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Totem Arte+7 Plugin

with 32 comments

I’m proud to announce the first stable release of the Arte+7 Plugin for Totem. It allows you to watch the streams listed on with Totem in a convenient way. Sadly, this service is only available for users from France, Germany, Belgium, Austria and Switzerland.


Thanks to everyone who tested it, sent me feedback and patches. Notable changes since my last post:

  • Preferences are hidden in the preference dialogue and stored in gconf
  • Streams can be searched
  • Stream thumbnail images are cached to improve the start-up time
  • I18n support (Nicolas Delvaux)
  • German and French localization (Nicolas Delvaux)

You can download the stable totem-plugin-arte-0.8.tar.gz or pull it from Nicolas created an Ubuntu package in his PPA for those of you who are too lazy to compile it. It would be nice if someone from a country not supported by the Arte streaming service, could test the plugin too, to check if it behaves reasonable in such a situation.


Written by Simon Wenner

February 16, 2010 at 2:32 pm

Posted in gnome

32 Responses

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  1. If you are on Ubuntu Karmic, you also need to do
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:vala-team/ppa
    because this plugin requires package called libgee2 that is in that repository.

    I am from Czech Republic and upon clickin a video in the sidepanel, it says in French (and presumably German, but I do not understand that) that due to law reasons, it cannot be played in my country. Fair enough regarding reasonability of the plugin.


    February 16, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    • Good. Thanks for testing it.

      Simon Wenner

      February 16, 2010 at 7:13 pm

  2. Thank you, thank you and thank you again for this great plugin! Thank you to Nicolas as well for the french translation.


    February 16, 2010 at 5:49 pm

  3. Thanks to you, I’m currently watching a tribute to Menuhin. Thanks so much for this plugin, and for the great music 🙂

    By the way, is there any simple to way to save to stream on disk for later watching ?


    February 16, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    • Wow, I really meant this in the last sentence: “By the way, is there any simple way to save the stream on disk for later watching ?”


      February 16, 2010 at 8:28 pm

      • My plugin has no such support. But you can copy the link to the stream in the playlist and pass it to mplayer -dumpstream or you could write a stream recorder plugin for totem. 🙂

        Simon Wenner

        February 17, 2010 at 4:08 pm

  4. Thanks for that plugin. Though it would make sense to talk with arte not to use such proprietary codecs as asf. Better resolution would also be great.


    February 17, 2010 at 10:35 am

    • Yes, write them!

      Simon Wenner

      February 17, 2010 at 4:10 pm

  5. It would be great to have some metainfo for the videos. Like the text that is shown on the website.


    February 17, 2010 at 11:30 am

    • I agree. But the feed I parse contains no description. I thought about ‘right click’ -> ‘more info’ and then we extract all we like from the html page and show it in a pop-up.

      Simon Wenner

      February 17, 2010 at 4:14 pm

  6. Impressive. Have you considered proposing a Guadec talk about writing Totem plugins? (Unfortunately The Netherlands is not one of the supported countries but I would be happy to work with you to make it support the Dutch public broadcasting service 🙂




    February 17, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    • Thanks, but I don’t think that this topic has enough content for a talk. 🙂

      Simon Wenner

      February 21, 2010 at 7:31 pm

  7. The plugin have been also packaged for Mandriva in the official repository, and sent back as a backport on stable release thanks to Götz Waschk.


    February 17, 2010 at 3:06 pm

  8. Works great, it’s simple, and the content is great too. I agree that the quality of the stream could be improved, but that’s Arte’s business, not yours. The discoverability of configuring the language might be improved though, but it’s no biggie.


    February 19, 2010 at 10:35 am

  9. How great is that! Thanks! Now all we need is a nice stream recorder plugin 🙂

    Mann ohne Namen

    February 19, 2010 at 11:28 am

  10. I have a server in france. Any idea which ports I would have to forward to be able to see the content outside the available countries?


    February 19, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    • The most transparent solution is probably to setup a VPN (with OpenVPN).

      Simon Wenner

      February 21, 2010 at 7:22 pm

  11. […] ziemlich langsam. Der Schweizer Informatik-Student Simon Wenner hat nun für Totem ein Plugin entwickelt, über das man die ARTE+7 Video-Streams bequem mit Totem abspielen […]

  12. […] foreground noise Note: Arte+7 n’est normalement accessibles qu’aux IP de certains pays européens: […]

  13. Hej,

    danke fuer dein Plugin. Ich habe bisher Totem nicht verwendet. Dein Plugin ist ein Grund fuer mich diesen Player zu verwenden.

    Kommt die schlechte Bildqualitaet bei einer grossen Aufloesung von der Streamaufloesung oder dem WMA-Codec?

    Es waere wirklich toll, auch fuer die 3-sat-Mediathek zu haben ( Glaubst du es ist moeglich ohne zu viel Aufwand so ein Plugin zu schreiben?



    April 4, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    • Die Bildqualität vom HQ Stream ist ok. Wenn man jedoch den Stream früh schaut ist manchmal nur die MQ version verfügbar, auch wenn du im Plugin HQ angewählt hast.

      Ein 3Sat Plugin wäre einfach zu schreiben. Sogar einfacher als für Arte. Sie bieten offizielle RSS Feeds an und direkte Links zu den Streams. Wenn du dein Plugin auf meinem aufbaust, sollte dies in einem Wochenende umsetzbar sein.

      Simon Wenner

      April 18, 2010 at 1:25 pm

  14. Hi Nicolas!

    I think that the plugin is right now browken. I and others geht the message…

    Video URL Extration Error
    Sorry, the plugin could not extract a valid stream URL. Be aware that this service is only avaliable in Austria, Belgium, Germany, France and Switzerland

    …in Lucid. The plugin worked here before.



    May 19, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    • Hi Christoph,

      Today they changed the whole video service. No WMV streams anymore, only shitty flash streams. I don’t now if the plugin will ever work again 😦

      Simon Wenner

      May 19, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    • The plugin is (mostly) working again. Just update to Version 0.8.4.

      Simon Wenner

      May 23, 2010 at 9:06 pm

  15. Hi guys,

    The plugin doesn’t work anymore because of Arte’s choice to use only flash.

    But if you look at the source code on the page of each video you can get the url of an XML file (after “vars_player.videorefFileUrl”) which contain under the tag “urls” the direct url for videos (both SD and HD).

    It’s an RTMP stream, so that means to use a RTMP plugin for Totem in order to play videos.

    So I think that after a little rework of Arte’s RSS+webpage parsing and the use of RTMP it’s possible to continue this great plugin 😉


    May 22, 2010 at 12:28 pm

  16. Yesterday may DSL provider had troubles, so that i was not able to get into the internet. During this time I watched a movie.

    I noticed that the arte+7 plugin always complained that it was not able to get the channel/movie/content list (or whatever it was called), even when i opened a movie from dvd or harddisk. Could you change the plugin, so that it only reports an error, when i actually use the plugin?


    June 23, 2010 at 2:18 pm

  17. Hello Simon and hello everybody,
    Noticing the deep knowledge of computers that you have, I would like to ask you a question: how can I manage to watch Arte +7 outside of the mentioned countries? Is there some way for me to access it through a fake IP address? Is it called a proxy? And are other programs like ultrasurf, useful?


    January 11, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    • I have no experience using proxies. If you find a fast one it should work. Just set the proxy details in the global gnome proxy settings and the plugin will use it. No additional software is needed.

      Simon Wenner

      January 21, 2012 at 3:03 pm

  18. Thx a lot! Geile Sache. 🙂


    February 4, 2012 at 3:48 pm

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