Media Player is a computer software which play media files. Today we will learn a very basic tutorial about how to make your own media player in c programming with the help of gtk and gstreamer library. Gtk is an open source gui library where as gstreamer is a strong media framework. GTK will help to create graphical user interface through which a use interact while gstreamer will be back-end for playing a media ( video ) file.

Installing dependencies

To build simple media player with gtk and gstreamer we need to install some package into our Linux (Ubuntu, Fedora, etc.). For gtk wee need libgtk+-3.0-dev package and for gstreamer we need libgstreamer-plugins-base1.0-dev package. These two libraries can be installed in Ubuntu Linux by Ubuntu software center. It is very simple just open Ubuntu Software center ,search the package name and install.

How to make your own media player in Linux using GTK and Gstreamerr

// required header for gtk window
#include <gdk/gdk.h>
#if defined (GDK_WINDOWING_X11)
#include <gdk/gdkx.h>

// required header for gstreamer
#include <gst/gst.h>
#include <gst/video/videooverlay.h>

// video window handle
static guintptr video_window_handle = 0;
GtkWidget *video_window;
GtkWidget *main_window;
GtkWidget *hbox;
GtkWidget *vbox;
GtkWidget *control;
GtkWidget *Play;
GtkWidget *Pause;
GtkWidget *Open;

GstElement *pipeline, *src, *sink;
GstBus *bus;

static void video_widget_realize_cb (GtkWidget * widget, gpointer data);
static GstBusSyncReply bus_sync_handler (GstBus * bus, GstMessage * message,
					 gpointer user_data);

/* This function is called when the PLAY button is clicked */
static void
play_cb (GtkButton * button, GstElement * pipeline)
  gst_element_set_state (pipeline, GST_STATE_PLAYING);

/* This function is called when the PAUSE button is clicked */
static void
pause_cb (GtkButton * button, GstElement * pipeline)
  gst_element_set_state (pipeline, GST_STATE_PAUSED);

/* This function is called when the PAUSE button is clicked */
static void
open_cb (GtkButton * button, GstElement * pipeline)
  gst_element_set_state (pipeline, GST_STATE_READY);
  GtkWidget *dialog;
  GtkFileChooserAction action = GTK_FILE_CHOOSER_ACTION_OPEN;
  gint res;

  dialog = gtk_file_chooser_dialog_new ("Open File",

  res = gtk_dialog_run (GTK_DIALOG (dialog));
      char *filename;
      char video_loc[100] = "file://";
      GtkFileChooser *chooser = GTK_FILE_CHOOSER (dialog);
      filename = gtk_file_chooser_get_filename (chooser);
      strcat (video_loc, filename);
      g_object_set (G_OBJECT (pipeline), "uri", video_loc, NULL);
      gst_element_set_state (pipeline, GST_STATE_PLAYING);
      g_free (filename);

  gtk_widget_destroy (dialog);

main (int argc, char *argv[])
  // Initialize GStreamer
  gst_init (&argc, &argv);
  // init gtk library 
  gtk_init (&argc, &argv);

  pipeline = gst_element_factory_make ("playbin", "play");
  g_object_set (G_OBJECT (pipeline), "uri",

  bus = gst_pipeline_get_bus (GST_PIPELINE (pipeline));
  gst_element_set_state (pipeline, GST_STATE_READY);

  main_window = gtk_window_new (GTK_WINDOW_TOPLEVEL);
  gtk_window_set_default_size (GTK_WINDOW (main_window), 800, 600);
  g_signal_connect (main_window, "destroy", G_CALLBACK (gtk_main_quit), NULL);
  video_window = gtk_drawing_area_new ();
  g_signal_connect (video_window, "realize",
		    G_CALLBACK (video_widget_realize_cb), NULL);
  gtk_widget_set_double_buffered (video_window, FALSE);

  vbox = gtk_box_new (GTK_ORIENTATION_VERTICAL, 0);
  hbox = gtk_box_new (GTK_ORIENTATION_HORIZONTAL, 0);
  control = gtk_box_new (GTK_ORIENTATION_HORIZONTAL, 0);
  // add video_window in hbox
  gtk_box_pack_start (GTK_BOX (hbox), video_window, TRUE, TRUE, 0);

  // create buttons
  Play = gtk_button_new_with_label ("Play");
  g_signal_connect (G_OBJECT (Play), "clicked", G_CALLBACK (play_cb),
  Pause = gtk_button_new_with_label ("Pause");
  g_signal_connect (G_OBJECT (Pause), "clicked", G_CALLBACK (pause_cb),
  Open = gtk_button_new_with_label ("Open");
  g_signal_connect (G_OBJECT (Open), "clicked", G_CALLBACK (open_cb),

  // add button box to hbox_controller
  gtk_box_pack_start (GTK_BOX (control), Play, TRUE, TRUE, 0);
  gtk_box_pack_start (GTK_BOX (control), Pause, TRUE, TRUE, 0);
  gtk_box_pack_start (GTK_BOX (control), Open, TRUE, TRUE, 0);

  // add vbox to main window
  gtk_container_add (GTK_CONTAINER (main_window), vbox);
  // add hbox containing video_window to vbox
  gtk_box_pack_start (GTK_BOX (vbox), hbox, TRUE, TRUE, 0);
  gtk_box_pack_start (GTK_BOX (vbox), control, FALSE, FALSE, 0);

  gtk_widget_show_all (main_window);
  gtk_widget_realize (video_window);

  gst_element_set_state (pipeline, GST_STATE_PLAYING);
  // set up sync handler for setting the xid once the pipeline is started
  bus = gst_pipeline_get_bus (GST_PIPELINE (pipeline));
  gst_bus_set_sync_handler (bus, (GstBusSyncHandler) bus_sync_handler, NULL,
  gst_object_unref (bus);

  // run main loop
  gtk_main ();
  gst_element_set_state (pipeline, GST_STATE_NULL);
  gst_object_unref (pipeline);
  return 0;

static void
video_widget_realize_cb (GtkWidget * widget, gpointer data)

    gulong xid = GDK_WINDOW_XID (gtk_widget_get_window (video_window));
    video_window_handle = xid;

static GstBusSyncReply
bus_sync_handler (GstBus * bus, GstMessage * message, gpointer user_data)
  // ignore anything but 'prepare-window-handle' element messages
  if (!gst_is_video_overlay_prepare_window_handle_message (message))
    return GST_BUS_PASS;

  if (video_window_handle != 0)
      GstVideoOverlay *overlay;

      // GST_MESSAGE_SRC (message) will be the video sink element
      overlay = GST_VIDEO_OVERLAY (GST_MESSAGE_SRC (message));
      gst_video_overlay_set_window_handle (overlay, video_window_handle);
      g_warning ("Should have obtained video_window_handle by now!");


How it compiles

gcc -g wikiplayer.c -o wikiplayer `pkg-config --cflags --libs gtk+-3.0 gstreamer-1.0 gstreamer-video-1.0 gstreamer-base-1.0`
System Info:
Ubuntu 14.04.3 LTS \n \l
3.19.0-25-generic #26~14.04.1-Ubuntu SMP Fri Jul 24 21:16:20 UTC 2015 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Lin

For more info

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