MAFW went Grilo

As I explained in another post, some colleagues at Igalia were creating the Grilo framework to gather multimedia content and ease the creation of that kind of applications. The origins of Grilo are in MAFW, which is the multimedia application framework used in Maemo 5 (Fremantle) to power the official media player, and that we had created in collaboration with Nokia and other companies, but we wanted to go beyond its limitations and Grilo is the result.

We thought that we could mix both things and power MAFW with Grilo, by creating a MAFW source so that contents provided by Grilo could be accessed through MAFW and therefore, through the official Fremantle media player. I began to code that and I already got something pretty stable. You can find it at Gitorious.

For grilo and grilo-plugins, I created fremantle branches from the last stable release at that moment. Some plugins became useless because of two main reasons: they had already the counterpart in MAFW (such as UPnP or bookmarks) or they couldn’t be mapped correctly to MAFW, such as Apple trailers (which needed a user-agent to work) or Vimeo, which does not support browse, so I removed them from grilo-plugins fremantle branch release.

Other important thing I had to do was porting some plugins from GVFS back to GnomeVFS because GVFS http backend was not working propertly and it made the plugins hang.

It is a pity that I couldn’t rebase against the last grilo release, because of GData. The fremantle release is not working properly with Grilo, so I preferred to have the last stable release working.

I received some feedback from the Maemo community. They were requesting a couple of things, but none of them is feasible or has a proper solution. First is remembering the position at least for Filesystem. Problem is that who sends the position to be stored is the interface and it only does it for the mafw-tracker-source, so it is something we cannot do if they don’t send that positions to us.

Other interesting feature is the search and that’s a problem. MAFW does not support search (one of MAFW limitations we corrected in Grilo), though it could be easily wrapped as a special browse. The biggest problem is the interface, which we don’t have access to. As the interface does not have any search button and has no possibility to have it, it makes the thing almost impossible. There could be the solution of adding a search container and it that was opened, we could allow selection the search string by tapping on rows with letters, but you’d need to tap and pan many times to perform the search, which makes it annoying and of course, very ugly.

Summing up, no search and no remembering the last position because the interface does not support those things. What I am trying to do now is getting MAFWGriloSource listed in the App Manager. Lucky that I know two fellow Igalians, who hacked on it 🙂 .

Lightning talk for GUADEC submitted

My submission for this year’s GUADEC:

This is a _lightning talk_ about how the evolution from MAFW (Multimedia Aplication FrameWork used in Fremantle official media player) to Grilo (new multimedia framework for application aiming to provide easy access to many sources of media) and how they can work together to provide a better user experience and access to more media in the Maemo 5 platform (Fremantle)

mafw goes Grilo

As you may know, some colleagues at Igalia are developing a framework to gather, browse and query multimedia sources called Grilo. Of course it is no replacement for GStreamer as it is at a much higher level and we are focusing in gathering, browsing and querying so far.

We were an important part of the main developers of MAFW, so in this case we are trying to learn from the mistakes and try to create a more useful and easy to use framework.

One of my first steps, as a test, will be creating a MAFW pluging for Grilo, so that we can have all sources managed by Grilo running on the Fremantle official media player (as soon as bug 9361 gets fixed) with the consequence of having integrated important and interesting features as Youtube, podcasts, Jamendo, Shoutcast and so on.