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Totem is a media player (audio and video) for the GNOME computer desktop environment which runs on GNU/Linux, Solaris, BSD and other Unix and Unix-like systems. It is officially included in GNOME starting from version 2.10 (released in March 2005), but de facto it was already included in most GNOME environments. Totem utilizes the GStreamer framework for playback, though until version 2.27.1, it could alternatively be configured to use the Xine libraries instead of GStreamer.
Totem is included as the default media player in many GNU/Linux operating systems, including Ubuntu, Mandriva and others. Released under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License, Totem is free software.
Until recently there were two distinct versions of Totem, though the difference was not visible at the user interface level. One of them was based on GStreamer, which is a plugin-based multimedia framework. This version has superior extensibility and supports a larger variety of media formats. The other one was based on xine, which is a regular multimedia library. At the time it had better encrypted DVD playback support, DVD navigation support and could play some files the GStreamer version couldn't handle. Due to enhancements in GStreamer including the ability to play back encrypted DVDs, the Totem development team dropped support for the xine backend.
An outstanding feature of Totem is its close integration with the GNOME desktop environment and its file manager, Nautilus. This includes generating thumbnails of video files when browsing in Nautilus and a video plugin for Netscape-compatible browsers (e.g. Firefox).
Thanks to a large number of plugins developed for GStreamer, Totem is able to play all mainstream media formats, both open and proprietary ones. It also understands numerous playlist formats, including SHOUTcast, M3U, XML Shareable Playlist Format (XSPF), SMIL, Windows Media Player playlists and RealAudio playlists. Playlists are easily manageable using drag-and-drop features.
Full-screen video playback is supported on nearly all X configurations, including multi-head Xinerama setups, and on displays connected to the TV-Out. Brightness, contrast and saturation of the video can be dynamically adjusted during playback. 4.0, 4.1, 5.0, 5.1 and stereo sound is supported. On computers with an infrared port, Totem can be remotely controlled via LIRC. Stills can be easily captured without resorting to external programs. There is also a plugin for telestrator-like functionality using Gromit. The loading of external SubRip subtitles, both automatic and manual (via the command-line), is also supported.