Are there plans for a MATE media or music player?

Hi all,

Just wondering whether MATE will ever get to see its own media or music player or if that is outside the scope of the desktop.


I’m not part of the MATE team so I don’t know, but these are my thoughts:

Gnome 2 had its own media player called Totem. Gnome 3 ported it to GTK 3 and called it Videos. Linux Mint made its own GTK 3-based player named Xplayer.

Then there are VLC, SMPlayer, XFCE Parole media player and a ton of others.

In short: I think there are historical reasons for a MATE media player, but I think it’s the last thing the MATE team should work on. There are already many capable media players available.


Thank you!

Which one is shipped by MATE default?

And how is Xplayer? I have never heard of it before.

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There is a PPA for all of the X-apps. I haven’t tried Xplayer or any other “X-app”. I think Linux Mint ship them by default even in their MATE edition. As far as I know VLC is the default media player in Ubuntu MATE.


Unless you have something against VideoLAN or prefer another solution such as Omxplayer or mpv, VLC is suitablle for the average person’s needs, and then some. Plus, there are Android apps you can pair with the player to function as a remote.

If you can afford it as a universal remote solution, go with Unified Remote. It’s closed-source and commercial if you want access to the advanced remotes but it’s worth it, considering you’re breaking less than five dollars to buy it. Else, there is the forked version of VLC Remote which you can find on Google Play (at the moment).

@mrtribute, thanks! I didn’t know all these X-apps were developed by the Mint team.

@tiox, I used to use VLC but I found it to be not well integrated into the desktop. See for instance this issue I was facing among other people:

Well, if the MATE team adheres to the “Do one thing and do it well” principle (admittedly, a DE is a combination of many things) then we should not expect a MATE based media player and we shouldn’t desire one. We’d rather see a concentration of programming efforts than a spread.

On the other hand, I doubt that the MATE team could make a good media player. This is not an indictment on the team capabilities, mind you. Rather it is a stab at a certain propensity for programmers to adopt a Not Done Here attitude that more often than not ends up with abandoned projects, subpar projects, or projects that do exist but bring nothing new or interesting to the poll of alternatives. And developing a media player that brings something new and interesting (thus a good media player) is frankly something that I need to see with my own eyes to believe.

So between an average or mediocre media player that is by MATE and no media player at all, the latter better maintains the high reputation of the DE.


Thanks, @marfig!

I am all with you but one point:

A media player is just such an integral and essential part of a DE. You cannot ship a DE without one. And well, this de-facto standard called VLC is just not good in my eyes if I consider something like the bug mentioned above.

Anyhow, I do see your argument of manpower and hope that efforts will focus around the “next” default media player, whatever it may be.

I’m not part of the MATE team either, but the history @mrtribute points out is very interesting… since Totem was my main player in Unity before I switched to Ubuntu MATE.

Personally, I think if VLC isn’t achieving its purpose for most users anymore, then we should look at alternates but not create another duplicate. I think Totem and other media players share the same back-end (gstreamer?) anyway and VLC uses its own.

An alternate could be to provide a default skin for VLC, if it just looks out of place?

Did you bother to read the thread? Author says he is having an issue with function integration. Most likely a dbus problem somewhere in the chain that needs to be resolved. If @orschiro wants to be more specific about his issue, we can probably figure out where we should submit issues according to their function in the chain which binds VLC to dbus and its related functions to potentially resolve the issue him and a lot of other people (according to him) have.

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Err, I was inputting my thoughts to the topic's original question, and in relation this:

However, the broken sound integration is a bug and that should be fixed... I have noticed this not working before, but it seems to be working for me in 16.04 right now. :thinking:


@tiox and @lah7,

Thank you so much for your valuable inputs!

Regarding the VLC issues, a while ago I submitted a bug report on the VLC bug tracker regarding this problem and they promptly responded with “Not A Bug”.

It seems to reflect what you are experiencing, @lah7. On some systems, it seems to work while on others not.

I am just a bit clueless how to further investigate this.

And well, honestly, I followed some of the recommendations here on the forum and are now testing SMPlayer.

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Are the people in the VideoLAN team on drugs? They've to be high if they're saying something which is clearly a problem (sporadic as it may be) isn't a bug.

@orschiro Have you got a link to that report?

If it’s working on VLC’s end (and other distros), fair enough if they invalidated the report. Chances are, as @tiox pointed out, it’s a fault with DBUS… which could be Ubuntu (core), Ubuntu MATE and/or the sound indicator. But it needs to be reproducible in order to be fixed.

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Strange. I tried to log into their bug tracker to search for my own issue but if I log in on, I get a blank page saying Environment not found.

The X-Apps rolled out with Linux Mint 18.x Mate / Cinnamon / Xfce are all forked from well-known Apps:
xed - text editor based on Pluma
xplayer - media player based on Totem (Videos)
xviewer - picture viewer based on Eye of GNOME
xreader - document reader based on Atril
Pix - based on gThumb
Why not use some of them (or all) also for Ubuntu Mate?

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So, if they are recent forks, are they that different from their origins or still very close?

First version of xplayer was based on totem 3.10/trusty"

Next versions came with Linux Mint 18.1
As you can see here, there are more than “cosmetic” modifications

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Cool. Do you know if xplayer has:

  • sound indicator menu integration,
  • media keys support?

Just to say, Xplayer is not my favorite Video-Player, normally Kodi / SMPlayer / VLC.
But i like the idea behind to deliver a simple Video-Player, which is easy-to-use for everybody and for different Desktops / Distributions.

For Keyboard Shortcuts, there is some room for improvements …

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