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Ubuntu Linux: Watch and Play BBC / YouTube Videos With Totem Movie Player

The Totem Movie Player application is a movie player for the GNOME desktop (default on Ubuntu Linux) based on GStreamer framework and xine library, and enables you to play movies or songs. You can watch Youtube video or listen BBC streams (podcasts) with this player without installing anything else such as Flash.

Totem Movie Player is simple and easy to use player. It provides the following features:

  1. Support a variety of video and audio files.
  2. Provide a variety of zoom levels and aspect ratios, and a fullscreen view.
  3. Seek and Volume controls.
  4. A playlist.
  5. Complete keyboard navigation and much more

How to watch / listen BBC videos in the Linux?

Start Totem by visiting Applications > Sound & Video > Movie Player

Make sure Youtube and BBC content enabled. Click on Edit > Plugins:

Fig.01: The Totem Movie Player Plugins

Fig.01: The Totem Movie Player Plugins

Make sure you place a check in the box labeled ‘YouTube browser‘ and ‘BBC content viewer‘ > Click Close to save changes.

How do I view BBC content under Ubuntu Linux?

To see all BBC content, select BBC from the box located in upper right side of Totem. A list will be fetched for you. Double click a podcast to listen:

Fig.02: BBC Content Under Linux

Fig.02: BBC Content Under Linux

How do I view YouTube Video under Ubuntu Linux?

Simply select YouTube from the box located in upper right side of Totem. Type a search such as “Quantum of Solace James Bond” and hit [Enter] key. Totem will search YouTube.com for your keywords. It will load results in sidebar. Simply double-click a video to watch it:

Fig.03: Watching Youtube Video Using Totem

Fig.03: Watching Youtube Video Using Totem

Important keyboard shortcuts for For Totem:

Keyboard shortuct Decscription
p toggle between play and pause
Esc exit full screen mode
f toggle full screen
h toggle display of on-screen controls
0 resize window to 50% original size
1 resize window to 100% original size
2 resize window to 200% original size
r zoom in the video
t zoom out the video
Left-arrow skip back 15 seconds
Right-arrow skip forward 15 seconds
Shift+Left-arrow skip back 5 seconds
Shift+Right-arrow skip forward 15 seconds
Ctrl+Left-arrow skip back 3 minutes
Ctrl+Right arrow skip forward 10 minutes
Up-arrow increase volume by 8%
Down-arrow decrease volume by 8%
b jump back to previous chapter/movie in playlist
n jump to next chapter/movie in playlist
q quit
Ctrl+E eject the playing optical media
Ctrl+O open a new file
Ctrl+L open a new URI
F9 toggle display of the playlist
m show the DVD menu
c show the DVD chapter menu

Command line options

To view other command line options that are available, type totem –help or read man page:
$ totem --help
$ man totem

BBC iPlayer now supports Mac OS X and Linux Desktop Computer via streaming

BBC iPlayer extends existing RealPlayer-based “Radio Player” and provides streamed video clip content from BBC website. The service has been criticised for its lack of support for many PCs, browsers including Mac OS X and Linux. Now BBC started to support both Linux and Mac computer. This is great news. From the BBC press release:

From today we are pleased to announce that streaming is now available on BBC iPlayer. This means that Windows, Mac and Linux users can stream programs on iPlayer as long as their computer has the latest version of Flash. Another change is that you do not have to register or sign in any more to download programs

BBC iPlayer now supports Mac OS X and Linux Desktop Computer

Please note that BBC iPlayer is currently restricted to UK ips only. However, you can watch common video and other audio without a problem.

Updated for accuracy.