Celluloid, the MPV-Based Linux Video App, Now Uses Libadwaita

A new version of Celluloid, the MPV-based video player for Linux desktops, is out — with a pretty big change in tow.

The latest Celluloid 0.24 release is the first version of the versatile media player to use GTK4/libadwaita, the GTK4 library implementing the GNOME human-interface guidelines (HIG).

And I have to say: I’m pretty taken with the result!

Okay, adopting libadwaita is not the worlds’ most groundbreaking change. But the UI uplift does mean that Celluloid now looks more like a modern app, in keeping with other libadwaita apps built for the GNOME desktop (and, indeed, now much of GNOME desktop itself):

A screenshot of Celluloid's Libadwaita interface on Fedora desktop
Celluloid’s slick new appearance

I’m a big fan of Clapper, another awesome GTK-based video player. And a big part of why I like that app? It looks impeccably modern when compared to other video players thanks to its OSD… everything.

But with Celluloid adopting libadwaita too it’s fair to say Clapper’s finally got some competition in the good-looking video player department!

That’s not to say Celluloid’s GTK3 guise is dated. It looks fine, though the fixed player control bar feels a bit anachronistic in the era of OSD, and the in-app menu popovers lack ‘depth’ (on Ubuntu 22.04, anyway):

a screenshot of Celluloid video player on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS
GTK3 Celluloid looks *fine*, fwiw

Another really interesting (slash helpful) option present in Celluloid 0.24 is one that can make the video area of the app draggable. For me, on a touch-enabled device, knowing I can aim a shaky finger somewhere vaguely in the direction of the middle of the window to move it? Very welcome!

Celluloid 0.24 at a glance:

  • Now uses libadwaita
  • Controls layout is now adaptive.
  • Fix on_load hook in scripts not triggering
  • New option to make video area draggable
  • Fix autofit breaking when playing small videos
  • Chapter marks shown in progress bar
  • Chapter titles shown in progress bar tooltips

Despite the “new” libadwaita UI being the default presentation, it’s still possible to use Celluloid without CSD or the OSD control bar. Just dip in to the settings and uncheck the features you don’t wish to use and, et voila, you get something like this:

screenshot of Celluloid video player without CSD or overlay control bar
You can enable a more ‘traditional’ UI, if you prefer

Get Celluloid for Linux

Celluloid is free, open source software. Most Linux distributions carry a version of Celluloid in their repos (indeed, many Linux distros use Celluloid as their default video app).

Want to run the very latest version (with all the changes mentioned in this article)? You can find Celluloid on Flathub.

Users of Ubuntu-based distros who prefer more traditional packaging formats can make use of a third-party PPA.