Difference between revisions of "DBus-spec"

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<span style="color: red; font-weight: bold">THIS IS A DRAFT</span>
<span style="color: red; font-weight: bold">THIS IS A DRAFT</span>
<span style="color: red; font-weight: bold">VLC DOES NOT USE THAT AT THIS MOMENT ALTHOUGH IT IS PLANNED</span>
<span style="color: red; font-weight: bold">VLC USES ONLY ADDTRACK FOR THE TRACKLIST</span>
What follows has been largely stolen from http://bmpx.beep-media-player.org/site/MPRIS_Interfacing_Specification
What follows has been largely stolen from http://bmpx.beep-media-player.org/site/MPRIS_Interfacing_Specification

Revision as of 00:55, 6 December 2006

Specification for a Common, Desktop neutral, Media Player D-Bus interface



What follows has been largely stolen from http://bmpx.beep-media-player.org/site/MPRIS_Interfacing_Specification

This is an attempt to create a specification for media players to use, for YOUR applications to be able to interact with ANY Media Player YOU want to use on ANY desktop YOU want to use.

This is in the spirit of http://www.freedesktop.org and uses code and ideas from this project, most notably D-Bus : http://dbus.freedesktop.org and uses ideas from http://www.musicbrainz.org

Other players

How other "Media Players" interact with D-Bus










http://amarok.kde.org/wiki/DCOP_Functions (D-Bus will replace dcop in kde4 ?)


"Media Player"

An application, either with GUI or GUI-less (or which allows for both modes of operation) which is capable of playing back audio/video streams. The means by which it does accomplish that (e.g. which audio backend to use, and which output method) is out of the scope of this document.

The "Media Player" must:

  • Be able to play back at least local storage file streams.
  • Be able to play back at least one stream at a time.

The "Media Player" can, but does not need to:

  • Be capable of holding one or more "Tracklists" at a time.


The Client is an unspecified application that will interact with the "Media Player" using D-Bus protocol. For example:

  • A softphone, that pauses, or step the volume down, when a call is being received.
  • An applet that nicely integrates in your desktop environment, to control your "Media Player".
  • An instant messaging client which informs your buddies of what you're listening to.
  • A monitor that stores in a database what you are listening to, for statistics purpose.
  • A video editing software that calls an external "Media Player" to preview your work.


A list of media files which resides within the "Media Player", and whose implementation is opaque to the remote interface.

The "Tracklist" must:

  • Hold an ordered list of locations of the media files as URIs (e.g. file:// or http://). The implementation of this can be opaque, which means, it does not neccesarily need to store URIs, but upon remote request, it must be able to return an URI for a given media file.
  • Keep the list in an ordered fashion. The order can be changed at any time trough e.g. sorting algorithms, in which case the "Media Player" must send information about the reordering trough it's remote interface

The "Tracklist" can, but does not need to:

  • Hold "Metadata" about media files


"Metadata" is data that the files carry within themselves as a means of self-identification (commonly known as "tags"), or data that has been retrieved about the files trough other means, e.g. an internet service that provides additional data about particular media files. "Metadata" is an array of dict entries, like ("Length", 1), ("Name", "Bolero"), ("vcodec", "DIVX"). The dict entry is in the form (string, variant) eg: {sv}.

Furthermore, "Metadata" can be split into two categories:

1) Technical metadata:

  • "URI":"s"
  • "length":"i" (length in seconds)
  • "vcodec":"s" (video codec as a fourcc)
  • "acodec":"s" (audio codec as a fourcc)
  • "vb":"i" video bitrate
  • "ab":"i" audio bitrate
  • "as":"i" (audio samplerate)

2) Informational metadata

Required fields are: "URI", "length", "name"


The Service


All "Media Players" must request this name and do not let other "Media Players" 'steal' this name. Using libdbus, that would be:

DBusConnection *dbus_connection;
DBusError dbus_error;
dbus_bus_request_name( dbus_connection, "org.freedesktop.MediaPlayer", 0, &dbus_error );

To be able to request the name, and so, be able to communicate via D-Bus, no "Media Player" must be running. The "Media Player" may call the Quit method, and wait till the name is unregistered, to ensure this is the case.

The Object Hierarchy

  • / : Media Player identification
  • /Player : Playback control
  • /TrackList : TrackList management

The interface

All methods must be accessed through the interface org.freedesktop.MediaPlayer

i.e. calling Quit with qdbus would be:

$ qdbus org.freedesktop.MediaPlayer /Player org.freedesktop.MediaPlayer.Quit

The Methods

  • /

Identity : Identify the "Media Player" as in "VLC 0.9.0", "bmpx 0.34.9", "Totem 2.16.2" ...

  <method name="Identity">
    <arg type="s" direction="out"/>
  • /TrackList

GetMetadata : Gives all meta data available for element at given position in the "TrackList"

 <method name="GetMetadata">
   <arg type="i" direction="in" />
   <arg type="a{sv}" direction="out" />

GetCurrentTrack : Position of Current URI in the "TrackList"

  <method name="GetCurrentTrack">
    <arg type="i" direction="out" />

GetLength : Number of elements in the "TrackList"

  <method name="GetLength">
    <arg type="i" direction="out" />

AddTrack : Appends an URI in the "TrackList", play it immediately if the 2nd argument is TRUE

  <method name="AddTrack">
    <arg type="s" />
    <arg type="b" />

DelTrack : Removes an URI from the "TrackList", given its position

  <method name="DelTrack">
    <arg type="i" />
  • /Player

Next : Goes to the next element (what if we're at the end?)

  <method name="Next">

Prev : Goes to the previous element (what if we're at the beginning?)

  <method name="Prev">

Pause : If playing : pause. If paused : unpause. If stopped : start playing

  <method name="Pause">

Stop : Stop playing.

  <method name="Stop">

Play : If playing : rewind to the beginning of current track, else : start playing.

  <method name="Play">

GetStatus : Return the status of "Media Player": 0 = Playing, 1 = Paused, 2 = Stopped.

  <method name="GetStatus">
  <arg type="i" direction="out"/>

VolumeSet : Sets the volume (argument must be in [0;100])

  <method name="VolumeSet">
  <arg type="i"/>

VolumeGet : Returns the current volume (must be in [0;100])

  <method name="VolumeGet">
  <arg type="i" direction="out"/>

PositionSet : Sets the playing position (argument must be in [0;100])

  <method name="PositionSet">
  <arg type="i"/>

PositionGet : Returns the playing position (must be in [0;100])

  <method name="PositionGet">
  <arg type="i" direction="out"/>

Quit : Makes the "Media Player" exit.

  <method name="Quit">

The signals

TrackChange : Signal is emitted when the "Media Player" plays another "Track"

  <signal name="TrackChange">

StatusChange : Signal is emitted when status change. See GetStatus.

  <signal name="StatusChange">
   <arg type="i"/>