Putting Video on the Root Window

Dear Lazyweb,

Microsoft has an interesting piece of WoW!-I-can't-believe-it's-bloat available in their latest offerings. This new trick is called Microsoft Dreamscene, and it's as simple as putting an MPEG video on the desktop. You can actually take any MPEG file you want, and put it there. It's so simple that in a way it's mind boggling that they can market it so easily.

So I'm thinking. If it's so simple, what is to stop one of us from plugging in Gstreamer to do the exact same? I mean all we need to do is pipe a file to the desktop, ignore the audio stream, and if possible, make sure it's small enough that gstreamer can cache the entire thing in memory.

How could we optimize this so it uses less cpu cycles? I'm sure it's simple enough to disable this when a laptop is unplugged, but is there a cheap way to do this in general?

3 flames:

Casey zei

I've seen a compiz/beryl/compiz fusion/whatever it was demo where someone did this in gnome.

Anoniem zei

Ya. xscreensaver has been able to do this for ages.

And if your using compositing desktop then it works out pretty well visually.

If your using Intel graphics it works, but only for non-opengl stuff. (wait for DRI2 for that sort of thing).

What I've done personally for visualization is just have totem playing it's pretty graphics stuff and then full screen that and have it set on 'stay lower' then the rest of the desktop. Pretty easy to do and it looks very cool if your a full-screen-xterminal guy like I am.

Not a big productivity booster, however. But what is other then dreary boring stuff?

The main problem with the Gnome desktop is that whole nautilus thing. Nautilus and it's ability to bogart the root window prevents all sorts of very neat and very easy things.

What we really need to make this stuff easy is to add the ability to set a alpha channel for nautilus's background color. Then add the ability for Metacity to set something _behind_ nautilus's window.

Then it should be a small thing to set totem to output it's stuff to a separate window (or at least have a separate control surface) that can be shoved back there.

Any application then would be able to do 'desktop visualizations'.

In fact setting a alpha channel color option for nautilus is a fantastic thing. It needs to be done.

renatoram zei

Yeah, I was doing the same in... '98 I think, with xscreensaver on a non accelerated desktop.

Yay for innovation!