Plasma Media Center 1.3 beta release!

We are pleased to announce Plasma Media Center 1.3 beta release!
Whats new?
  • Support for fetching media from Baloo. As a result, your media will load almost instantly!
  •  A conflict between GStreamer0.10 and GStreamer1.0 in some distros will no longer break playback (Launchpad Bug)
  • More details in All Music mode
  • MPRIS support – so that you can control PMC from your favorite MPRIS controller
  • (Experimental) support for a simple filesystem based media scanner – when you don’t have Nepomuk or Baloo installed
  • Replaced side panel with full-screen panel
  • For the source code, we now have tests for the PMC core libs
  • Numerous bug fixes and UI polish
Screenshots
              
      MPRIS in action                                                        Videos time duration
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-XX4kr5PPUMA/U4y67P0KyzI/AAAAAAAACKQ/ySlucC5x61A/s800/YnLYH9W.jpg      https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-TCA4EhZQUXU/U6COGfrIpFI/AAAAAAAACO4/OWxD6qQV8U8/s800/All_music.jpg
       Picasa login screen                                              Detailed Music information
Install
Follow instructions to install Plasma Media Center on your machine.
Wiki
To know more about Plasma Media Center, check out the wiki http://community.kde.org/Plasma/Plasma_Media_Center
Bugs
 Found any bug in PMC or want to have your favourite feature included in future release? file a bug to  https://bugs.kde.org/enter_bug.cgi?product=plasma-mediacenter&format=guided
Cheers!
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Rocking conf.kde.in 2014!

conf.kde.in happened 2nd time in India after huge success in 2011.  conf.kde.in 2014 was a 3-day conference held in DA-IICT college was even more successful, rocking, inspiring and motivational for all attendees. Attendees were very active and enthusiastic throughout the conference which was proved by asking as well as answering different questions with speakers.

One of best things was that there were  no parallel talks, all talks including Qt workshop  were scheduled in one conference room. This way all attendees were able to attend all talks without any rush for switching places.

tl;dr: If you missed the talks, you can find some slides here http://conf.kde.in/accepted-talks and photos

       

Day 1

Conference started at 2 pm with opening talk by Pradeepto with warm welcome to everyone to KDE family! Later, Qt workshop started by Prashanth Udupa (from our sponsor VCreate Logic ). He taught basic Qt programming to attendees, followed by Shantanu  who taught some cool stuff with QML. Other speakers and volunteers were helping attendees in solving  their doubts and weird errors. This workshop helped students with getting familiar with how Qt and QML code look like and proved useful for next two days talks.

Day 2 and 3

Day 2 started with keynote by Smit Shah on KDE unlike a Coconut. It was very interesting listen his story from college till now. At the end of his talk he got questions that were very interesting, curious and quite innocent – pretty much expected from college students.

Later different KDE related talks started. There were variety of talks from different KDE projects like Mer, Baloo, Artikulate, Localization, Simon, Plasma Workspace 2, Digikam, Kstars, Khipu etc. Some talks were also which gave generic idea of what KDE is and how to contribute to KDE.  There were also a great talk on C++11 explaining what all nice features new C++11 has.

And yes, this year I also gave a talk on my most favourite KDE project  Plasma Media Center to which I contribute to. This was first time when I was giving talk to a large conference. It was very amazing experience talking about what this project is and what all features it has, how easy to contribute into this project. Shantanu already showed demo of Plasma Media center many times in between different talks, so people were already familiar with it which increased their interest in listening to my talk too 🙂

Result of this conference was amazingly more than what we expected. Attendees were listening to each and every talk with great interest and feel of learning new stuff. They had so many curious questions at the end of talk. Sometime, we had to request them to take questions offline due to time limit. More than 30 people (dunno exact count) built Plasma Media Center during conference itself and we helped them with errors and issues. Some people came with useful feedback and ideas as well. It was great talking and seeing interest in different KDE project from newbies. Many people also join kde-india Mailing List and posted questions.

        

This conference was one of the awesome and productive KDE conference which we had in past!

Thanks to everyone who attended, volunteered, gave talk, sponsored, etc. I am pretty sure, we get few awesome new KDE kontributors from this conference 🙂
Cheers!

conf.kde.in is going to be amazing!

I am very happy to share the news that after huge success in 2011, conf.kde.in is going to happen again from 21st – 23rd February, 2014. This year, the conference will be in the splendid campus of DA-IICT which was also venue for KDE-meetup, 2013.

indexI have submitted a talk on my favourite KDE project which I work on – Plasma Media Center. It is exciting to share what the project is, and welcome new contributors. I am sure that there are many more people who would be interested in giving talks and share their stories about KDE projects and community.

If you are one of them, submit your awesome talk before the CFP deadline which is 16th December, 2013.

See you all at conf.kde.in 2014!

Plasma Media Center 1.2 Beta is here!

We are happy to announce the 1.2 Beta release for Plasma Media Center (PMC). This release comes with nifty new features and an improved media experience for your device!

New Features

  • Even easier to use All Music mode
  • Automatic Artist and Album cover download
  • Folder previews for Browse Pictures mode
  • Multiple Playlist support
  • Keyboard support for media controls [Mute, (Z)Prev, Next]
  • Refactored common components for media browsers (for developers)

In addition to these, there were bug fixes to ascertain consistency in behavior

Screenshots

    

Artist Image                                                                         Album cover

     

Folder previews                                                              Multiple Playlists

Install

Wiki

To know more about Plasma Media Center, check out the wiki http://community.kde.org/Plasma/Plasma_Media_Center

Bugs

Found any bug in PMC or want to have your favourite feature included in future release? file a bug to  https://bugs.kde.org/enter_bug.cgi?product=plasma-mediacenter&format=guided

We want you!

Please try out Plasma Media Center and let us know what can be improved or added in order to make final release more cool and awesome!

Cheers!

Plasma Media Center 1.1 Beta Release

We are happy to announce the 1.1 Beta release for Plasma Media Center (PMC). The first release of the software received a lot of appreciation and feedback, some of which have been implemented in this release. If you find yourself using your computer (a laptop, a tablet, or a computer connected to a big display) for listening to music or watching your favorite videos and photos, you should definitely try PMC 🙂

New Features

  •  Complete keyboard/remote-like keys support
The first version of PMC had key navigation support in it, but it behaved weird at times. This was due to the way we were handling the different UI elements. This has now been changed to the standard PageStack way of putting UI pages on the current view, this made the keyboard navigation consistent.
  •  Better keyboard navigation for All Music mode
Unlike the other media modes in PMC, the All Music mode doesn’t share common components for browing music etc. For this reason, the keyboard navigation wasn’t able to take advantage of the common key bindings. Now, the All Music mode has its dedicated keyboard navigation workflow.
  •  More details in playlist
The playlist used to show only the media name in the list and that was it. In 1.1, we show the media title, artist and duration for each item.
  •  Youtube option to search for and watch videos from Youtube
You can now search for your favorite YouTube videos and watch them directly from your mediacenter.
  • Ability to associate PMC with music and videos
  •  Drag and drop support for removing and rearranging media from playlist
  •  Playlist shuffling
  • Dimming Videos when not viewed directly
  • Places integrated into browsing flow

                      https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/uvNfQZroZh3EpssCPzj3nrojBelOEYFG2UojLr0jQL0=w380-h213-p-no

Major bug fixes

  • Smoother handling of mode changes
  • Keyboard handling for Picasa
  • As a result of storing all the playlist information, the  playlist populates faster.
  • Way to return to the main media by clicking on Empty Home Screen

Videos and Screenshots

This is a video of PMC 1.1 beta running on a netbook with touch ( taken by Shantanu )
–Screenshots–

Install

Please follow install to install Plasma Media Center on your machine.

Wiki

To know more about Plasma Media Center, check out the wiki http://community.kde.org/Plasma/Plasma_Media_Center

Bugs

Found any bug in PMC or want to have your favourite feature included in future release? file a bug to  https://bugs.kde.org/enter_bug.cgi?product=plasma-mediacenter&format=guided

Coming Up

Settings screen (and options) for adding media collection for Indexing
Album covers and Artist images for All Music mode
Local File Browser Searching
Folder Preview  in File Browser
Thanks to PMC contributors Akshay, Shantanu  and Sujith for helping in writing this blog post and making 1.1 beta release happen.

Cheers!

BoFs at Akademy

Birds of a Feather sessions (BoFs) are one of the most important events at Akademy. Just like every year, there were BoFs related to different projects. These BoFs  are a good way to get live feedback from other people in community.

Usability BoF

This  BoF was organized by Björn Balazs and Jos Poortvliet.

– For this BoF developers volunteered for having usability test of their projects.

– Members of  KScreen, plasma-nm, Plasma Media Center and  KStars project participated in it.

– Each application was represented by one of the developers who had two users for testing

– Users  don’t know anything about that project

– Users were given  task (related to the application) one by one  and developers navigate the  user through some steps as mentioned in http://community.kde.org/Akademy/2013/UsabilityWorkshop

– Goal of this test was to get input from user about application like what they expected and what they actually saw, was UI confusing to understand, etc

After doing usability test of Plasma media Center, we got some important feedback in which we already implemented few and will implement rest soon.

https://i2.wp.com/farm6.staticflickr.com/5350/9350200266_84b0161fc6_z.jpg          https://i0.wp.com/farm4.staticflickr.com/3791/9350202578_fb30cbb312_z.jpg

Mentoring program (GSoC, Google Code-in, SoK, Outreach Program for Women)

This BoF was organized by Lydia Pintscher and Cornelius Schumacher

– It aims to share experiences, discuss how to improve the mentoring programs, and talk about any questions come up.

–  Participants introduced themselves what they have done in past related to mentoring program.

– Most of the people first participated as student and later became mentor of these mentoring programs.

– We also discussed some of the issues which mentors faced while selecting students in mentoring programs and how to improve mentoring programs.

–  We also did a group photograph in which attendees were wearing different mentoring program T-Shirts

https://i1.wp.com/farm8.staticflickr.com/7384/9370931700_57b41eec10_z.jpg

 Plasma Media Center (PMC) BoF

This BoF was organized by me

– Thanks to Marco Martin, Sebastian kugler, Shantanu Tushar, Thomas Pfeiffer and Vishesh Handa for being there and providing their valuable feedback

– Main aim of this BoF was to discuss future plans and implementation details for some of the  features in PMC.

–  One of the most important things were to consider plans for  improvements according to the Usability study done on Monday Usability BoF

– This study had highlighted issues with our UI that need fixing

– Other than fixing UI issues, Vishesh Handa from the Nepomuk  project pointed out that users should be able to add their media  collection to the nepomuk index straight from PMC without needing to go  to System Settings.

https://i0.wp.com/farm8.staticflickr.com/7358/9349940140_cc35226b49_z.jpg            https://i0.wp.com/farm4.staticflickr.com/3711/9347156857_549254e769_z.jpg

– Compare to last year BoF, this year we got good feedback for improvements we achieved in PMC. Thanks to all PMC contributors for their hard work and love for this project.

Cheers!

Awesome days during Akademy 2013

Awesome days during Akademy 2013

Hi all,

Being a part of KDE Akademy is one of the most awesome experiences ever. This was my second Akademy after the one in 2012 . Akademy 2013 was held in the beautiful city of Bilbao in Spain. Held from 13th July to 19 July, it had 2 days conference followed by 5 days of workshop, Birds of a Feather sessions (BoFs), lots of hacking, and of course lots of fun!

Day 0

I reached Bilbao on 12th July and went for pre-registration where I also met many KDE folks (some of them I already met during last Akademy and some new people). It was great to meet everyone again, we all had a fun time together with greeting each other, drinks and lovely music.

Day 1

The first day of the conference started with a keynote by Eva Galperin . A member of EFF, she talked about the NSA surveillance and how it affects people outside the US.

After keynote, Kevin Krammer gave talk on Declarative widgets where he explained and showed demo on how to create widgets based UI in QML. This approach enables non-C++ programmers to participate in UI development for traditional desktop applications.

Till Adam talked about KDE on Blackberry where he explained about Blackberry 10 architecture which is totally based on Qt with QNX kernel and discussed why KDE should be interested in another mobile platform.

We got a chance to hear the story about the Mer Project and the current status by David Greaves. Mer is used by Jolla for the Sailfish operating system and Plasma Active as the base distribution for creating tablet systems.  He talked about how the Sailfish SDK uses virtual machines for even the SDK (apart from the simulator) as it makes it easier to run the SDK on different platforms.

I always wanted to see a live demo of the Jolla Phone, based on Sailfish OS, and I got lucky! Along with a beautiful demo of the phone, Vesa-Matti Hartikainen  from Jolla talked about the history behind it, how Jolla’s team collaborates with various open source projects such as Qt, Mer, and Nemo Mobile to build the system.

Further Will Stephenson talked about LightWeight KDE which try to exploit KDE’s modularity and tweakability by cutting down a full feature desktop to the lightweight desktop size, while retaining the ability to use additional components from the full feature set as needed.

This time we had a new guest at Akademy, the Razor Project. Jerome Leclanche talked about the effort towards a lightweight, modular, Qt-based desktop. He discussed how Razor project collaborates with other desktop environments and various efforts towards compatibility with KDE Frameworks. And if this was not enough, he pointed out that even LXDE is moving to Qt (yay!).

I think this is probably one of the coolest things about the Free Software communities, that even projects that are technically competitors actually collaborate with each other.

Marco Martin talked about Plasma 2 where he talked about changes in the Plasma library from Plasma 1 to Plasma 2, how to use it from any application, and how a single workspace will now be used for all form factors, such as Plasma Desktop, Netbook and Active. We are planning to move Plasma Media Center too from Plasma 1 to Plasma 2 (and hence, to Qt5) once the libraries are stable enough.

Later, Shantanu Tushar gave talk on “Pair Programming”. He shared his experience on benefits of doing pair programming and how did in KDE projects like Calligra and Plasma Media Center with me, Sujith and Akshay.

At the end of the day, Thomas Pfeiffer and  Björn Balazs gave a talk together on Task-Centered UIs in Plasma Active . Plasma Active is one of the best example I know which is a tightly integrated system combining various components into it. UI workflow is in such a way  that optimal user intervention is required while achieving required task.

   

Jolla phone demo                                Thomas Pfeiffer

Day 2

Similar to last year, there were Lightning Talks by students. It was interesting to see that this year students were from GSoC as well as other mentoring programs like SoK, Google Code-in, OPFW. Students were from different KDE project like Telepathy, KDE connect, Keyboard layout, Digikam, Tomahawk. It was good to see the progress and experience of students while working on KDE projects.

Lydia Pintscher talked about Negotiation Theory for geeks. It was about conflicts which arise in free software projects and techniques to resolve them.

As per tradition of Akademy, we had a group photo 😀

After lunch, Kevin Ottens gave Keynote on KDE Democracy where he looked upon the democratic and meritocratic structure of communities and how KDE has changed over the past few years.

Later, Vishesh Handa and Martin Klapetek gave talk on Metacontacts Library which aims towards a system to aggregate all multiple contact sources into a manageable way. This is done by keeping all information in Nepomuk and providing library to developers called KPeople.

Simon is KDE’s speech recognition system which is maintained by Peter Grasch who gave an interesting talk on FLOSS Speech Recognition. He explained current status of this project and also gave demo on how nicely speech recognition works.

At the end of conference, there were  short presentations by various sponsors of Akademy  like Blue Systems, BlackBerry, Red Hat  etc.

Like every year, we had the awesome Akademy awards given to:

Eike Hein          –   Best Application award for his work on Konversation

Vishesh Handa –   Best Non-application award for work done in  Nepomuk

Timothée Giet   –   Jury’s Award for shaping the future and community of Krita

Kenny Duffus   –   Jury’s Award for for being the memory and soul of Akademy

Dani Gutiérrez  –  Organization Award for organizing wonderful Akademy

I had a great time during Akademy by meeting old friends again, making new friends, learning new stuff and lots of fun 😀 Thanks to my employer, RedHat for sponsoring my travel and KDE eV for taking care of my accommodation.

Links

Schedule  –    https://conf.kde.org/en/Akademy2013/public/schedule/

Videos      –    http://files.kde.org/akademy/2013/videos/

Photo       –    http://www.flickr.com/photos/49657487@N07/sets/72157634760964024/