Kids' Media Player

Before my daughter could read, I wanted her to have a media player she could use to select the music she wanted to hear. Ideally, it would show the album covers so she could select the album by picture, then it would number the songs, so all she had to do was to remember the number of her song. Surprisingly, it didn’t look like anything of the sort actually existed in linux. That was my problem, so I sat out to create a solution.

I started off by programming the audio player in python 2 (the most recent python at the time). It quickly became apparent that a lot of the code I was writing could be used to also add video support instead of just audio. So, the project became a media player for children who could not yet read. It made thumbnails of their videos and allowed them to select an album or movie by picture. It used basic keyboard controls for pausing and resuming the video, but nothing else was needed for my daughter. The solution to the problem was soon finished.

In order to help others who might have a similar itch, I released it under the GPL. I was soon contacted by a group working with underprivileged kids in Africa. In a way that I had not conceived, I was helping to scratch someone else’s itch. These kids could not speak English, so a media player that communicated in pictures instead of words was perfect for them as well. However, their teachers wanted me to extend the code a bit for their use case. They wanted to be able to open up a website when music was played that could talk about the composer or the topic at hand. Oddly enough, since it would be used as an adjunct to their teaching and they spoke English, they wanted to use it primarily with wikipedia. The kids would select the song, the wikipedia page would pop up, and the instructor would read and translate the information while the kids looked at the pictures.

So, I added it. After my daughter learned to read I stopped maintaining it. I didn’t hear back from the group so I assumed they’d used it until they taught the kids English or it was still working for them. So, if YOU have need of this program, you will need to update the code and make sure it builds against current libraries. Here it is

Kids’ Media Player