Ubuntu uses Totem as the default multimedia player. And to be honest, I never quite liked Totem. It looks simple and clean, yet it has an extremely limited functionality (at least for my needs).
This is one the areas that Ubuntu developers can focus on (giving a pretty decent multimedia experience to the users) by creating a features rich yet a simple looking multimedia player because Gnome will change.
Anyhow, if you one of those dudes who loves Totem and looking for something that looks a lot like it but also slightly different, then you might be interested in a new multimedia player called “MediaBox”.
Just like with Totem, it uses GStreamer as the multimedia playback engine so all the codecs supported by GStreamer is supported by MediaBox.
It too has a pretty clean look but has a slightly different playlist that lets you easily manage somewhat larger collections of multimedia files with ease. It’s currently at “Alpha” stage so use it with caution.
Few main features …
*. Built in Equalizer (both audio and video adjustments) but it’s a pretty basic looking one.
*. Has a pretty good playlist as said before. And unlike with Totem, because of the the way it’s designed, we can search/add/remove files with ease (although adding files from mounted devices etc is a bit difficult at the moment. More below).
Also shows other basic info such as playback duration, Title and Artist fetched from the audio meta-tags.
*. Change volume or play/pause/stop/next/previous/progress-bar buttons.
*. Minimize to system tray (disabled by default).
*. Has few built in plugins such as: Audio album cover fetcher, Notification message display when tracks change, Status icon etc.
*. Easily open CD/DVD contents form the menu.
*. Repeat, Shuffle and save playlists.
*. There is an “edit” option in the right-click menu but nothing really happens when you click on it.
It starts playback from the list position which is good but there is no option to disable it for audio files. And also the playlist only shows your Home folder and you cannot manually load another folder (other than dragging and dropping them. When you click on the “pause” button while playing a video, it takes a slight delay to “pause” the playback. But the responsive times were pretty good while playing audio files.
But then again, this is an extremely new tool, so hopefully, the developer would add/fix those in the future releases.
If interested, you can install “MediaBox” in Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin and 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot (might also work in other versions such as 11.04, 10.10 … not sure though) by first downloading the “.deb” package from …
Update (2012/03/09): The developer has changed the application name from MediaBox to SoundBox and you can get the new package from this page.
Once the downloading completes, double click on it and the Ubuntu Software Center should install it for you.