After lots of intense work and collaboration, the Netbook profile for MeeGo 1.0 has been released today. As such, I am particularly pleased to announce in conjunction that Banshee is the default and integrated media player for MeeGo.
Currently, MeeGo 1.0 features the latest stable Banshee release: 1.6.1. As new Banshee versions are released, we'll be providing updated packages for MeeGo.
The Media Panel
In MeeGo, most tasks are performed through panels that slide out from the top toolbar. This is how you can chat with friends, get lost in Twitter and other social network feeds, quickly browse and play your media, access the web, and launch and switch between applications and zones.
In Banshee, the MeeGo integration extension provides a panel that integrates into the MeeGo toolbar. From the Banshee panel, you have quick access to your music and play queue sources. The new grid view introduced in Banshee 1.6 is quite prominent here as is the track list and now playing display.
When you're just in music consumption mode, the panel is really all you need - quick access to entertainment.
A Richer Experience
While the MeeGo Media Panel is great, there will be many cases where a more traditional media player interface is desired. For this the more familiar and feature-full Banshee interface is a click away - it can be launched from the Myzone or Applications panel (it's an out-of-the-box favorite), and of course, from the Media panel.
The traditional Banshee interface will feel familiar, especially if you've used Banshee before, but there are a few customizations exclusive to MeeGo:
- Optimized for smaller screens
- No main menu - all actions are contextual or available through a quick-access menu at the top right of the toolbar
- MeeGo look-and-feel
- No status bar
From the traditional interface, you have all the power of Banshee at your disposal: Last.FM radio, video playback, podcasting, etc.
All the code to build the MeeGo profile of Banshee is available in the regular Banshee git tree on both the
stable-1.6 branches. There are no hidden repositories or forks. All the code has been developed as an extension to Banshee in our regular upstream tree.
There are two main MeeGo pieces:
- The actual MeeGo extension, which provides the panel, other MeeGo integration services, and a MeeGo theme for custom Banshee widgets.
- Customizations to the traditional Banshee interface. These are very, very minimal and just branch based on
As such, you can easily build Banshee for MeeGo (and you don't even need to be running MeeGo). Assuming you're already familiar with building Banshee from source, just pass the
--enable-meego configure flag. For convenience, you can also use
./profile-configure meego to configure with a selection of other flags that best match how the Banshee packages for MeeGo are built.
You will also want to touch
/etc/meego-release to trick your non-MeeGo system into taking some MeeGo specific code paths. This is quite handy for development.
When running the MeeGo extension to Banshee on a non-MeeGo system, the panel interface will simply appear as another window.
Banshee 1.6 for MeeGo 1.0 is just the beginning of the adventure in this space. We've got a lot planned for the next MeeGo release and certainly Banshee in general.
Foremost, there will be a continued focus on performance improvements and core/UI splits. Expect a bigger main interface overhaul as well in the near future.
With MeeGo 1.0 for Netbooks out in the open finally, expect to hear more exciting details around Banshee and MeeGo in general. Fun times are ahead!