I am unable to stream mp3's (and other media formats) from totem. I'm not sure when this started happening but I know this used to work via firefox plugin, but since then I've done an in-place upgrade from 11.10 to 12.04

The issue is driving me to distraction now so I've done some experimentation and discovered that even from the command line it's broken

totem http://users.skynet.be/fa046054/home/P22/track06.mp3

This says it's streaming then status bar updates to "playing" but just stalls and does nothing.

If, however I download the file first there's no issue:

wget http://users.skynet.be/fa046054/home/P22/track06.mp3 && totem track06.mp3

The symptom is the same calling totem from firefox plugin, regular gui and cli.

Some additional info:

  • OS: Precise 12.04 (AMD64)
  • WM: Gnome 3

Ad endum

I do not want to install VLC. This question relates to how to fix the problem properly ... not hack a temporary workaround. Any related information to existing bug reports welcome

2 Answers 2


This is a known error. Until it will be fixed, use VLC instead. You can install VLC with

sudo apt-get install vlc

command. You can use VLC from terminal as well.

  • I really don't want to use VLC ... I've had unimaginable problems with that and firefox in the past. If it's a known issue please provide a link to the bug rpt
    – Moog
    Jun 5, 2012 at 13:15
  • link for example.
    – Frantique
    Jun 5, 2012 at 13:38
  • Linked example is not the same bug. The file does not begin to stream at all.
    – Moog
    Jun 5, 2012 at 13:42

This issue is as yet unsolved but a good workaround for circumventing the issue I was seeing in firefox is to change the default application to force Movie Player (Totem) which bypasses the plugin and therefore streaming.

The file is downloaded automagically and opened locally. Not ideal but resolves my immediate frustration.

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