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13 March 2010

On the road to VLC 1.1.0: introduction

VLC 1.0.0

The 1.0.0 version of VLC has been very popular, partly due to its stability (compared to 0.9.x) and due to its constant improvements ( revisions were 1.0.1, 1.0.2, 1.0.3, 1.0.4, 1.0.5 and soon 1.0.6).

VLC 1.0.0 was out in last July, 8 month ago. We need to move on.

Articles

VLC 1.1.0 is on its way, and I’ll start a few articles to introduce VLC 1.1.0 features and highlights.

VLC 1.1.0: Codename and statistics

VLC 1.1.0 will be named The Luggage, because of DiscWorld.

This is huge change, since VLC codenames were taken from the Goldeneye movie.

Statistics

  • 6800 commits have been pushed since 1.0.0-rc1, the first release candidate of VLC 1.0.0
  • 2327 files changed, 429662 insertions(+), 346267 deletions(-)
  • 139 different commiters
  • The biggest commiter has 1822 commits, 2 other commiters have around 770 commits, 1 has 650 and 1 has almost 500 commits. Those 5 developers represent 2 thirds of the total of commits.

Highlights

The highlights of VLC 1.1.0 will be…

… at the next articles. :D

Update:

Part 1: Faster

Part 2: Better

7 January 2010

videolan.org stats for 2009: 90 million visits

2009, a transition year for VideoLAN

As I was saying in my presentation at the VideoLAN Dev Days 2009, 2009 was an important year for VideoLAN:

  • VideoLAN has become an non-profit organization
  • VideoLAN Dev Days (end of ‘08) helped to structure and take decisions
  • VLC 1.0.0 was tagged and released
  • DVBlast and VLMC were started
  • Acceleration of development, and communication around VLC and VideoLAN
  • Lots of ideas for the future were discussed.

Statistics and Website

One of the question we have the most is: How many users VLC has?. The answer is quite difficult to get, and we’ll rediscuss about it later.

However, there are trends that are easy to measure, and Google Trends is not the only option here. :)

videolan.org

One of the important way to measure the VLC popularity is to check the audience of videolan.org Website and its increase.

videolan.org numbers for 2009

In 2009:

  1. VideoLAN has seen over 90 million visits on its website,
  2. from 68million different IPs.
  3. Pages view are around 480million pages.
  4. Best month was december, with 9,25 million visits.
  5. 0 advertisement.
  6. and is hosted on a single machine :)

Compared to 2008, this is an increase of 50%, since we had 60 million visits in 2008!

Operating Systems changes

Comparing December 2009 to 2008, our traffic is split like this:

  • Windows: 79,3% (from 81,4%)
    • Windows 7: 17%
    • Windows Vista: 16.6% (from 21%)
    • Windows XP: 43,6% (from 57,2%)
    • Windows 2000: 0,5% (from 1.1%)
    • Windows 9x/Me: 0.3% (from 0.8%)
  • Mac OS X: 12,4% (from 10.8%)
  • Linux: 4.1% from 5.2%

And the rest…

Conclusion: nothing surprising here, and we see that 7 is already ahead of Vista… We were right to drop Win9x support :D

Browsers changes

Comparing December 2009 to 2008, our traffic is split like this:

  • Firefox: 42,8% (from 45,3%)
  • Internet Explorer: 33,9% (from 39%)
    • IE6: 7.8% (from 14%)
    • IE7: 7.8% (from 23,4%)
    • IE8: 17.7% (from 0.7%)
  • Safari: 8.3% (from 8.9%)
  • Opera: 3.1% (from 3.2%)
  • Chrome: 6.5% (from 0.7%)

Conclusion: well, here, seeing Firefox loosing 3% in one year (in fact 2% in December alone) seemed weird, while Google Chrome is quite strong. I can’t say I am much surprised though.

1 November 2009

VLC 1.0.3 is out!

Again? A release? Why ?

Instead of enumerating the features that VLC 1.0.3 brings you, let’s talk about why we had to do yet another release.

Speeding the development

With the 1.0.x branch, we decided that we would speed up the release cycle for minor versions, for a few reasons:

  • we didn’t want major bugs to stay around for too long,
  • we find it easier to track regressions,
  • we can fix crashes and potential security issues in a better timely fashion.

That doesn’t mean we were careless about the quality of older releases, it means that now we care MORE about user feedback and quality. This is unlikely to change…

Therefore, since 1.0.0 has been out, we have had:

  • 1.0.1, 3 weeks after 1.0.0.
  • 1.0.2, 8 weeks after 1.0.1.
  • 1.0.3, 1 month after 1.0.2.

1.0.3 is important for Windows users

On Windows, VLC up to 1.0.2 used a way to scale the video that seems to be unsupported by the lastest drivers for Windows 7 (and now affects some Vista drivers too, because they backported the improvements…) and therefore the quality of the video was very bad and pixelated. VLC 1.0.3 fixes that.

Moreover, since VLC has now earned the logo for Windows 7 compatibility, we had to fix this huge bug. :D

I hope you understand our point and have fun with it.

27 October 2009

VLC: CDDB on Windows!

CD-Audio

Audio-CD have usually two main ways to get the meta-data associated with the tracks:

  • embedded CD-Text information
  • online, with CDDB protocol, using FreedDB

VLC and Audio-CD

VLC has had 2 main Audio-CD modules, named CDDA and CDDAX, one using libcdio, the other not.

On windows, because of the difficulty to get libcdio, we use CDDA. But CDDA didn’t have CD-Text support. And libcddb didn’t work for us, at all.

So, on Windows, it used to be no CD-text, no CDDB…

Part one: VLC 1.0.0

VLC 1.0.0 has seen the addition of CD-Text for the CDDA module, and Windows version got it.

Part two: VLC 1.1.0

VLC 1.1.0 will see the addition of the CDDB support for VLC for Windows, since the fixes for libcddb and regex have just been done, tested and pushed by your servant on the main tree of VLC!

Yeah!

Conclusion

While VLC 0.9.x on WIndows didn’t had much to get information from CDs on Windows, VLC 1.1.x will have both CD-Text and CDDB to get informations from your Audio-CDs.

Of course, VLC isn’t the best for audio, but improving can’t hurt, can it?

24 August 2009

VLC 1.0.0, 1.0.1, a backward look

VLC 1.0.0, 1,5 months ago

So, VLC 1.0.0 was released almost 7 weeks ago, at the time of this writing.

VLC 1.0.1, the bugfix version of 1.0.0, was released almost 4 weeks ago.

VLC 1.0.0 was downloaded around 13 million of time, during the 3 first weeks of the release, and that is a very high download rate. VLC 1.0.1 is around 13 million downloads too.

Was VLC 1.0.0 a success ?

Well, YES, because:

  • we had a lot of downloads,
  • many good reviews,
  • a lot of testing was done (more than 3 months between feature freeze and release!),
  • server hold still (even after the 1,3Million visitor in the first day),
  • no major regressions and issues.

But, we had a few issues that were important:

  • WMV could have no audio with low caching values,
  • mpeg2 videos could freeze the video after seek,
  • some flv videos were unseekable,
  • some VC1 video could crash the windows build.

That is why we released 1.0.1 quite soon after 1.0.0.

3 weeks between 1.0.0 and 1.0.1

Is that much?

Well, yes/no.

The first week after the release was totally focused on maintaining the servers running, answering the mails, and press (not much of those, fortunately).

Then, the second week was compilation of the main issues and tryout to fix most of them.

And then, you got your 3 weeks time, with the win32 codecs updates and setting up the release…

1.0.2 soon?

Well, as far as I see, except some SSA updates and v4l2 fixes, there is no rush to release…

If an important security issue arrives, then we will release a 1.0.2, but no roadmap is set yet.

Conclusion

As far as I am concerned, VLC 1.0.0 was a great success, let’s hope 1.1 will be as good!

10 July 2009

VLC 1.0.0 goes above 3 million in less than 3 days!

UPDATE: After exactly 3 days, we are near 3.5Million

As you should know now, VLC 1.0.0 was out 61 hours ago (2 and a half day ago).

In order to not kill the servers, the download counting was deactivated. After reactivation and recounting, VLC 1.0.0 has been downloaded more than 3 million times in less than 3 days.

The VideoLAN website has seen more than 1,5 million unique visitors (and 0 advertisement) and around as many have downloaded through external websites directly linking to our repository.

On the first 48 hours, the counting was around 2,3 million.

Of course, this is a bit less than Mozilla Firefox, but still those are impressive numbers.

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