Friday, 13 January 2012

Big Bash Of Video Players On Gnome 3

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 Big Bash Of Video Players On Gnome 3 is a lazy comparative study of Linux based video players , specifically those which are available on GNOME 3.2.1 , openSUSE 12.1.openSUSE 12.1 offers a large variety of video players based on various platforms like gstreamer , phonon , xine , mplayer etc : Most of the video player options can be installed through the addition of OSS , Non OSS , Update and Packman repositories in YaST.
    Before one gets on with installing video players on openSUSE one must install the codecs for restricted multimedia formats .This will enable the video players to play the wide range of video formats available nowadays like mpg , divx / avi , xvid / avi , rm , rmvb , wmv , mkv , asf , flv , webm etc:The list seems to be endless.
  The various video players compared include Banshee , Gmerlin player , gnome-mplayer , gmplayer , SMPlayer , UMPlayer , Totem , VLC , Whaaw! Media Player , Xine-ui , XBMC .Though many other video players are available for openSUSE we will restrict ourselves with comparing the above ones.

Install Video Players 
One can go through Step 1 in this post to install all the required multimedia libraries on openSUSE / GNOME.Then one needs to ensure that all the required community repositories have been configured / installed.
Zypper way:-
==>Press Alt+F2 and in the command launch window type in "gnome-termial" and hit enter or return key
==>Execute the command "sudo zypper in umplayer". Here "sudo" is used for switching to super user mode,"zypper" is the installation tool,"in" stands for install and "umplayer" is the name of the software / package you are going to install
==>If prompted type in the admin password / passcode
Sample zypper output :-
anonymous@linux-9p85:~> sudo zypper in umplayer
root's password:
Loading repository data...
Reading installed packages...
Resolving package dependencies...
The following NEW package is going to be installed:
  umplayer
1 new package to install.
Overall download size: 1.4 MiB. After the operation, additional 3.6 MiB will be
used.
Continue? [y/n/?] (y): y
Retrieving package umplayer-0.97+r180-1.5.i586 (1/1), 1.4 MiB (3.6 MiB unpacked)
Retrieving: umplayer-0.97+r180-1.5.i586.rpm [done (62.3 KiB/s)]
Installing: umplayer-0.97+r180-1.5 [done]
GUI way:- 
If you are not comfortable with command line interface ( CLI ) or command mode then you can install the software through YaST.
==>Press left windows/Super key on your keyboard,this will bring up the activities window in GNOME 3
==>Click on Applications tab,it will appear on left hand side top of the activities windows
==>You can find "Install/Remove Software" menu by typing in install from your keyboard ( don't worry about placing your mouse cursor in search box,GNOME 3 is smart enough to do it for you). Alternatively you can locate it under "system tools" node of the tree like menu which sits on the right hand side in in the applications tab
==>Enter admin password when prompted and then and then wait for the tool to "refresh" your available software list
==>You can type in the name of the package / software / rpm you want to install like "gnome-mplayer" or "umplayer" and then click / check the software you want to install.You can "check" multiple software by changing the query in the "find" box and checking/selecting the software you need.
==>After checking the software your need hit apply button at the bottom of the software install window.You will be asked to confirm the software you want to install and then it will take a few minutes for the download and install process to complete.
==>You can then check the installed software "Applications" menu.
Comparison of video players
  First I compare the video players based on their looks (like whether they integrate well with desktop theme) , their stability(how many times they crash) , easy of use (use of scroll in mouse to seek etc),whether they are easily configurable (setting default subtitle language etc).

Banshee
http://banshee.fm/
Looks 04 / 05
Easy Of Use 04 / 05
Stability 03 / 05
Configurability 03 / 05
Skin/Theme Available? No


Gmerlin Player
http://gmerlin.sourceforge.net/
Looks 02 / 05
Easy Of Use 02 / 05
Stability 03 / 05
Configurability 03 / 05
Skin/Theme Available? Yes


gnome-mplayer
http://code.google.com/p/gnome-mplayer/
Looks 03 / 05
Easy Of Use 04 / 05
Stability 05 / 05
Configurability 04 / 05
Skin/Theme Available? No


gmplayer
http://www.mplayerhq.hu
Looks 03 / 05
Easy Of Use 03 / 05
Stability 03 / 05
Configurability 04 / 05
Skin/Theme Available? Yes


SMPlayer
http://smplayer.sourceforge.net/
Looks 04 / 05
Easy Of Use 04 / 05
Stability 04 / 05
Configurability 05 / 05
Skin/Theme Available? Yes


UMPlayer
http://www.umplayer.com
Looks 04 / 05
Easy Of Use 04 / 05
Stability 04 / 05
Configurability 05 / 05
Skin/Theme Available? yes


Totem
http://projects.gnome.org/totem/
Looks 05 / 05
Easy Of Use 04 / 05
Stability 04 / 05
Configurability 03 / 05
Skin/Theme Available? No


VLC
http://www.videolan.org/
Looks 03 / 05
Easy Of Use 04 / 05
Stability 04 / 05
Configurability 03 / 05
Skin/Theme Available? Yes




Whaaw! Media Player
http://home.gna.org/whaawmp/
Looks 03 / 05
Easy Of Use 04 / 05
Stability 04 / 05
Configurability 02 / 05
Skin/Theme Available? No


Xine-ui
http://www.xine-project.org/home
Looks 03 / 05
Easy Of Use 03 / 05
Stability 03 / 05
Configurability 03 / 05
Skin/Theme Available? yes


XBMC
http://xbmc.org/
Looks -N.A.-
Easy Of Use 03 / 05
Stability 04 / 05
Configurability 03 / 05
Skin/Theme Available? Yes


Screenshots Of video Players 
Banshee
Gmerlin Player
gmplayer
gnome-mplayer
SMPlayer
Totem
UMPlayer
VLC
Whaaw
XBMC
xine-ui
How Many Formats Does Your Video Player Handle?
  Any good video player should support multiple video formats.The generic rule is the more formats a video player supports, the better. I have randomly selected videos in 12  different formats to rigorously test the players and here are the results:-

File Formats used in tests:-
DivX/avi <== DivX is a video compression Codec that can compress long video segments into smaller sizes while maintaining good visual quality.
flv<==Flash Video is a container file format used to deliver video over the Internet
webm<==Free and open video format designed to provide royalty-free high-quality video compression for use with HTML5 video.
asf<== Advanced Streaming Format,proprietary format from MS 
rm<==RM video format is a multimedia container format created by RealNetworks
mkv<==Matroska is a extensible, open source, open standard Multimedia container
mov<==Video format for apple quicktime videos
xvid/avi<==Xvid is a video codec library following the MPEG-4 standard, specifically MPEG-4 . rmvb<==RealMedia Variable Bitrate is a variable bitrate extension of the RealMedia multimedia container format

mkv with embedded subs<==Matroska is a extensible, open source, open standard Multimedia container
wmv<==Windows Media Format
 

Banshee
File/Format Runs It Remarks
AVI_DivX.avi Yes
BlackJackOP.flv Yes
HTML_5_video_~.webm Yes
niceday.asf Yes
niceday.rm No Plays Audio No Video
sample.mkv Yes
sample_iTunes.mov Yes
Sample-pitbull~xvid~.avi Yes
Samurai X.mpg No Plays Audio No Video
szybcy sie sample.rmvb No Plays Audio No Video
vsshort-vorbis-subs.mkv Yes
WindowsMedia.wmv Yes



Gmerlin player
File/Format Runs It Remarks
AVI_DivX.avi Yes
BlackJackOP.flv Yes
HTML_5_video_~.webm Yes
niceday.asf Yes
niceday.rm No Crashes
sample.mkv Yes
sample_iTunes.mov Yes
Sample-pitbull~xvid~.avi Yes
Samurai X.mpg Yes
szybcy sie sample.rmvb No Plays Audio No Video
vsshort-vorbis-subs.mkv No Audio,video present No subtitle
WindowsMedia.wmv Yes



gnome-mplayer
File/Format Runs It Remarks
AVI_DivX.avi Yes
BlackJackOP.flv Yes
HTML_5_video_~.webm Yes
niceday.asf Yes
niceday.rm Yes
sample.mkv Yes
sample_iTunes.mov Yes
Sample-pitbull~xvid~.avi Yes
Samurai X.mpg Yes
szybcy sie sample.rmvb Yes
vsshort-vorbis-subs.mkv Yes
WindowsMedia.wmv Yes



gmplayer
File/Format Runs It Remarks
AVI_DivX.avi Yes
BlackJackOP.flv Yes
HTML_5_video_~.webm Yes
niceday.asf Yes
niceday.rm Yes
sample.mkv No Crashes
sample_iTunes.mov Yes
Sample-pitbull~xvid~.avi Yes
Samurai X.mpg Yes
szybcy sie sample.rmvb Yes
vsshort-vorbis-subs.mkv Yes
WindowsMedia.wmv Yes





SMPlayer
File/Format Runs It Remarks
AVI_DivX.avi Yes
BlackJackOP.flv Yes
HTML_5_video_~.webm Yes
niceday.asf Yes
niceday.rm Yes
sample.mkv Yes
sample_iTunes.mov Yes
Sample-pitbull~xvid~.avi Yes
Samurai X.mpg Yes
szybcy sie sample.rmvb Yes
vsshort-vorbis-subs.mkv Yes
WindowsMedia.wmv Yes



UMPlayer
File/Format Runs It Remarks
AVI_DivX.avi Yes
BlackJackOP.flv Yes
HTML_5_video_~.webm Yes
niceday.asf Yes
niceday.rm Yes
sample.mkv Yes
sample_iTunes.mov Yes
Sample-pitbull~xvid~.avi Yes
Samurai X.mpg Yes
szybcy sie sample.rmvb Yes
vsshort-vorbis-subs.mkv Yes
WindowsMedia.wmv Yes



Totem
File/Format Runs It Remarks
AVI_DivX.avi Yes
BlackJackOP.flv Yes
HTML_5_video_~.webm Yes
niceday.asf Yes
niceday.rm No Plays Audio No Video
sample.mkv Yes
sample_iTunes.mov Yes
Sample-pitbull~xvid~.avi Yes
Samurai X.mpg Yes
szybcy sie sample.rmvb Yes
vsshort-vorbis-subs.mkv Yes
WindowsMedia.wmv Yes



VLC
File/Format Runs It Remarks
AVI_DivX.avi Yes
BlackJackOP.flv Yes
HTML_5_video_~.webm Yes
niceday.asf Yes
niceday.rm No Video Present No Audio
sample.mkv Yes
sample_iTunes.mov Yes
Sample-pitbull~xvid~.avi Yes
Samurai X.mpg Yes
szybcy sie sample.rmvb Yes
vsshort-vorbis-subs.mkv Yes
WindowsMedia.wmv No Weird opens video in multiple windows



Whaaw! Media Player
File/Format Runs It Remarks
AVI_DivX.avi Yes
BlackJackOP.flv Yes
HTML_5_video_~.webm Yes
niceday.asf Yes
niceday.rm No Plays Audio No Video
sample.mkv Yes
sample_iTunes.mov yes
Sample-pitbull~xvid~.avi yes
Samurai X.mpg Yes
szybcy sie sample.rmvb Yes
vsshort-vorbis-subs.mkv Yes
WindowsMedia.wmv Yes



Xine-ui
File/Format Runs It Remarks
AVI_DivX.avi Yes
BlackJackOP.flv Yes
HTML_5_video_~.webm Yes
niceday.asf yes
niceday.rm No No Audio or Video,buzzing noise
sample.mkv Yes
sample_iTunes.mov Yes
Sample-pitbull~xvid~.avi Yes
Samurai X.mpg yes
szybcy sie sample.rmvb No No Audio or Video,buzzing noise
vsshort-vorbis-subs.mkv Yes
WindowsMedia.wmv Yes



XBMC
File/Format Runs It Remarks
AVI_DivX.avi Yes
BlackJackOP.flv Yes
HTML_5_video_~.webm Yes
niceday.asf Yes
niceday.rm No No Audio or Video
sample.mkv No No Audio or Video
sample_iTunes.mov Yes
Sample-pitbull~xvid~.avi Yes
Samurai X.mpg Yes
szybcy sie sample.rmvb Yes
vsshort-vorbis-subs.mkv Yes
WindowsMedia.wmv Yes
The sample files used for testing the video players are available below:-

Conclusion
  One must take a lot of things into consideration before choosing the video player for ones desktop like the file format it supports , whether it has the skins one likes etc. I would suggest keeping couple of players installed on the system and so that most the video formats can be played.

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