parole reports "Gstreamer backend error", "Configured videosink video is not working" in saucy

Bug #1219332 reported by Richard Elkins on 2013-08-31
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
parole (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Running parole 0.5.2-1 from the Saucy daily ISO of 2013-08-30.
Downloaded samples from
Note that vlc 2.0.8-1 seems to have no issues with these samples.
Consistent symptom in parole: "Gstreamer backend error", "Configured videosink video is not working".

My expectation was that parole could handle the same files as vlc.

Ubuntu QA Website (ubuntuqa) wrote :

This bug has been reported on the Ubuntu Package testing tracker.

A list of all reports related to this bug can be found here:

tags: added: package-qa-testing


Could you please give the link to a single sample that can be focused on in attempts to reproduce the bug? A 602 KiB list of samples is a bit to wade through. This could also be an issue in terms of unsupported file format for Parole Media Player perhaps.

Changed in parole (Ubuntu):
status: New → Incomplete
Richard Elkins (texadactyl) wrote :


Sorry. I should have uploaded at least one of the MP4 sample files from the site that I was referring to.



Thank you for the upload. I've reset it to NEW so that somebody else can take a look and do triage.

Changed in parole (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → New
Quinn Balazs (qbalazs) wrote :

There are a few simple things that might be going on, or there may be an issue in parole. In order to isolate the source of the problem please try the following, as they will rule out outside issues. I think from the error code given that one of these (primarily centered around gstreamer) should fix that for you.

Try running the following before opening parole (If it works you should only have to do it once) "parole --xv false" Note the 2 hyphens.

If that doesn't work, try "sudo aptitude install ubuntu-restricted-extras" which should fetch any missing codecs or containers and any extras.

If neither of these work, then the problem is in Parole itself, as it should be able to play most forms of combined video/audio files after running parole --xv false

Richard Elkins (texadactyl) wrote :

This made a difference:

          parole --xv false

After execution of that command line (disabling "XV support"), parole was able to play that sample MP4 and others from the same URL.

What is "XV support"?
How is a user supposed to know whether or not to do that?
Is this something that the parole package should do automatically when installed, at least, under some circumstances?

In this instance, xv relates to directly accessing video hardware to improve video performance. On some video hardware it does not play nice from what I could find.

Good news is that it isn't a program bug but a configuration issue. Even better is that the next step is for you to click the black exclamation mark on top of a yellow circle to change status to Invalid. This is something to refer later in September for documentation efforts at this point.

Richard Elkins (texadactyl) wrote :


My motherboard is an Intel D2550MUD2. I know for a fact that the kernel and X failed to detect much of its video capability. The kernel is using a gma500_gfx module when in fact the Intel graphics is GMA3650 (Cedar View). X is using a modesetting driver, not an Intel driver. For the most part, this works out okay for me and other Intel orphans.

I am sure there are many 'buntu users out there with kernel and X detection failures of various sorts (older computers, older graphics cards, etc.). It's a good thing that vlc is able to work-around this automatically. But, parole is the default video utility in, at least, xubuntu. So, it would be great if it worked universally out of the box.

I don't believe that non-programmer users will be able to deduce from the anomaly-reporting pop-up box that the `parole --xv false` command or manually setting property "enable-xv" to true in $HOME/.config/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/parole.xml will fix this issue. I suspect that these folks will give up on parole rather quickly and switch to something else that works like vlc.

Suggestion: Make XV support in parole disabled by default. Then, everyone would get playback function working out of the box. People with more advanced hardware and lucky enough to get correct detection can google how to improve the quality of parole playback.


Quinn Balazs (qbalazs) wrote :

I agree that users without knowledge of programming would be at a loss looking at the generic "gstreamer backend error" popup. And with Ubuntu it should be assumed that the majority of users have minimal knowledge of programming. This issue is with the 'buntu packaging of parole as the issue does not seem to exist with parole upstream, and has also been noted in Lubuntu and Xubuntu.

 Due to the various ranges of hardware 'buntu works on there will be many users, myself included who have had problems with video detection. These issues can range from the relatively mundane but annoying (such as this one) to crippling incompatibilities. As ubuntu is designed as linux for human beings, and there being other utilities that automatically deal with this particular problem, it does seem strange that this is not addressed in the default application. While it is as Stephen pointed out a configuration issue, I feel that this should be kept open and at least discussed with the maintainer of Parole in Ubuntu. So, from that I am going to change this to opinion so that at least is kept open for discussion and possible inclusion in the next release.

Changed in parole (Ubuntu):
status: New → Opinion
Quinn Balazs (qbalazs) wrote :

Also one thing that I should have added to my last comment, but I only now realized that it might be relevant. Could you please run parole --gst-version and post the resultant version number here.

Richard Elkins (texadactyl) wrote :

parole --gst-version
GStreamer Core Library version 0.10.36

Richard Elkins (texadactyl) wrote :
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