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To: gentoo-desktop@g.o
From: Duncan <1i5t5.duncan@...>
Subject: Re: phonon
Date: Sat, 19 Nov 2011 15:34:19 +0000 (UTC)
Dominique Michel posted on Sat, 19 Nov 2011 14:35:18 +0100 as excerpted:

> I am using fvwm with fvwm-crystal. I use a few kde apps like kate or
> kaffeine. I am also running jack all the time as sound server.
> 
> The only one program I get trouble with this setup is kaffeine. When the
> sound is working fine with the old kaffeine version for kde3, it doesn't
> work at all with kaffeine for kde4. The problem seam to come from
> kaffeine and phonon.

> Do you know if the kde guys (the upstream for phonon for what I know) do
> have any plan to solve this mess?

The problem with qt-phonon was that the qt guys decided to use it for 
multimedia, then just as quickly (but after making it a part of qt4) 
decided it wasn't really what they needed for the mobile side and went 
with qt-multimedia instead.  So it kind of got dropped as far as 
continued improvements go, but they had to continue shipping it since it 
was now part of the qt4 api.

Of course, then nokia dropped much of their previous Linux/Qt-based-
mobile emphasis and went with MS... kind of leaving the mobile-targeted 
qt-multimedia up in the air. <shrug>

Qt5 is under development, but I honestly haven't the foggiest what 
they're doing with multimedia there.  Perhaps they'll fully drop phonon.  
OTOH, perhaps now that the money angle isn't driving it to the same 
extent and any further platform ports will be purely community driven, 
perhaps they'll drop qt-multimedia (or keep the name but integrate 
phonon) and refocus on the desktop.

Perhaps the best that has come out of the whole mess, is that qt itself 
is now fully free, sponsored by the qt-foundation, which was in turn 
setup by nokia, but is fully community governed and steered, now, with 
the nokia sponsored devs and other community devs now on the same footing 
-- it's a purely contributions based meritocracy now.

Meanwhile, while kde-5 is already under development, they're making this 
one a MUCH more incremental upgrade and AFAIK will keep kde-phonon.  Time 
will tell whether they learned the lessons of the kde3 -> kde4 upgrade or 
whether they're simply making a bunch more empty promises that will be 
out like yesterday's bathwater.  One thing I know for sure is that they 
have about zero credibility left to lose at this point, so one way or 
another, it'll get better: they either pay attention to their users or 
they'll end up much like xfree86 did when xorg took off.

But... phonon /should/ be able to be run independently of kde, since that 
was the idea from the start, both for kde-phonon, and with qt-phonon.  
For me, however, kde4, now USE=-semantic-desktop and without akonadi, 
nepomuk, etc (I migrated to claws-mail for mail and run a separate 
instance of it for my feed-reader so no kdepim to pull in akonadi at all, 
and I was thus able to kill semantic-desktop entirely), is still my 
desktop of choice, so I'm running phonon with it and thus will be about 
zero help in trying to run it independently.  But I believe I can still 
be of help, see below. =:^)

> Do you know any solution that will let me to have sound from kaffeine
> into jack when not running kde?

I *STRONGLY* recommend that you try smplayer, instead.  Back in the kde3 
era I swore by kaffeine myself, but back when I last tried the kde4 
kaffeine alpha, back in the kde 4.2/4.3 era when kde and gentoo were 
dropping kde3 support (with qt3 support already long gone upstream), it 
was a castrated wimp of its former self, with barely the basics working, 
non of its former power.  Maybe it has improved since then, but I found 
something even better, for me at least, and haven't looked back.

I went looking for something else, and stumbled upon the qt-4 based 
smplayer.  For me, smplayer had all the configurability and power of 
kaffeine for kde3, if not more, and I've been using it ever since. =:^)  
As mentioned it's qt4 based, and can skin to look like a kde app if 
desired.  However, because it's only qt4, not kde4, it doesn't require 
any of the kde4 infrastructure, including the phonon that's giving you so 
much problems.

But still a couple of caveats, that might or might not affect your 
usage.  First, smplayer is (as the name implies) mplayer based, not xine-
based as is kaffeine.  I was originally a bit leery of that as I'd had 
problems with mplayer back in the day, but the problems seem to have been 
worked out and at least via smplayer, mplayer seems to be fine, now. 
=:^)  Second, while smplayer appears to have tv-tuner-card functionality 
similar to that of kaffeine, I don't have such a device, so have no idea 
how it compares in that regard.  All I know is that it /more/ than 
exceeded my expectations in regard to playing computer and dvd media, and 
is if anything, even more configurable, hotkeys, etc, than kaffeine was.

So... I HIGHLY recommend that you try smplayer.  I certainly haven't 
looked back at kaffeine since I did.  Hopefully you'll be as happy with 
it as I've been. =:^)


Meanwhile, back to phonon, if it's still needed after you try smplayer... 
I had some problems with phonon-xine too.  As you mention, it's 
deprecated and doesn't get a lot of love, these days.  There's other 
backends, however.

phonon-vlc is the one I use.  Of course, that means installing yet 
another media player, but phonon-vlc works well, here.  (At least on my 
main machine, however, smplayer still works better than vlc, tho.  But on 
my netbook with its much lower resolution and Intel based graphics, I had 
some problems with the various smplayer video backends, and vlc seems to 
bypass them so works better, there.)

The upstream default phonon-backend is phonon-gstreamer, probably because 
so many distributions ship gnome by default, thus making gstreamer the 
best integrated phonon-backend for them.  But as with mplayer, I had 
problems with gstreamer back in the day, and haven't had it on my system 
since.  Very likely, again just like mplayer, the problems are long 
worked out and gstreamer would be fine, but as I'm sure you know, gentoo's 
build-from-sources approach tends to encourage the good security practice 
of only installing what you actually use, and I've simply never needed to 
try gstreamer since I had those problems, as there have always been other 
working alternatives.

So if you need to keep phonon, do try one of the other backends, either 
phonon-gstreamer or phonon-vlc, depending on what fits in best on your 
system.  Either one is likely to work better than the deprecated phonon-
xine.  I know phonon-vlc has solved my problems here, and when others 
have reported problems with their backend (mostly on the kde lists, a 
couple of which I'm a regular on) and I suggested switching, some of them 
chose phonon-gstreamer and reported back that it solved their problems.  
But OTOH, I've had a couple people who were on the gstreamer backend 
report problems, that went away when they switched to a different one.  
But there's at least the three to choose from, so if one has problems, do 
try another.  I've never had anyone that reported failure with all three 
backends, tho that was in the kde context, and your problem may not be 
the backend, but phonon/kde4 itself.  Still, it's worth giving the 
different backends a try, if you still need phonon after giving smplayer 
a try, anyway.

-- 
Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman



Replies:
Re: Re: phonon
-- Dominique Michel
References:
phonon
-- Dominique Michel
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Updated Jun 28, 2012

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