Grilo and Rygel

After knowing about Grilo, Bastien proposed to use it as a helper library to implement Rygel’s MediaServer D-Bus API spec. This D-Bus API specifies how content providers can expose content over D-Bus that Rygel can consume and then export to the UPnP world. Although this spec was developed for Rygel in particular, it aims to be generic enough so other applications could use it to consume content over D-Bus directly.

The idea is to decouple providers and consumers, this way one does not have to worry about the language they are written in and providers don’t have to be loaded in the consumer’s address space, instead they are communicated through D-Bus.

So, what could be Grilo‘s role in this context? As you know, Grilo is a pluggable framework that provides a single, high-level API to consume contents from various sources (Youtube, Jamendo, SHOUTcast, etc) which are implemented as plugins for the framework. As such, the role of Grilo would be that of a content provider. Juan has been working on a daemon that would use Grilo to get access to all the content exposed by the framework and expose it over D-Bus according to Rygel’s MediaServer spec. This will enable Rygel (or any other application), to get access to all this content over D-Bus.

As of today, I think only Rygel has implemented the consumer side of this API, but the idea is that in the future other applications like Totem or Rhythmbox would have plugins to consume it too. Also, since Rygel is a UPnP server, and it is feeding on Grilo through this D-Bus interface, it is also exposing Grilo’s contents to the UPnP world, so any UPnP client should be able to access these contents over UPnP thanks to Rygel. Totem for example, has a UPnP plugin already, and because of that it can consume the contents from Grilo through Rygel even when it does not implement the consumer API of the MediaServer spec.

If you are interested in more details check Juan’s post here. There you will also find a screencast showcasing a Grilo-powered daemon that’s exposing content from various of its plugins over D-Bus, then Rygel feeding on that and exposing them over UPnP, and finally Totem consuming all the content though its UPnP plugin. Of course, you may ask why wouldn’t Totem feed on D-Bus directly, well just because it has the UPnP plugin already and not the D-Bus one, but it will come ;).

Talking about that, another thing that Bastien proposed and on which we will be working too, is a set of helper libraries to ease development of content producers and consumers. On the producer side (backends) the idea would be to hide all the D-Bus stuff and provide a clean, easy to use interface for exposing content to the bus (for those not wanting to deal with D-Bus directly), and on the consumer side (frontends), we could do the same and maybe add some extra bonus stuff, like widgets to manipulate available sources and the like.

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