RFE: Split the gstreamer media install into audio and video

Bug #136503 reported by Aaron Whitehouse on 2007-09-01
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone

Bug Description

I was sent a wmv file, so decided to test Gnome-app-install on my Gutsy Tribe 5 install.

I double-clicked it and Totem popped up. It tells me that it doesn't have the necessary codecs and I tell it to search.
The video is Windows Media Video 9 and audio is Windows Media Audio 8.

It returns two results:
Gstreamer extra plugins; and
Gsreamer ffmpeg video plugin.

I click the top one, as a novice would do (it has a much higher popularity), and it installs Gstreamer extra plugin. It all installs and I close the installation window.

Focus returns to Totem and I am told that I do not have the required codecs. Clearly something has gone wrong. If I install both options, I can play the file, but nothing suggests that I should have to.

I think that we need to make it clearer what the codecs are for. We could do this by splitting the list of packages into "Packages to play the audio of this file" and "Packages to play the video of this file". The bottom half with the information on the selected package could remain the same.

That approach would be fine in most cases. In some cases, where the container format or something requires a codec over an above the audio and video codec, we would need to be able to deal with it.

Perhaps a better solution would be to have the packages listed along with how they would help to play the selected file:

** You do not currently have all the necessary components to play naughty video.wmv. **
You require codecs to play: wma audio, wmv video, wmv containers.

[] GStreamer extras
   This package could play the audio of this file
   Gstreamer extras is a blah blah blah...

[] Bob's video codecs
   This package could play the video of this file
   blah blah blah...

[] John's audio codecs
   This package could play the audio of this file
   Gstreamer extras is a blah blah blah...

[] Wmv container project
   This package is needed to play any files in a wmv container
   Blah blah blah


As it currently stands, I thought that the first thing I installed simply didn't work. I uninstalled it and tried the other and it didn't work. Thankfully, I tried both installed at the same time. Given they both had generic names, I had no idea that one was solving my audio problem and one was solving my video problem.

Another idea would be to deal with one missing codec after another.

We could first prompt the user that "additional codecs are required to view the video of this file" and show the choices to fix that, then show (if necessary) that "addtional codecs are required to play the audio of this file" and (if necessary) "additional codecs are required to play files in the wmv container".

This would have two advantages:
- it would use the existing UI;
- it would allow us to add additional required codecs if there are things that we haven't thought of (say it is streaming over a network and needs something extra or something).

Even this method would prevent the current confusion and make it clear why multiple files need to be installed.

The problem that I set out above would be even more of an annoyance if there were a list of 10 possible codecs for each audio and video. One wouldn't want to install them all, but one couldn't figure out which two to install to make sure that both audio and video would play.

dino99 (9d9) on 2012-08-31
Changed in gnome-app-install:
status: New → Incomplete
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