When the idea of GNOME Videos spread, lots of people wondered if it would include Totem as a part or basis, or if it would follow a completely new approach and the development of a new project. The creation of an application from scratch was proposed and finally rejected.
Totem was to become Videos and after two postponements, we reach the 3.12 development cycle that is the one to make Totem/Videos one and the same, but a complete redesign of GNOME’s good old video player was a necessary prerequisite for the idea to work as intended. A complete redesign that brings amazing new things and makes the “for years unchanged” Totem unrecognisable.
So, Totem became Videos after disregarding the idea of creating an application from scratch and along with the name change (that happened back in 3.6) came a new interface, greatly extended functionality, technical modernization and quite a lot of new bugs apparently.
The most significant change is that Videos became web-content friendly allowing users to connect to various services and watch the latest videos, search and sort given results and play or store locally, all through the application itself. To make this possible, a new screen called “Channels” was created were users can choose their desired web content service and start digging.
And for those of you who want to add more services…
The other View is the Recent items where videos/audio from the web or from your local disks that you opened recently are shown and can be chosen for playback again.
Screenshot from an older (3.11.5) version without headerbars
And then we have new popover menus, simplified Gmenu with entries moving in more appropriate places, refreshed preferences, ability to swipe to seek (a must have feature for touch screens), smarter behavior with screensaver and pop ups hide/show refinements.
I said something about bugs at the beginning and the truth is that Videos didn’t work like a charm for me, but this is both logical and acceptable at this point. Totem has finally made the big step towards becoming Videos and this called for a lot of changes.
With the hard work of developers and contributors, and the patience and reports of the users Videos can become more versatile, the importing of more services can become easier and more advanced video settings can be made available in the near future. For now, it is 3.12’s most significantly changed application and since we’ve been waiting for quite some time for this, we are more than jubilant to finally see it happen.
Here are the most recent changes in detail:
- Use popovers for menus, and remove their shadows
- Hide popups after 2 seconds not 5
- Fix crashers when deleting items
- Only resolve using the passed source
- Remove stock icons usage
- Don’t offer to save file in ~/Videos subdirs
- Fix empty window title in some cases
- Fix handling of kbd shortcuts with multiple modifiers
- Blacklist adult sources for now
- Fix ngettext usage
- Avoid queueing multiple thumbnail updates
- Add names to timeouts and idles
- Don’t monitor the filesystem plugin
- Translation updates
- Add sideways swipe gestures to seek inside the window
- Move Open/Add menu items to the “Add” button
- Add drop support to the “Recent” section of the overview
- Implement “Make Available Offline”
- Maximise window by default
- Make F10 show the gear menu
- Make Ctrl+F toggle the search mode
- Handle the “Play DVD” remote control key
- Pause playback when the screensaver comes on
- Correct spacing and title of the preferences window
- Remove film strip by default from thumbnails, nautilus will add them itself if necessary
- Fix monitoring of Grilo sources
- Show switcher buttons when turning on search
- Ensure the buffering spinner gets removed when closing a file