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KDE MultiMedia Meeting

[May 26-28, 2006] This international KDE developer meeting about multimedia will take place in the Annahoeve in the Netherlands. Its aim will be to make the pervasive role of multimedia less of a burden to manage for users and developers.

People experience multimedia every day. Sound and animation are as common as written text. With the advent of more powerful desktop computers, users want to be able to have the same experience while working at their computer as in real life. They want to play and organize their favorite music, watch a movie, and burn their own CDs and DVDs without having to put great effort into getting the respective applications to work. A professional desktop environment should aim to offer these by default, with good support for the majority of possible hardware configurations, in order to gain a solid user base.

What plans does the multimedia project have?

With the new major KDE release, KDE 4, coming up, the multimedia backend will be largely rewritten. A multimedia system for KDE is being developed which is to solve a great deal of the problems in the existing, older multimedia parts. This new system will aim for better integration of media frameworks into KDE without locking out other multimedia applications. It will enable developers to easily add multimedia capabilities to their applications, without having to know nor care about the underlying platform.

Why do we organize a meeting?

For the KDE project it is important that developers enjoy their work. With a few exceptions, all developers contribute to KDE in their spare time without being paid for it. In 2005, a KDE-PIM event was organised by KDE Netherlands for contributors to the PIM (Personal Information Management) module, which was under especially heavy development at that time. A group of developers gathered to discuss ideas, code, and more. The environment, ambiance, and services provided by the Annahoeve made sure that the attendees could focus on the things they came for: discussing, thinking, and creating. Meeting face to face and working together enabled them to lay the groundwork for new innovations. Important improvements to the usability of the PIM applications, notably KMail, the email client have been made. The results of last year's meeting proved that it is really worthwhile to organize such a (short) event.

Therefore, in 2006, another event is planned, again at the Annahoeve, this time for the multimedia part of KDE. Multimedia developers worldwide are expected to come together at the end of May and experience the same productivity boost as the PIM developers had in 2005. With a well-organised meeting and the excellent results of last year's meeting still in our mind, we are confident that the KDE MultiMedia Meeting will have a significant impact on multimedia development inside, but also outside, the KDE project.

Examples for multimedia applications in KDE

Two of the best known multimedia applications in KDE are:

  • amaroK, a full-featured music player. Amongst its features are playlist support, the possibility to download lyrics for songs, streaming media, custom-styled interfaces through the use of CSS, full AudioScrobbler support, and high scriptability through KDE's DCOP platform. AmaroK as a media player stands out due to its feature-rich interface, and its modern way of dealing with multimedia content, even among closed source competitors.
  • K3B, a CD burning application. It supports burning audio, video, and data to CDs and DVDs, with lots of extra functions such as audio file conversion, multisession recording, multiple track sources, and more. k3B is the most feature-rich and popular CD burning frontend in the Open Source world.

amaroK and K3B are often called "killer applications" and have a huge popularity already shortly after their announcement and first release. As does amaroK, K3B shows that the Open Source development model can bear fruits in the form of top-quality software.

Next to these, various other applications are part of the core KDE multimedia package, such as the mixer application KMix and the media player KMPlayer. One of the MultiMedia Meeting's targets will be to foster the development of applications, building a groundwork for even more innovative Open Source software for the next years.

Planned publicity for the MultiMedia Meeting

In close collaboration with the KDE Marketing Team we will seek to gain publicity for the meeting via the following channels:

  • The international KDE news site, http://dot.kde.org. This is the official news channel for KDE. Articles posted there usually get picked up quickly by a number of other sites.
  • Local newspapers. The last meeting, the "PIM meeting" was announced via an article in a local newspaper, the "Zunderse Bode". For local newspapers, it's obviously quite interesting to write about a meeting of world class software developers in the area. This way, Open Source in general, KDE and its sponsors in particular will outreach to also non-technical audience.
  • Blogs in the developer and wider Open Source community, for example via the aggregator site Planet KDE (http://planet.kde.org) and Planet KDE Nederland (http://planet.kde.nl).
  • Press releases before, during and after the meeting.
  • Keeping in touch with journalists that can inform the public via other channels, such as websites and magazines of the meeting. The magazines c't and iX come to mind, but also websites such as webwereld.nl. Contacts with journalists have already been established.
  • During the meeting, interviews with developers will be held, and reports will be written. In general, we plan to make the Multimedia Meeting easy to follow via the internet, by publishing results and impressions via blogs, and updates about the progress that's being made.