The first pre-release of Kaffeine 1.0 was released yesterday so I decided to give it a spin and see how it behaves. Since this is a pre-release, it is not intended for general use and currently lacks many features and functionality from Kaffeine 0.8.7. This is first KDE4 port of Kaffeine for KDE3, which was one of the most powerful players for KDE, including support for DVD menus, subtitles, video effects, and supporting a huge number of video and audio formats via the Xine engine.
According to the official announcement, the next release will be more suitable for general use, and this one is intended for testing purposes only, it's just a preview.
Kaffeine 1.0 pre-release
For this preview I installed Kaffeine from source on a Debian Sid system.
The interface at first sight made me a good impression. It's characteristic to Kaffeine, clean and simple, with 4 tabs to the left for fast access to functions like playback, the playlist or television. As usual, Kaffeine will show several buttons for the main actions in its start-up window, and those include Play File, Play Audio CD, Play Video CD, Play DVD and Digital TV.
The Settings menu currently includes only the option to configure shortcuts, but this is a preview release, so configuration options will get there soon.
The first thing which jumps into attention is the Television module, which looks extremely promising, but currently has no functionality (or at least, it didn't look to me to have any). However, I was enchanted to see it in concept: it looks great.
Television- no functionality yet
A good change which seems very useful is that the Playlist tab includes a playlist, a movie preview and also a file manager. See the screenshot below:
Playlist, file manager and movie preview
I was able to play Ogg Theora, but no other formats (including the free Matroska or DVDs).
Although this is a pre-alpha release, it looks just awesome, and if all the features (or at least almost all) will be implemented by the time 1.0 gets out as a stable release, Kaffeine will definitely keep being one of the most powerful video players for KDE. I'm very curious on how the TV functionality will turn out, and I'm also pleased to see the same clean and intuitive interface, which doesn't stay in the way of the user. I'm looking forward to a full-featured release which certainly won't disappoint the fans of Kaffeine.
Updated: April 28, 2009