Computers, Linux, Software

Totem vs. VLC

Totem has been the default Gnome desktop audio / video player since I can remember. It used to be so horrible I never used to use it, using Mplayer, and other alternatives instead. Recently, the Totem player has gotten some attention, and its at least on the same playing field with some of its brethren. Last night I decided to watch some Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex on my computer, and discovered just how much further the project has to go to steal the center stage. I decided to do my own quality test, to see how Totem stacked up against VLC (a larger project). To compare differences, move your mouse over the image to see Totem (1st) vs. VLC (on mouse over):

Totem/VLC Screenshot

Totem Screenshot

In case the image isn’t large enough to see the extreme difference, compare the two image full size by clicking on the thumbnails below. You can view the previous and next image inside of lightbox by moving your mouse over the left and right side of the image (the subtitles are particularly wretched) :

VLC 1600×1200Totem 1600×1200

I hate to write this, but as is typical with most small Linux desktop applications, the polish seems to stop just after the ‘it mostly works’ testing stage. Totem isn’t new. Why has no one fixed these kinds of issues? I sure don’t want to pilfer through gstreamer configurations in an attempt to make the video playback operate how it should out-of-the-box.

C’mon Gnome team – how about shooting to knock this out in the May 2008 release?

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