[Development] The dark side of QtMultimedia

Kevin Kofler kevin.kofler at chello.at
Sun Nov 9 23:09:37 CET 2014

Nichols Andy wrote:
> A bit of history for those of you who don’t know.  QtMultimedia was
> developed and maintained in Brisbane, Australia by the Qt team in Nokia. 
> When Nokia divested in Qt, they closed the Brisbane office and suddenly
> the QtMultimedia team ceased to exist.  At this point Qt 5.0.0 had not yet
> been released, and many other modules that had been the responsible of the
> Brisbane team were dropped due to being unfinished, but still “add-ons”. 
> QtMultimedia being considered an “essential” module was not dropped, but
> was still unfinished.  3 developers then with Digia (myself included)
> volunteered to contribute part-time to QtMultimedia to try and get it up
> to a “usable” state for release, but there was a considerable amount of
> work left come release time.  The decision was made to keep the module in
> the release despite the many gaps in functional of the various backends
> because of it’s essential nature.  Since the release we have added at
> least 3 additional platform backends (iOS, Android, WinRT) each of which
> usually have both a high-level multimedia backend as well as a low level
> audio API.  This succeeded in spreading us even more thin regarding
> developer resources.

How is QtMultimedia "essential" when there had been a working alternative 
(Phonon) even before QtMultimedia was started? In fact, Phonon used to be 
hailed as the showcase for perfect collaboration between Qt and KDE, and 
even shipped with Qt, until Nokia decided to reinvent the wheel. (At that 
point, the bundled copy of Phonon in Qt 4 ceased being updated and was 
arbitrarily "deprecated", while the Phonon project moved on.)

IMHO, QtMultimedia should have been dropped from Qt 5 and its users moved to 
Phonon (upstream Phonon from KDE, not some ancient bundled copy of it) 
instead. QtMultimedia is a gigantic waste of resources. Those developers 
wanting to improve multimedia in Qt should be helping develop Phonon instead 
(which could also use more manpower, despite not being as stagnant as 
QtMultimedia). For example, QML integration is planned but (last I checked) 
not yet implemented.

        Kevin Kofler

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