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Hands on With Stylish New Media Player ‘Audience’

Can you think of a stylish video playing app?

Many are anything but, and that’s okay because a video player is a functional app; it doesn’t need to look overly fancy. Most of its time is spent in full-screen, showing us we want: the video.

But that notion is being challenged by Audience – an up-and-coming (read: in development) video player that brings both simplicity and good looks to the table.

Features

Many apps tout ‘minimalism’ as their feature du jour, but Audience can rightfully claim it.

When opening Audience directly you’re presented with a straight-forward prompt.

From here you can browse and open a video file, or attempt to resume playing a file you were watching previously in the app.

During video playback a thin, translucent seek bar will appear for a brief period. This contains the only options you will likely need: Play/Pause; time in and out; seekbar with thumbnail support; File open dialog; Playlist.

audience media player seekbar

The playlist can be displayed by clicking on the furthermost icon. Items can be drag and dropped into the playlist and reordered.

The application should (eventually) support Subtitles and multiple-audio tracks.

Designed for elementary

Audience has been designed and developed for elementary OS and its Pantheon desktop shell. eOS is built upon Ubuntu, which means that you can easily install and use  the app in Ubuntu with few issues, and the extra dependencies it requires are minimal.

But there are tradeoffs.

For example, Ubuntu users won’t find Quicklists with player controls, App Menu accessibility or HUD integration.

The open-source nature of Audience means that anyone is free to fork it and re-tailor the application to better integrate with the Ubuntu desktop.

But even as it is, Audience remains a promising media player that, once ready for release, would likely prove a popular choice for users in the Ubuntu Software Center.

Install Audience in Ubuntu 12.04

Audience is in active development and not suitable for everyday use.

If you intend to install it you must be prepared for bugs and breakages – no complaints accepted!

On to getting it.

You will need to add the following two PPAs to your Software Sources:

  • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:audience-members/ppa
  • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:vala-team/ppa

Now run an update and proceed to install Audience:

  • sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install audience 

Finally, launch Audience via the Unity Dash:

Audience elementary app launcher