Totem won't play a H.265 video even though the codec is installed and the video plays fine in MPV

I had a problem with the thumbnails not being generated for an H.265 video. After removing totem.thumbnailer from /usr/share/thumbnailers, sure enough, the thumbnail was generated just fine. I thought to try and use Totem to play the video, and I get this:


The thing is that I do have the decoder installed, and I can play this same video just fine in MPV.

I then found a bug report that seems to be about the same issue, but the ticket got bounced around and then forgotten about. Reading that ticket, I don’t really understand where exactly the problem lies and where I should open a new ticket. Is this a problem with Totem itself? GNOME Software? Packagekit? RPM Fusion? What is the right place for this?

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Totem uses Gstreamer for video codecs, mpv doesn’t. So it is normal for mpv to play a video while Totem can’t play the same video. Do you have gstreamer1-plugins-bad-free package installed?

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I do, yes:

dnf list installed '*gstreamer*'
Installed Packages
PackageKit-gstreamer-plugin.x86_64    1.2.6-6.fc38       @fedora                
gstreamer1.i686                       1.22.4-1.fc38      @updates               
gstreamer1.x86_64                     1.22.4-1.fc38      @updates               
gstreamer1-plugin-openh264.x86_64     1.22.1-1.fc38      @fedora-cisco-openh264 
gstreamer1-plugins-bad-free.x86_64    1.22.3-1.fc38      @updates               
gstreamer1-plugins-base.i686          1.22.3-1.fc38      @updates               
gstreamer1-plugins-base.x86_64        1.22.3-1.fc38      @updates               
gstreamer1-plugins-good.i686          1.22.3-1.fc38      @updates               
gstreamer1-plugins-good.x86_64        1.22.3-1.fc38      @updates               
gstreamer1-plugins-good-gtk.x86_64    1.22.3-1.fc38      @updates               
gstreamer1-plugins-good-qt.x86_64     1.22.3-1.fc38      @updates               
gstreamer1-plugins-ugly.x86_64        1:1.22.3-1.fc38    @rpmfusion-free-updates
gstreamer1-plugins-ugly-free.x86_64   1.22.3-1.fc38      @updates               
pipewire-gstreamer.x86_64             0.3.72-2.fc38      @updates               

This is a bit late, but I ran into this exact issue. And since I have 2 F39 boxes, and it worked on one but not the other, it turned out to have nothing to do with installed packages.

I had to remove the gstreamer cache file for gstreamer to pick up I had libav installed:

rm ~/.cache/gstreamer-1.0/registry.x86_64.bin
rm ~/.cache/gstreamer-1.0/registry.i686.bin

Figured I’d put this here for future people stumbling on this!

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Celluloid is a nice frontend for MPV.

Could someone explain the difference between gstreamer and MPV? Are they using similar libraries etc?