Klaus Stärk has
submitted an interview he recently conducted with
Charles Samuels about
Noatun. Noatun is KDE's powerful multimedia (video/audio)
player. Klaus tells us that Noatun will be the "Application of the
Month October 2001" on the German
KDE-webpage, so the interview will be translated into German at that time.
What does "Noatun" stand for? Is it an acronym for something?
It's not an acronym at all. It's related to my nickname on IRC (Njaard -- a
misspelling of the Norse god Njord). Let's leave it at that.
How did you start the Noatun-Project and who else is involved in
Noatun was started on August 26, 2000, well, that was the first commit. I'd
been thinking about it already in March of that year, I decided that there
needed to be a media player that could play everything, and one that didn't
have silly skins.
It evolved quite a bit, and later that year, the core was pluginified, the
user interface was implemented (now known as Milk Chocolate), and the
playlist (now the Split Playlist) was created.
It developed quite rapidly, especially since I made a deal with myself: I
will not play a single bit of music unless it's with Noatun, and I listen to a
lot of music, so, within that week, I was playing music. Not well, mind you,
the playlist hardly worked, and the UI didn't do much related to song length
What other oss-projects are you involved in?
How was it decided to add Noatun to KDE?
From the very start, I created it in the hopes that it would be part of KDE.
Kaiman was . . . inadequate, to say the least. In addition, I have a strong
dislike for skins (which is strange, since I wrote what may be Noatun's best
skin loader, KJofol), and Kaiman was, at the time, unmaintained, and lacking
You visited the LWE in SF this week where you had the joy of accepting the
"Best Open Source Project" award in the name of the KDE-Project. What did
you think of that?
Well, it was nice! I can't say I was too shocked, but I certainly was
pleased, and the large amount of KDE developers present made it even better.
How do you see the future of multimedia apps for KDE, especially Noatun?
What can the KDE-user expect from these apps?
It will get better. We're working on making Noatun itself much more powerful
and extensible via plugins. It's designed bottom-up to make a huge amount of
features in the form of plugins, and KDE 3.0 will make this hold even more
true. Multimedia-wise, support for more formats, more features, different
Which is your favourite feature in Noatun?
Probably that the user-interface is a plugin. I still in fact use the
original user-interface (Milk Chocolate), however, nobody else is forced to.
Although, Young Hickory is real nice.
What do you do in your sparetime when you're not coding for the
I don't understand the question . . . ;-) Seriously, I'll be
starting at a university in a couple of months, so until then, I get to
code to my heart's content. Until I get a job *hint*. There's also a
lot of non-KDE stuff I've written (which you get to hear about if you
find me on irc.kde.org)
What's your opinion on the future of "Linux on the desktop"?
I think that Linux is a desktop OS, and it will slowly kick lesser operating
systems off the market. And with Linux's popularity increasing, KDE's will,
along with FreeBSD's and the like.