17th week of VideoLAN reports

As this now almost an habit, here is the weekly report of what has happened in the VideoLAN community and VLC development, during the past week.

You'll see that this week has been busy on VLC's core and the WinRT port.

Features and changes

VLC

The week started by adding the support for the newest versions of libavcodec/libavformat, who deprecate a few API and symbols that we were using. VLC 3.0.0 will be fully compatible with those releases.

access and stream

We then had quite a few modifications in the size reported by the access modules, that allowed to introduce a new helper stream_GetSize() that correctly reports unknown file sizes.
Related to this, the stream_Read() and stream_Peek() functions now warn if one doesn't check the results; and a stream_Tell function was exposed through libvlccore.

The stream filter code was also streamlined to have a proper seek function, instead of a call to the Control() one and stream_Seek() was exposed to modules too.

The STREAM_IS_DIRECTORY Control call was improved, to behave similarly to the GET_SIZE one, and a ACCESS_IS_DIRECTORY was introduced in the same way.

All those changes are here to clean the VLC input and notably the stream filters, that were abused in their design. This is important to ensure that VLC always behaves in the same way, for all inputs, but also to correctly support all weird cases (a zip on a SMB share, containing an MKV with WMV in it).

We also removed the byte offset from seekpoints/chapters. Seeking is now only time-based.

the rest

The block allocation was reworked too: we remove block shrinkage feature and we added a block_TryRealloc() function.

Continuing the work of last weeks, the work on Video Toolbox acceleration for iOS and OS X was finished, mostly by fixing the memory management of frames.

The MediaCodec for Android code was modified to prepare the work on asynchronous decoding, by reworking the support for MPEG-4 video and allow late opening of the module.

The prefetch module was modified to support buffering while the input is paused.

Finally, the calls to the deprecated NSAutoreleasePool function were removed from all the OS X code; we removed the deprecated GnomeVFS module; we fixed issues with videos that have an alpha plane; and, of course, we've improved the HLS and DASH modules.

Android

As already said, a large part of the work for Android was to improve again the decoding speed, which is a focus of us since quite a few weeks.

We fixed numerous issues for the Android TV port, but also in the playlist management, and the video lifecycle. Those issues were hard to track down, but they should be well fixed :)

The code of advanced options during playback was simplified and a corner-case fixed.

Finally, we've started to integrate the new DataBinding API into the application: this code is not merged yet, though. Maybe next week.

iOS

As for Android, most of the iOS work was done on the hardware decoders.

However, a bit of work was done on VLCKit to fix memory leaks and to rebase the work on top of the normal VLC code.

WinRT

Once again, the WinRT port was the more active, with almost 100 commits in a week.

Most of the core changes were to solve deadlocks, notably after using the hardware decoders, and the Thumbnailer.

The interface was updated to fix alignment bugs and issues reported by numerous users.

A large work was done on gestures and keyboard shortcuts to support more of them!

Finally, the audio and subtitles synchronization was implemented to match the desktop and the iOS and Android versions!

A new release should be expected soon!

Conferences

I was invited to speak at the Techniche conference about VLC, VideoLAN and the rest :)

Techniche

That's all for this week! See you next! Have fun!