Video playback in Ubuntu is currently somewhat clunky. We should provide the best available video playback experience by default. In order to make the right decisions, we need to survey the available solutions, evaluate them against our requirements and use cases, and decide on a strategy for DapperDrake.

This topic is not related to support for particular codecs, but to the general infrastructure needed to support all kinds of video playback.


Video is a killer app we need to support to maximize our appeal.

Use Cases

  • Vincent was not at GUADEC last year and he heard that there was interesting talks. Nice videos (ogg) of those have been made. He happily downloaded and started to watch them but quickly noticed that the sound was shifted from the video. He had to install a player from universe and thinks that should just work with the default player.
  • Daniel wants to be able to play the movie trailers he finds on the web from his browser just by clicking on them

Implementation Plan

  • Track gstreamer 0.10 (due December) through the DapperDrake process - SebastienBacher

  • All gstreamer apps that have already been ported to 0.10 will be built against it - SebastienBacher

  • Split xine such that only the Xiph codecs (and perhaps additional, unencumbered ones) are supported in main, the others will be shipped in universe -- unassigned
  • If totem-gstreamer (built against 0.10) doesn't play at least theora/vorbis files correctly (with no lag and a good a/v sync) we will switch to totem-xine
  • JeffWaugh has talked to BenCollins about increasing /proc/sys/dev/rtc/max-user-freq (perhaps to 1024) for better response times for audio/video apps, and reduced CPU. Ben will determine whether it's a safe change to make across the board.

Packages using gstreamer

Those are the desktop packages that need to be ported to gstreamer0.10 for dapper:

  • gnome-applets: upstream will do it for GNOME 2.14
  • gnome-control-center: upstream will do it for GNOME 2.14
  • gnome-media: easy to do according to upstream, they will do it
  • rhythmbox: upstream has a patch ready for it
  • serpentine: upstream has a patch ready for it
  • sound-juicer: ross is going to do this work for GNOME 2.14
  • totem: upstream has a patch ready for it, CVS has just branched and should get the patch soon



VideoPlaybackRoadmap (last edited 2008-08-06 16:27:55 by localhost)