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Smile is an implementation of the open source Ambulant SMIL 3.0 player. It is capable of playing a wide variety of media including text, images, audio and video clips. More importantly, it can play complex multimedia presentations defined by a W3C standard SMIL 3.0 file. One important application is to 'read aloud' children's picture stories with a controlled vocabulary. The SMIL3 script will show an illustration, play the recorded audio track reading the text, and display highlighted text synchronized with the audio track.

Playing Media from the Journal Activity

Select from Journal activity
Select from Journal activity
Select Smile in properties window
Next, select Smile from menu

It is possible to play media files directly from the Journal Activity. However, Smile is not the default player for any of the media formats. Therefore it is necessary to click on the arrow to the right of the media entry to see the properties page. It is then necessary to select Smile on the drop down menu of the toolbar.

This does not apply to smxo bundles. The Smile activity is the default in this case. Bundle entries are shown with the Smile icon. It is only necessary to double-click on the entry to play the bundle.

Selecting Media from the Toolbar

Choosing from the Toolbar
Choosing from the toolbar
Image displayed on the playerscreen
Image (png) displayed on the playerscreen

If the Smile activity is launched from the home view, the toolbar default to the Select tab. Click on the journal icon for a list of media files which can be played by Smile. Double-click on an entry to play it. If a usb pendrive is mounted, it's icon will also show on the Select toolbar. Click on it to show a list of playable files on that drive. Double-click on an entry to play it.

Supported Media

  • text: text/plain
  • images: png jpg bmp gif tiff svg
  • audio: ogg mp3 wav wma
  • video: ogg mpg avi wmv

Application/x-smile (.smxo) Bundles

The Smile activity supports a bundle (mime_type: applicaton/x-smile) with the extension .smxo. The bundle is a zip file containing a .smil file defining the presentation and the media files needed by the presentation. The bundle can be played from the Journal or by selection from the toolbar.

To Do

Video playback

The current version does not play video back correctly. The playback freezes and then advances when the mouse is moved. This appears to be a problem with the redraw request in the gtk event loop. This also applies to playback of multimedia bundles (e.g. showing images with an audio background).


In the current version, the stop control does not work. The pause control stops play but play cannot be restarted. Once a playback has begun, it can only be replayed by selecting the media again.


The current version does not support mp4 or mov (Quicktime).


Smile activity

For more information about Ambulant, see the the Ambulant website.

Ambulant has already been incorporated in the DAISY project's Amis 3, news