Media Explorer

Discovered a new piece of software using GStreamer the other day called Media Explorer. It is a nice media center type solution for the desktop and Meego devices. The system has been developed by mostly Intel engineers, but they have now made it freely available. I tried it on my Fedora system last evening and it seems to have a bit of a MeeGo bias currently, as it complained about Connman being installed and also didn’t look for media in the desktop Media directories, but I am sure those are smaller issues that can quickly be sorted out. Thomas Wood did this nice blog entry about it a couple of weeks ago, with some more details.

Anyway if you are looking for a linux based media center UI this might be what you are looking for, personally I will try to see if I can get it going on my little Panda board at home.

Update: Also noticed there is a nice article about Media Explorer on

Instant messaging hackfest at Collabora office

This week the Collabora office has been filled with a great group of people trying to make sure the instant messaging in GNOME Shell among other things works nicely. For those of us who use GNOME shell, like with latest Fedora, the integration into the shell is quite nice, but it also has some irritating behavioural issues. To resolve these issues some of our top Collabora coders working on Empathy and Telepathy has joined forces with coders from Red Hat, Intel and the community who work on messaging and/or the GNOME shell, to iron out the remaining issues and define any new APIs that are needed. The full agenda and attendee list can be found on the IM hackfest page.

To give you all an idea of the event I took this photo of the group sitting in our meeting room today:

Hackfest at Collabora office

For day to day reporting I suggest following the blog of Bastien Nocera who has been making daily posts from the hackfest. You would also want to read the update from the hackfest from Collaboras own Danielle Madeley.

On the path to GStreamer 1.0

GStreamer maintainer and code god Wim Taymans just posted an update on the the progress of GStreamer 0.11 to the GStreamer development mailing list. For those interested in learning about the new features coming in GStreamer 1.0 this email (along with the previous update) is must read material.

In addition to the updates on the core coding work and important notice from Wim in his email is that the very first 0.11.x release will happen this week, so that you have a snapshot release to start playing with. GStreamer 1.0 is moving forward at a fast pace, so be prepared :)

Hopefully we can do a GStreamer 1.0 release part at the GStreamer Conference 2011!

GStreamer Conference 2011 update

Just sent out this little email with some updates on the GStreamer 2011 Conference. Planning is progressing and a sponsorship leaflet is now available for those interested in sponsoring the conference. The call for paper deadline is also slowly but surely approaching, so anyone who wants to do a talk please send in an abstract before the 1st of July this year.

For everyone else, just register for the conference and set aside October for GStreamer and Prague :) As always details can be found on the GStreamer Conference 2011 website.

Edward Hervey talks about GStreamer Editing Services

A second Collabora talk from the Meego conf is now online. Edward Hervey did a talk about GES, the GStreamer Editing Services, which is a library that is part of GStreamer which makes video editing and encoding a lot easier. It it part of GES that I use in the git version of Transmageddon and there is also a plan to port PiTiVi to use GES.

Edwards talk focuses on using GES on embedded systems, as it was done at the MeeGo conference, so if you are interested in video editing be it on the desktop or on an embedded system be sure to check out the talk. You can find Edwards talk here on the Meego website.

Luis talk on Rygel

For those who don’t know yet Rygel is an open source implementation of DLNA, a standard for ensuring interoperability between the different media devices on your home LAN. Rygel was started some years ago by my friend Zeeshan Ali and is being used in Meego and GNOME among others. We have been working on Rygel for some time now and thus Collaboras own Luis de Bethencourt did a talk at the recent Meego Summit in San Fransisco. It is an interesting talk about the current state of Rygel and how a lot of the Rygel features are implemented using GStreamer. So if you are interested in the future of interoperable devices check out Luis talk at the Meego website. Seek about 3.5 minute into the talk as they haven’t edited the videos it seems so you get a lot of uninteresting preparation before the talk starts.

New PiTiVi release getting a lot of positive attention

I am really happy to see how the new 0.14 version of PiTiVi is garnering so much positive attention. A lot of tweets seen and quite a few people blogging about this recent release, like this entry on omgUbuntu or this entry on Ubuntu corner or this little blurb on Phoronix.

A lot of people here at Collabora are involved with PiTiVi development as time allows and while we for a long while felt that we had a forest of features we could enable in PiTiVi, we seemed to be stuck with a certain feature set for a long while, as we kept going back to maturing the under laying GStreamer plugins and features that we wanted for PiTiVi. I think we have rounded a corner and with a total of 4 Google Summer of Code projects underway around PiTiVi we should be ensured that PiTiVi continues to develop quickly, as the PiTiVi team continue to both stabilize the current feature set and add new ones.
My hope is that PiTiVi will soon be packaged by every major distribution and be seen as a core part of the linux desktop and something that everyone uses when they need to edit their holiday movies or make small projects for school or work.

Hmm, remdinds me need to make sure we got a nice PiTiVi talk at the GStreamer Conference this year :)

Btw, for those interested in getting involved with PiTiVi, the best place to meet the community and get involved in joining the #pitivi channel on

OpenOffice vs LibreOffice – the next chapter

Been seeing with interest the latest moves around Open Office. While a lot of people see it as almost a direct attack on Libre Office, to me personally it seems like a clumsy result of Oracle trying to ditch OpenOffice without frustrating their main OpenOffice business partner, IBM. Due to having the Lotus Symphony suite based on OpenOffice under a special license from Sun/Oracle, I wouldn’t be surprised if switching to the pure LGPL Libre Office seemed painful to them. And thus the idea of an Apache licensed OpenOffice must have seemed endearing.

Personally I hope people stick with LibreOffice and build upon their existing success. Chasing a big company like IBM might seem tempting, but big companies change their mind and change priorities all the time, just look at Nokia, so if you have something viable without a big company involved, stick with it, and let the big company contribute on your terms if they want, as it will then have the ability to stay around even when the big company goes elsewhere.