Phonon is the Qt multimedia toolkit. It allows developers to add multimedia functionality to applications with minimal effort.


  • Works on Linux, OSX, *BSD, Windows, Meego, Maemo, and likely more
  • Leverages pre-existing multimedia frameworks such as GStreamer, VLC, DirectShow, etc.
  • Eliminates the need for developers to worry about installing codecs, managing pipelines, decoding to the proper format, learning XVideo or DirectShow, and more.


For the most detailed and up-to-date information on using phonon, have a look at the latest API documentation. Several tutorials are also available:

In addition, numerous examples can be found inside the demos/ directory of the phonon sources. They are well-documented and provide the basis for the above tutorials.


To provide cross-platform support, Phonon is powered by various backend libraries. The stable backends are:

  • GStreamer
  • VLC

Other backends have been created in the past, however they are currently unmaintained and looking for developers:

  • MPlayer
  • Xine
  • DirectShow
  • QuickTime


For general Phonon support, you can join the KDE-Multimedia mailing list. If you wish to join us in backend development, you might also want to subscribe to the phonon-backends list.

If you desire a more real-time support method, you can also hang out in #phonon on freenode.


Phonon's source code is hosted on the KDE infrastructure and is available for viewing at It is recommended that you also join the kde-multimedia and phonon-backends mailing lists mentioned in the previous section. Finally, join us in #phonon on Freenode.

Our current developers:

  • Harald Sitter (apachelogger), Phonon master overlord, VLC backend developer
  • Torie Fischer (tdfischer), GStreamer backend developer
  • Romain Perier (bambee), GStreamer backend developer
  • Colin Guthrie (coling), PulseAudio integration officer

This page was last edited on 17 May 2016, at 23:44. Content is available under Creative Commons License SA 4.0 unless otherwise noted.