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Audio, Video Features in GNOME 2.10 Release

The open source GNOME Project released version 2.10 of its desktop operating environment today, with thousands of changes, new video and audio features, and usability improvements.

GNOME 2.10 comes six months after the 2.8 release, which is included in Red Hat and other Linux distributions. The improvements in 2.10 continue the "spit and polish" trend that its predecessor took.

Among the new features in this GNOME version, which is a Windows-like desktop system that works on UNIX and UNIX-like systems and is not dependent on any one window manager, is the integration of the Totem video player together with the GNOME Gstreamer framework of video playback and streaming.

The Sound Juicer "CD Ripper" has also been included in this release, allowing a user to rip audio tracks from CDs for playback in other mechanisms.

Collaboration in the form of a shared Evolution Groupware contacts has also been improved in this release. GNOME Meeting, the desktop's videoconferencing and VoIP solution, can now pull contact information directly from the Evolution e-mail client. Evolution now includes U.S. Weather information and the calendar feature allows files to be attached to events.

Mobile users also benefit from the new release with improved WEP and ESSID (Extended Service Set Identification) support. GNOME 2.10 now includes a CPU Frequency Monitor, which is intended for notebook users to help monitor and control the speed of the processor. The feature is intended to help extend the battery life of the notebook.

"We're having lots of fun doing this," said Luis Villa, said GNOME Foundation Board member and contributor, in a statement. "Instead of just talking about vaporware that takes years to come out, GNOME's developers are creating concrete improvements and delivering these to our users twice a year. This is something no proprietary desktop vendor matches."

GNOME's principal competition for open source dominance, however, is not necessarily another proprietary desktop but rather another open source project, called KDE . Unlike GNOME, KDE has not achieved a new release inside of a six-month time frame. The latest release of KDE version 3.3 was in August of 2004. A release candidate for KDE 3.4 was issued on February 26, 2005

"KDE 3.4 is about to be finished, so we prepared a first (and hopefully only) Release Candidate, wrote Stephan Kulow, KDE Release Coordinator, in the RC1 announcement.