Phonon VLC 0.4.0

Following the mighty awesome releases of Phonon 4.5.0 and the Phonon GStreamer Backend 4.5.0 the Phonominals today present to you: the release of Phonon VLC 0.4.0

by saicachorro@flckr

What a release this is!

  • Local URLs are now more reliably encoded
  • The complete abstract stream reading code got redone
  • A new debug system is being introduced
  • The video widget display video on average 10 times faster
  • More reliability is achieved by preventing XLib threading problems
  • Subtitles embedded in MKV files work perfectly
  • Audio channel selection of video content works for Dragon Player
  • Video settings such as hue and contrast are applied reliably on resume in Dragon Player
  • And much more awesomness!

Leo Franchi, Tomahawk Developer, about Phonon VLC:

“Phonon VLC is awesome. It’s what you would get if you strap a pair of jet engines to a camel’s back.”

Download the all new jet engine camel now from KDE.

Happy multimedia 🙂

25 thoughts on “Phonon VLC 0.4.0

  1. What do you mean when you say “Subtitles embedded in MKV files work perfectly”? Does it support multiple simultaneous subtitles now?

    • I am not sure what you mean by multiple simultaneous subtitles. Japanese and english at the same time?

      What now works is: if you have an MKV that contains multiple subtitle streams you can reliably select and deactivate those. Well, as a matter of fact that applies to every subtitle resource, just that I only tested against MKV 😉

      • What I mean is, sometimes the subtitle stream has two pieces of text displayed at the same time (the translated dialog and the translation for a sign, for instance). mplayer handles this fine, displaying one set of text on one line and another set on another with a different font (or perhaps italicized). Neither the vlc backend in the past nor the gstreamer backend now handle this, it only displays one of the two pieces of text (it may display one for a few frames, but not enough to read it).

        • Well… there is no bug report about this.

          Though it would be useless anyway as Phonon VLC does not paint the subtitles itself, but VLC does, so what you are experiencing is likely a bug in VLC itself.

  2. There’s an annoying “bug” in the phonon-vlc backend in KDE SC 4.6.0 and 4.6.1 (possibly earlier) where pressing the space bar to pause a movie in Dragon Player will create a second libvlc audio stream and play a (seemingly) random MP3. Pressing space again will pause the music and play the video. And it flips back and forth like that until one of the two streams ends. Very annoying.

    Just curious if anyone else has come across this behaviour, and (if so) if it’s fixed in this release.

    I can’t make it happen reliably or consistently which is why I haven’t submitted an official bug report. But I have seen it happen on FreeBSD 8.2 and Arch Linux (both running KDE SC 4.6.0 originally and now 4.6.1).

    • Please report a bug.

      I too noticed this some time ago, but failed to reproduce it *at all*. If you set a couple of vars globally you should get output to .xsession-errors and once the issue appears again you just need to attach the last part of the errors file to the bug report. Beware that it can grow rather a lot due to the excessive output though 🙂

      Btw, my theory is that it is related to VLC trying to probe for subtitles automatically. Not that there were any proof for this though 😉

      • Is there any backend that amarok is able to play music gaplessly with? This was the most important feature for me to make amarok really usable. Currently I always get back to audacious2.

        • I believe it should be working with GStreamer, if not please file a bug about it.

          In VLC we cannot do it for technical reasons, as it requires two concurrent audio outputs, which is not possible right now.

          • In general, LibVLC can handle any number of simultaneous audio outputs. However a single instance of media player cannot have more than one audio output.

            That said, you can do gap-less with a single audio output (but not with VLC in any case). Only cross-fading requires multiple outputs.

  3. You do realize that strapping a pair of jet engines to a camel’s back makes the camel land on its nose? 😉

  4. How is the VDPAU in Phonon-VLC/vlc? The only player that I’ve been able to fully use is mplayer but Phonon-mplayer is not developed anymore, right?

    and Phonon-Gstreamer can’t do VDPAU?

    • Neither Phonon VLC nor Phonon GStreamer do decoding, so naturally VDPAU is out of scope. GStreamer however supports VDPAU and libvlc does via VAAPI (if VDPAU is used as backend for vaapi that is).

  5. Great, but the Gstreamer backend doesn’t allow me (or anyone?) to scan ahead/back in local (i.e. non-streamed) audio files. The VLC backend works flawlessly. An added bonus I’ve noticed is lower CPU usage with the VLC backend!

  6. Thanks for your big work on this quick, clean and easy layer to Alsa.
    But, I’m surprised to note that there are no update or specific integration of JACK ( (

    Rui Nuno Capela (rncbc), is making a great work of integration of jackd (a really mandatory deamon for musician) into KDE, by developping QjackCtl

    As discused on rncbc’s site, , I think it’s would be happy to have a strong integration betwen qjacktcl and phonon. Perhaps by an emulation between jackd’s dev and phonon’s dev. By example, to integrate as a simple checkbox (and a jackd device in hardware list, like in xine backend) in phonon’s backend, to access the advanced but unescapable extension for world of musicians professional : jackd

    Thanks a lot
    (I wrote the almost same email to Phonon-GStreamer 😉

    • There is not even a request for it at So as far as I am concerned there is no particular interest in having elevated jack support (like PulseAudio), let alone simplified support as we had in phonon xine IIRC (having a fake device listed in the Phonon KCM). Spending time implementing and testing something that apparently no one is not interested in seems very useless.

      If memory serves well we have a request for Phonon GStreamer to gain jack support, no idea if someone is actually working on it though, which I understand was not an option before because the GStreamer jack plugin was in a pretty bad state.

  7. I want to try out Phonon-VLC (in a PyQt4 application under Windows) but I have few questions…
    Can I configure it to use a custom path to VLV? (I want to include libvlc.dll, etc… within my application directory.)
    Can I use advanced VLC commands such as “–autocrop”, “–play-and-pause”?
    If the answers to the above are ‘yes’ (hope so!), how???
    Thanks for your help.

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