2007-01-12

Hacking GNOME

Have you have contributed to an Open Source project? Well, I have and it was so long ago that I can't remember. Although I have been using GNU/Linux on my laptop since the day I bought it, I have never really used it to contribute anything. The last time I contributed was when I was in the University. I don't think it makes sense to use something that is really free and only give back to the community more "Requests for Improvements".

I use the GNOME Desktop. Why? Well, I like the way it looks, the way it feels and its User Interface philosophy. But I don't want to get drawn into one of those Desktop Environment discussions about the advantages or disadvantages of each Desktop Environment. That's not the goal.

What's the goal? Well, there is one functionality that I've really been missing in Rhythmbox. What is Rhythmbox? Well, a media player and organizer for the GNOME Desktop, that takes its inspiration from several tools. The functionality that I miss the most is the ability to use the Cover Art embedded in the MP3 files.

You see, MP3 files can be tagged using ID3. And in the latest versions of ID3 there is support to include the album art, among other images. Where is this used? Well, some MP3 players show it in their color screens and it makes them more appealing to the eyes.

Rhythmbox currently fetches the cover art from the web. I want to change it to use the art found in the file. If the file hasn't any image then the World Wide Web is consulted.

It turns out that there is already a feature request on GNOME's Bugzilla for this issue. I saw that it was stopped for a long time, looked at what it implied (yes, I actually checked the source code) and I decided to give it a try. Let's see what happens since it has been some time since I try to do anything in C. I've been working with Java like since I left from the University and I've also used some C++ for my Thesis. But this one will be in C, and Python??? I just checked out the SVN version, since the GNOME project just moved from CVS to Subversion recently, and the plug-in is written in Python... Things keep getting more interesting!

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