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Ambulant Player Release Notes
Ambulant Player README

This directory contains version 2.6 of the Ambulant Player,
a playback engine for SMIL 3.0 (or earlier) documents.

Ambulant consists of a core library implementing the engine,
a number of GUI-toolkit specific libraries implementing renderers and
a number of player applications. The core library is also available
for embedding into C++ or Python programs. The player is also available
as a plugin for various browsers.

Ambulant is distributed as either a source distribution or a
binary installer for a specific platform. This README file
is common to all distributions, see the INSTALL file for instructions on
building from source. The NEWS file has information on what is new
in this release.

Ambulant is Open Source: the license is LGPL. See the file
COPYING for details.

The Ambulant homepage at  has more information.


Please let us know about any problem you encounter: first check the FAQ
on the Ambulant homepage. Of course, there is a good chance we are not 
aware of your problem at this stage. In that case, either send email to:
 or fill out a bug report at the
sourceforge bug repository, via .

See for other community resources: mailing lists,
demo document repositories, etc. We expect to do bugfix releases fairly
regularly, join the (low-volume) announcements mailing list to be kept

We are also specifically interested in cooperation: see the website if
you are interested in helping to make Ambulant a better product, or
combining it with your own work, porting to new platforms, etc.

Supported platforms

Currently we have support for:
- Windows 7
- MacOSX 10.7 and later

The specific platforms that have been used for testing are:
- Windows: Windows 7 and 8 on fairly recent Intel hardware
- MacOSX 10.7: Core 2 Duo or newer
- Linux: Ubuntu 14.04 on fairly recent Intel hardware

We have preliminary code for iOS and Android.

Supported media types

- Text and smilText supported on all platforms.
- Images in PNG, JPEG and GIF formats are supported on all
  platforms. Other formats are supported on some platforms.
- Audio:
  - All platforms support audio through ffmpeg and SDL. This allows use
    of all common audio formats (mp4, mp3, aac, ogg, wav, wma, etc). Access can
    be from local file or over http or rtsp.
  - Windows also supports audio through DirectShow, which allows protected
    WMA file playback and a few less common formats.
- Video:
  - All platforms support video through ffmpeg. This allows use of all
    common formats (h264, mpeg-1/2/4, ogg, some quicktime and wm9).
  - Windows also supports video through DirectShow.

With audio and video there are some issues with specific combinations of
containers, codecs, platforms and access protocols. See the website
(or Documentation/mediasupport in a source distribution) for details.

Networking support

This release has support for networked presentations. Streaming 
media items can be retrieved via HTTP on all platforms,
static media items and the SMIL file itself can be retrieved via HTTP.
RTSP support is available, but there are issues with which server
can actually serve which media types. This seems to be a marketing issue
on the side of server manufacturers, and is outside our control.
TCP fallback for RTSP (if UDP is firewalled) is available.
RTSP is supported through ffmpeg.

SMIL support

This release includes full support for SMIL 3.0 (along with 2.1 and 2.0).

User interface

The user interface is getting better, but still a bit clunky on some
platforms. There is a logging window in which the player will print
error messages and such, and a preferences/settings dialog that allows
you to select which parser to use (the validating Xerces parser or the
fast expat parser), which level of logging output you want, etc.


Minimal user documentation is available through the Help menu
or in the unix manpage.

Documentation of the overall design and the class relationships can be
found in: Documentation/Design in a source distribution. Detailed
interface documentation of the classes is in Documentation/API (in a
source distribution).


Two example SMIL documents are included, more are available
at . In the binary distributions,
examples are placed in the toplevel distribution directory; in
source distributions, they are in the Extras directory.

The Welcome document is played automatically the very first time you
start the Ambulant Player. If you want to see it again you can play
it via the Help menu.

The DemoPresentation document is a slightly more elaborate example with
some variations to show off various features of SMIL, a readme
file is included.

Extending and embedding

Ambulant can be extended with plugins written in either C++ or Python,
and it can also be embedded in your own C++ or Python program. The API
documentation mentioned above is valid for both languages.

C++ programmers should look at src/plugins/rot13plugin.cpp for an
example plugin and at the various src/player_* directories for examples
of embedding.

Python programmers should look at src/plugins/pyamplugin_state for an example
of extending Ambulant in Python, and src/pyambulant/player_pygtk or player_pyqt
for an embedding example.

Known problems

A current list of known problems can be found in the ambulant
sourceforge bug database, accessible via .


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