With that in mind, I found enna from the geexbox project. (Check out the slick looking screenshots.) It is built on the collection of EFL libraries for slick looking user interface (with both unaccelerated backend and gles backend for faster UI). It uses libplayer as the backend for media player(s), and libvalhalla for clever stuff like extracting and downloading media metadata (such as album/dvd cover art and info) automagically.
Since I'm currently working with an ubuntu filesystem, I decided to skip for now building the entire geexbox filesystem, and instead just build the equivalent versions of EFL libs, plus enna, libplayer, libvalhalla, etc, for ubuntu. The advantage being that I already have here setup gdb, oprofile, and all the other tools that I find so useful. Plus, it is the filesystem I'm working with day to day, so I don't have to constantly rebuild the userspace components of our multimedia stack for two different filesystems on a regular basis.
Enna's default theme, out of the box, has plenty of eye-candy and effects.. but is a bit sluggish unaccelerated. Especially because the elm_slideshow widget seems to be somehow causing the background images to be repeatedly rescaled, instead of cached.. it doesn't help that the smooth rescale code in evas is not neon optimized. But hopefully getting the SGX package installed and gl backend running will fix all that. But now, as of yesterday, there is a new 'stb' theme which is much more lightweight and fairly snappy without acceleration.
Since libplayer has a GStreamer backend, the goal would be to have accelerated video playback in enna. Although the current gst libplayer backend is experimental. But I've started hacking away to try and get the gst backend into good shape. The results of what I have are here:
video/audio playback is now integrated and working, and things like pause/seek seem to basically work. Some of the more advanced stuff like TV turner or DVD navigation are missing. But it's a start.
My here is my handy script to build this all: build-enna.sh
And here is my config file (to go in ~/.enna): enna.cfg
(hint: click on the raw or download links)
update: the libplayer patches for better GStreamer support have been merged a couple weeks ago.. so you can pull libplayer from geexbox/openbricks tree.