I’ve mentioned a couple of times that, at least in my opinion, KDE is losing out to GNOME because there simply aren’t as many Qt applications as GTK ones. Competition breeds quality, and as a result, I find Qt applications in general to be inferior.
Of course, I can’t just say that and not back it up. In fact, I’m not even sure if I’m right! Because I’m using KDE 4.2 at the moment, I thought this would be an ideal time to really test some Qt and GTK applications extensively. In all cases, I tried to use Qt applications first, and only installed the GTK alternative if it either showed bugs, crashed, or simply irritated me to the point of madness after several days.
This is the third in a series of articles comparing different kind of applications. The first one handled chat-clients, the second browsers, and this one will be about media players. It will be the shortest so far, simply because I succeeded for the first time in finding a choice of Qt applications that are on par with their GTK counterparts.
The first one I tried was VLC, which isn’t only open source but also provides Windows and Mac OS X binaries. It looks good, it has a loooong list of features, but I couldn’t figure out how to make the Firefox plugin work (apparently there is one). No harm done, since Mplayer does the same things VLC does and has a well-tested browser-plugin. The good thing about Mplayer is that it does all the heavy duty work but leaves the visual thrills and frills to third-party clients, and there are a lot of those, both GTK and Qt. I first tested KMPlayer, which was reasonably lightweight, played the files I threw at it, and came with a list of radio stations all over the world, including Belgium. It’s one of the first things I usually add to a media player’s bookmarks, so I was glad KMPlayer saved me the trouble.
There are other alternatives, like Smplayer and Kaffeine but KMPlayer was a smaller install. In any case, there are enough alternatives of high quality, which means I didn’t need to install any GTK-alternatives, and that’s a first.