features of its predecessor
  • Smooth animations on startup
  • A more visual and more usable recently viewed display
  • On playback start both Video and Audio fade in, on stop they fade out
  • A revolutionary approach that will make it tons easier to watch a series of videos (yet to beĀ unveiledĀ ;))

Dragon Player 3 will earliest arrive with the KDE workspace 4.8 release, though 4.9 seems more likely.

The current development version of Dragon Player 3 is available in my scratch repository on git.kde.org. It depends on the qml branches of both Phonon and Phonon GStreamer as well as the Qt Quick Desktop Components.

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32 thoughts on “Dragon Player 3”

  1. grabbed it and tried it out .. use of qmake rather than cmake was a small disapointment; but then it installed to /opt/DrakeYelp and didn’t work *sob* :)

    look forward to trying it out when its a bit easier to get going (and yes, i have all the requirements installed)

    the video looks HOT .. i want! :)

    1. Yeah, it is only using qmake because I created the cpp shell with qtcreator and that bugger loves qmake so much ^^ Perhaps not installing it would make it not crash … I currently run it from the build directory.

  2. Finally! KDE really needs good video player and this just might be it. I hope that the revolutionary approach has something to do with NEPOMUK as soon we will have Amarok, Plasma Media Center, Bangarang and possibly PlayBak to use it for tagging and indexing(?). Two things that I would love to see is some sort of interface that had all my media files neatly sorted out to series, movies, albums, artist and so on and a database shared between all the KDE media apps.

    I’m bit worried about the visual inconsistency though as the current version doesn’t fit well with the rest of the KDE apps, plasma desktop or the titlebar. Well I guess the controls are hidden most of the time so it’s not so noticeable but still it would be awesome if the control panel style were pulled from plasma desktop theme if possible. Is it possible to share the UI elements between PMC and Dragon Player?

    Anyhow I can’t wait to see the finished app!

    1. Dragon Player isn’t meant to ever have a library.

      Not that I can’t see why it would be useful to have something more specialized for videos then just Dolphin. Feel free to fork… I was always okay with the idea of people forking Dragon v2 since the codebase is so small. Now Harald went and made it even smaller!

      So I could see Dragon providing information to Nepomuk about what the user is up to, but probably not a consumer.

  3. Wait a second! Animations, eye-candy etc. etc… but what about:
    – dvd menus? (how is blu-ray on linux?)
    – multichannel sound?
    – subtitles handling for many video formats (different subtitles formats, different char-sets, time delay, subtitle fonts and position, fps change etc.)?
    – zooming/aspect ratios, video position on the screen?
    – video management (colors/saturation etc.)?
    – maybe progress bar OSD?
    – opensubtitles.org integration?
    – and so on…

    KDE needs good video player, NOT another _plasmoid_! Look at media player classic, vlc, smplayer… it’s nice to have good looking apps but this apps needs to be useful! (foobar2000 on windows for example, it’s not shiny eye-candy childish web2.0 application but is one of the best music players out there)

  4. maybe the black of the application should gradually become of the same color of oxygen’s bar to better fit with the decoration… some kind of gradual switch of colors near the decoration

  5. Dang. That is the new sexiness, indeed. Want!

    I’ve always loved how Dragon Player managed to be sophisticated with features while being ultra simple with the UI. The way it will automatically start playing back from where you were up to if you select the same file again comes to mind. Saves time. No configuration needed.

    My one niggle with it has always been the way that in full screen, the whole video rescales every time the player bar appears / dissapears. I’m very happy to see that seems to have been improved with a whole bunch of gorgeous looking, visual UI enhancements. In my opinion, if it doesn’t entirely fit with the current look of many KDE apps, it’s because this looks *better* and is leading the way for many other apps.

    I do have a couple of small, designer-y type suggestions:
    1. In the screenshot above, having the text to the side of the icons makes them visually unbalanced towards the left sides. Having the text centered below the icons would balance the layout much more.

    2. The play position bar (that shows how far through you are) and the volume bar are nicely positioned in the center with balanced spacing on both sides. The round, grey indicator used to show volume and playback position though, seems to move slightly outside of these bars, making it look unbalanced when the indicator is all the way to either side. Top see what I mean, look at the playback indicator when it’s over at the start, as it is for most of this video. It’s almost touching the edge of the box, while there’s a nice space to the right side of the bar.

    3. Love the animations at start up. Currently they look like they’re using linear interpolation between the start and end positions, which gives a more artificial, robotic look. I’d recommend using an s curve (which I believe is a single setting in QT quick), which makes the movement star off slow, speed up and then slow down to a stop at the end. If used with the same animation length it has now, it would be just as quick, but have a more natural, real world feel (as objects in the real world have inertia).

    Overall though, this is one of the most beautiful enhancements I’ve seen come out for a long time. It looks gorgeous, usable and a pleasure to use. Looking forward to it!

    1. For example if you click on Stop button it stop & didn’t resume…

      … & if you click in Play button that icon is transformed in Pause Button AND if you click in Pause button it should auto-resume next time you play that video?

      1. And what about the user just closing the window while the video is playing, I think it shouldn’t save in that case.

        1. Exactly most of the time I close dragon player when the movie’s credits are scrolling and guess what happens if I watch the movie again? And there is NO way of disabling this behavior …

  6. Could be cool if allowed to choose audio track and support subtitles – this is a kind of basic stuff and are must have many cases.

  7. It does look nice, but I always hated when apps look inconsistent, I think they should always adapt to the environment and not the other way.

  8. Looks like a really nice video-playing interface.

    However, I use dragon player as the default audio file player as well as video file player. When using an audio-only file it just shows the controls without a video screen. Will Dragon Player 3 do that as well or is it a dedicated video player?

    Also, I don’t see any interface for selecting subtitles, is that handled differently or just not implemented yet?

    And one thing I miss from Dragon Player player is the ability to right-click and scale the window to a certain whole-number multiple of the video size. Might that be possible in the new interface?

    1. why do you like whole numbers?

      Re; your other questions, remember that Harald has only been working on Dragon 3 for a very short time. good audio file support is something we should do for sure.

  9. Finally someone did something for the ugly menubar and statusbar!

    The videoplayer only needs to have video and controls. At least great bonus is that KWin can be configured to hide its decoration with dragonplayer.

  10. Hi there,
    at first, this looks amazing.

    Anyway, i see a problem here.
    Comments above mentioned the inconsistency in the visual appearance. Thats absolutely true but not only the visual appearance, the whole handling is completely different then all other KDE applications and i think that is a bad thing in the big context (KDE). We should not start to make applications that act completely different. At least not if its an official KDE application part of the KDE desktop bundle. From a usability point of view its absolutely necessary to make applications consistent in as much as areas as possible. That in the end leads to a better desktop experience where the user feels familiar.

    Please don’t get me wrong, this application really looks amazing but i try to see it in a bigger context.

  11. Personally I’d love it if this also included a solid upnp/dlna video client. All the ones I’ve tried either don’t support it, see the server but no content, or have interfaces designed for full screen tv with a remote control :( Looking forward to trying it out either way though!

  12. Another thing I would like to add as an example of the inconsistency problem,
    Suppose I want to look for the about dialog, or settings dialog (it would be nice to be able to access phonon settings), or quit button, etc.
    The nice thing about kde, which made me change from windows, was how settings/about/everything was exactly in the same place in every app, I feel comfortable with that, so please don’t kill the consistency for a nice ui.
    The best solution in my opinion is the menubar button in the window bar, which offers the basic set of actions(settings/help/about), that, plus a border-less window, and a standard set of widgets Maybe the definition of “standard set of widgets” can change for kde 5, making oxygen look a lot more like this, so every apps looks as good as that.

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