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19 July 2018

VLC for iOS and UWP 3.1.0 release

VLC 3.1.0 release

After a few months since the release of VLC 3.0, today we release VLC 3.1.0 on 2 mobile OSes: iOS and Windows Store (UWP).

This release brings ChromeCast integration to iOS and UWP, like it was present on desktop and Android versions.

ChromeCast and hardware encoding

However, it supports ChromeCast in a more performant way, because we added hardware encoders to those 2 platforms.
Indeed, here, for local streaming, we care more about speed and battery saving than we care about bandwidth efficiency, si hardware encoding is a good fit.

On iOS, we're using the standard VideoToolbox hardware encoding to produce H.264 streams, muxed in MKV.

On UWP, we're using Quick Sync Video for intel CPUs (that covers almost all CPUs since 3rd core generation).

In fact, VLC has a QSV encoder since 2013, but it's very rarely used, because people usually prefer software encode (x264). Here, we fixed it and modified it to work inside the UWP sandbox.

iOS

You should really read Caro's blogpost here!

But in that version you have:

  • ChromeCast,
  • 360 video support, with sensors,
  • Numerous bugfixes on the playback core (inherited mostly from VLC 3.0.1-3.0.3)
  • Some decoding speed improvements,
  • Quite a few interface bugs (see 3.1.0 milestone)

UWP

The version is similar to the iOS version, in the fact that it has hardware encoding and ChromeCast integration.

As explained, the hardware encoding is done using QSV.

But it features also a large rework of the codebase and fixes a very large number of crashes.

Also, funnily enough, we've worked on the 8.1 version too, and we will push that one soon on the store. This includes SurfaceRT devices, even if Microsoft has forgotten them!

So VLC 3.1.0, UWP version will be out for:

  • Windows 10 Desktop (x86)
  • XBox One
  • Windows 10 Mobile (ARM)
  • Windows 8.1 Desktop (x86)
  • Windows 8.1 RT (ARM)

Once we fixed an issue, we might even do Windows Phone 8.1.

The Windows 10 versions are on the store today, and we're waiting for a deployment issue to be fixed to push the 8.1 versions!

(Note: if you are from Windows Central, you can contact me for more details)

Have fun!

8 June 2016

This week in VideoLAN - 46

46th VideoLAN report

A new week, a new weekly report about the VLC and VideoLAN communities!

Vienna Meeting

This week-end was the Q2 meeting of the VideoLAN asso, hosted in Vienna, by PSPDFKit.

VideoLAN in Vienna

We gathered to fix pending issues for VLC 3.0, and we worked on the mobile apps and the VideoLAN server infrastructure. It was a great week-end!

Features

VLC

During the week-end, we released VLC 2.2.4, to fix 2 security issues, one in VLC, one in a 3rd party library! It is already released and pushed to our users.

Core and libVLC

The input core was modified to support network slaves, aka external subtitles or audio tracks, over the network. In the past, it was only working for local subtitles.
The libVLC API added for this is called libvlc_media_player_add_slave.

The core threading code was improved for recent versions of Windows: it can use futeces and generic semaphore, starting from Windows 8.

We also added the libvlc_media_player_(get|set)_role calls for libVLC, to set the media role (notification, video, audio) that are reflected to the audio output mixer. This is notably used for the PulseAudio output.

Finally, the preparser was reworked to allow interruption and have a default timeout. Applications can also now cancel their preparsing requests with libvlc_MetadataCancel.

Modules

The Qt interface received the first renderers selection dialog. You should be able to detect your ChromeCast from this interface, and stream to it. :)

The UPnP module was improved to support more type of servers, more metadata per item and the code was heavily cleaned. (The library we use is still very bad though).

The OS X interface got new HUD panels and widgets for the dark mode.

Finally, we added the first AppStream Metadata for Linux distributions, a few Qt minor changes, support for GoPro highlights chapters in MP4 and some OS X interface fixes.

Android

Nothing very exciting on Android, just the beta 1.9.13, 2.0.0-rc1 and 2.0.0-rc2 releases, pushed to the store.

For 1.9.13, we mostly focused on activating subtitles over the network, and improving the support for subtitles.

2.0.0-rc1 was mostly focused on fixing the UPnP support and 2.0.0-rc2 was minor fixes for bugs reported by several beta testers. :)

WinRT

On WinRT, we reimplemented the playlists management, and the support for playlists in the PlaybackService.

The Search page, that was hidden, is now visible again, and we support favorites for streams and servers, like the Android version.

The notifications and toasts were reworked to be less intrusive, and Cortana support was improved.

Finally, the new equalizer got a facelift.

And of course, numerous bugs were fixed, so we can have a proper release soon!

That's already quite a bit for last week, see you next!

29 May 2016

This week in VideoLAN - 45

45th VideoLAN report

After a couple of very busy weeks, we're back on a normal schedule. Therefore, here is the weekly report about the VLC and VideoLAN communities!

Features

VLC

We started the week by adding the support for MPEG-2 and VC-1 hardware decoders on Android in the mediacodec module.
We also fixed some MPEG-4 regressions on this module.

Hugo fixed a few issues on the UPnP module, and mostly added the support for Windows Media Sharing servers, in this module.
We also added support for subtitles over UPnP, using the work done in the core the previous week.

The Matroska demuxer got a few fixes for some regressions, but mostly implemented the fast-seek option, that is imprecise, but faster than the normal seek. This is useful when computing thumbnails, for example.

Some changes on the libVLC parsing events were done, to simplify the handling in client applications. If you were using the not-stable-yet libVLC 3.0, beware!

Near the end of the week, the core got some important changes on threads manipulation, with the introduction of vlc_thread_self() and vlc_thread_id(). The usage of futeces was introduced in the core: see Rémi's post about it.

The MMDevice audio output on Windows now supports device change events.

The Windows 64bits build will now have high-entropy ASLR activated, which should reduce the possibility of exploitation of security issues.

On Windows, we also fixed the raising issue of the Qt tooltip that we had with Qt5, the 2.2.3 DirectDraw regression and a small D3D improvement when handling large pictures.

Finally, a few H264 annex-B parsing issues were fixed and the video headers were modified to support, in the future, VR videos (nothing working yet).

Android

On the Android side, we're going on fixing issues for the 2.0.0 release.

This week, we:

  • improved the subtitles downloader, to activate it from within the player, and for any video,
  • improved the interface for scanning, the browsing and the video player animations,
  • improved the audio player on Android TV,
  • improved the speed of MKV thumbnails,
  • fixed a few remaining small issues.

All this was pushed in the update 1.9.12 on the play store. Hopefully, the 2.0.0 release will come this week. :)

WinRT / UWP

As last week, the WinRT port has been very busy again, with almost 100 commits.

As for Android, we're focusing on preparing the release, and fixing the biggest bugs people have reported.

On the libVLC backend, we fixed a few performance issues, we added more codecs support, and we improved the UPnP and SMB browsing.

On the interface side, we improved the thumbnailing and parsing process, we fixed numerous bugs that happened when resizing (and Windows 10 Mobile look) and we fixed a few crashes.

We also improved the settings and activated the access to the equalizer.

Hopefully, we'll be able to open the beta to the public soon.

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

9 May 2016

This week in VideoLAN - 43

43rd VideoLAN weekly reports

After my 42nd report last week, and some nice encouragements, here is another weekly report about VideoLAN and VLC development.

I was far from a computer last week, so here are 2 weeks in one.

Features

VLC

Renderers

The previous week, we started to introduce the concept of renderers in VLC.
Those are distant devices displaying audio and/or video, instead of playing it locally. The usual device people know are ChromeCasts, UPnP/DLNA renderers, AirPlay, WiDi or DIAL devices.

A new type of VLC module was introduced: renderer discovery. Like Service Discovery, they can find those renderers devices on the network, using one of the discovery protocols.

The renderer discovery capability was implemented in our mDNS module.

The Chromecast code was heavily reworked at the same time, and after 4/5 redesigns, we're almost happy with the code :)

The interface is still missing, but it should come soon!

Other features

The S/PDIF passthrough was implemented in the WASAPI module for Windows. This is important, as this module will be the default, starting in 3.0, for most Windows users.

The work on DVB scanning is still going on. We had numerous patches this week on this topic.

Our mDNS module now supports IPv6 and our MKV demuxer started to get a heavy lifting.

We also had fixes for the TS demuxer and muxer, the libVLC headers, the VideoToolbox decoder, Hurd compilation and improvements on the Direct3D11 video output!

Android

The Android port got 2 more beta releases for 2.0.0: 1.9.9 and 1.9.10.

We added numerous fixes, notably in the popup video view, the binder, keyboard and pad management, title display and the video view.

And of course, improvements for the subtitles download feature.

Hopefully, we will push the release soon.

WinRT

If you follow Thomas on Twitter, you will know that the WinRT port has been quite busy lately.

Cortana is now integrated in the application, so you can ask VLC to launch an album or the last video viewed.

Drag and Drop should now work almost everywhere, and you can drop just a subtitle on a playing video, if you want.

The Stream and the File dialogs have been relifted; the Settings dialog in the same way.

The mini-player and the command bar controller have been merged, together, if you have a Windows Preview build.

On the backend, some work was done on the thumbnailer, and the music and video libraries have been merged into one single library.

Some video information is now pulled from TheMovieDB.

Finally, some work was done to adapt the interface to Windows 10 Mobile.

Soon a release? :)

iOS/tvOS

On AppleTV, search was implemented for local servers browsing.

And we also got support for repeat on the AppleTV application.

We should get updates on those 2 applications soon, on the App Store.

That's all for those 2 weeks, see you soon!

1 February 2016

15 years of VLC and VideoLAN

15 years!

Today marks the 15th anniversary of VLC!


Cone-Video-large.png

GPL

Technically, today is the 15th anniversary of the relicensing of all the VideoLAN software to the GPL license, as agreed by the École Centrale Paris, on February 1st, 2001.

VideoLAN_GPL.jpeg

If you've been to one of my talks, (if you haven't, you should come to one), you know that the project that became VideoLAN and VLC, is almost 5 years older than that, and was called Network 2000.

Moreover, the first commit on the VideoLAN Client project is from August 8th 1999, by Michel Kaempf had 21275 lines of code already, so the VLC software was started earlier in 1999.

However, the most important date for the birth of VLC is when it was allowed to be used outside of the school, and therefore when the project was GPL-ized: February 1st, 2001.

Facts and numbers

Since then, only on VLC, we've had around,

  • 700 contributors,
  • 70000 commits,
  • at least 2 billion downloads,
  • hundreds of millions users!

And all that, mostly with volunteers and without turning into a business!

We have now ports for Windows, GNU/Linux, BSD, OS X, iPhone and iPad, Android, Solaris, Windows Phones, BeOS, OS/2, Android TV, Apple TV, Tizen and ChromeOS.

Future

If you read this blog, you know that we're working hard on VLC 3.0, to unify most of our mobile ports, adding more GPU decoding, better adaptive streaming and ChromeCast integration.

We're still here and working for our users.

Thanks

So, for all our users supporting us, I just want to say: thank you!

Cone-Video-large.png

31 January 2016

These weeks in VideoLAN - 34

34th VideoLAN report

I was traveling quite a bit lately, so here is a double-week report about the VLC and VideoLAN communities.

FOSDEM

Once again, the VideoLAN team was present at FOSDEM.

Here is a the usual Delirium Cafe photo!

FOSDEM 2016 Delirium

And of course, my talk about VLC 3.0.

FOSDEM 2016 VLC talk

Features

VLC

The first change was related to ChromeCast: a new module was added, to split the control of the chromecast from the streaming part. More code on that feature should come in the next weeks.

Petri then got us support for a Bluray demuxer in our Bluray module. It was only an access_demux before, and will now allow to open ISO files of Blurays over the network, including FTP, SMB, NFS or HTTP. Additionally, you can now use the default drive with the MRL bluray://.

We fixed the support of Windows XP for the 3.0 release: but XP support is now only on a best-effort basis.

François also got support for ATSC A65, aka PSIP, or information like EPG and related, for ATSC broadcasted streams.
Almost at the same time, we received support for SCTE-18 / AES, aka alerting system inside broadcast.

Hugo added support for Metadata over UPnP, (notably artist, album, cover ART and related fields) and fixed quite a few issues on this module.
We finally will get proper UPnP support soon!

We also received fixes for TS sections, dialogs, win32 installer, TS seeking, DxVA decoding and MIDI. And also improved the features merged in the last weeks: keystore, the dialogs and SMB modules.

iOS / Apple TV

After the release of the Apple TV version in my last report, we produced 2 updates to fix bugs: 1.0.1 and 1.0.2.

We're still waiting for feedback to improve for the future releases.

On the main development branch, we mostly got:

  • improvements on FTP and Plex protocols,
  • support to play "next item" automatically,
  • support for a "play all" action,
  • support for 3D Touch Quick Actions,
  • and a few bugfixes.

Android

Android development was quite busy too, as it's been the usual in the last few weeks.

The most visible change is that from now on, you will have only one version and apk for both Android TV and Android.

We also got:

  • a new File Browser for the Android TV version,
  • an option to select Android TVs or Android look, (useful for TV devices not officially Android TV),
  • support for the history view on TVs,
  • support for icons in the extensions,
  • media directories are now displayed on the main TV screen,
  • fixes for keyboard and remotes navigation,
  • fixes for bitrate display, preferences and equalizer,
  • improved now-playing support,
  • the About and License dialog in the TV interface,
  • numerous fixes for crashes,
  • memory reduction when the application background.

WinRT

WinRT development was quite active too, mostly focusing on a complete UWP project.

Thomas:

  • improved the launch speed of the application,
  • reworked numerous exceptions,
  • fixed numerous crashes,
  • reduced the amount of WindowsPhone specific code,
  • improved the responsiveness of the application,
  • improved our Pivot-control,
  • improved the audio metadata,
  • added various interface fixes and improvements,
  • and many other small tweaks...

That's mostly it for those weeks, see you next time!

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