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14 February 2016

These weeks in VideoLAN - 35

35th VideoLAN report

After the celebration of the 15th anniversary of VLC and the release of VLC 2.2.2, here are we back to normal weeks and here is a new report, on time.

Once again, this post is a double-week report about the VLC and VideoLAN communities; and they were very very busy.

Features and changes

VLC

Core, input

The first thing that happened after FOSDEM, was that the HTTP support for gzip and deflate was removed and split into a new module named inflate.

The biggest improvement of the past two weeks was the new API for dialogs that replaced the old one; it should be more consistent, easier to use, and is finally exposed through libVLC!
All calling applications can now manage the dialogs without the old hacks that existed.

We have now libvlc_dialog_get_context, libvlc_dialog_set_context, libvlc_dialog_set_callbacks functions to setup, and the functions libvlc_dialog_dismiss, libvlc_dialog_post_action, libvlc_dialog_post_login to do the interactions.

Network Discovery

A new module to discover mDNS/ZeroConf/Avahi/Bonjour services was merged.
It is based on libmicrodns, works on all platforms and discovers NFS, SFTP, FTP and SMB shares.

Finally, libvlc_media_discoverer_list_get was added to libVLC to have a list of services discoveries supported in this instance.

Codecs, Demuxer and filters

Vikram shared with us a large patch to support zero-copy between GStreamer decoder and the normal video output modules, when we're using GStreamer decoders inside VLC.

Tristan added new VP8 and VP9 encoders based on libvpx.

François split the big TS demuxer in multiple files and improved a lot the support for metadata and EPG. Support for PSIP and ETT tables were added too.

Finally, we've also mapped the Vidvox Hap codec and Resolume DXV codec to our libavcodec module.

We've merged a new video filter for edge detection, as you can see here: Edge Detection

Mac OS X / iOS

The Mac OS interface, got itself a complete status bar menu, to control VLC without bringing it to the front.

In addition the OS X and iOS port, got their support for a wallet keystore module, with values that can be shared through iCloud.

The old dialogs support for OS X and iOS was removed.

A large number of Mac OS X dialogs were moved to AutoLayout, so that we can support RTL in a simpler and more correct way.

A module named bonjour was added to provide the same features as the libmicrodns module.

Miscellaneous

We also got improvements for Vimeo and Youtube support, large changes in the UPnP module, fixes on Freetype and Ogg seeking, and vmem.

We've merged quite a few patches to improve our Windows Phone and WinRT compatibility.

Android

Networking

On Android, we've finally activated SMB, mDNS and UPnP, and we've added support for NFS shares.

Once the keystore module is merged, the Android version of VLC, should support most of the common network shares.

We've added the notion of favorite network shares too.

Extensions

The extensions can now have a refresh callback and can set their icons through a custom URI.

The extensions can also easily warn if VLC is not installed.

libVLC interaction

We've added the support for the LUA extensions and the new Dialog APIs mentioned earlier in this post.

We've also improved the support for the different libc we have on different versions of Android.

TV

We've improved the support of TV running Android without being officially Android TV.

We've refactor the network discovery and added the network browsing on the TV interface.

We've done large code cleaning on the TV specific classes, and fixed numerous bugs in the main views and the remote controls.

Phone

Finally, we've added an option to disable the album art on the lockscreen, for privacy reasons!

WinRT

The WinRT port was quite busy preparing the Windows 10 port, also known as UWP.

These weeks, a lot of the design was reworked, notably in the Artist and Album sections, to better fit the new Windows 10 look.

The pivot and the sidebar were also improved for colors and behaviors. Settings and a few other pages were also fixed to support Windows 10 Mobile buttons.

The application is now working as WP8.1, Win8.1 and UWP flavours, depending on how you compile the application.

libbluray & libaacs

libaacs received the new aacs_decrypt_bus() needed for BD+ when the bus is encrypted.

libbluray was fixed to detect if the DRM implementation (AACS or MMBD) is actually working, and fallbacks in the other cases.

And both libraries got a few other minor fixes, mostly crashes related.

That's all for this week! Have fun!

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!

19 January 2016

This week in VideoLAN - 33

33rd VideoLAN report

This is my second report in 2016 about what happened last week in the VLC and VideoLAN communities.

VLC on AppleTV

Of course, the big news of the week was the release of VLC for the AppleTV.

Apple TV is the latest platform to which we added VLC support, to continue the VLC everywhere route, after VLC on ChromeOS, VLC for Android TV and VLC for Windows Phone that we added last year.

You can read more about it on Felix's blog and on our website.

We hope you will enjoy VLC on this new platform.

Features and changes

VLC

Monday started with the addition of a NFS protocol implementation to VLC. This will allow us to access and browse files and directories on NFS shares, on all our ports, including Windows, Android and iOS, where this protocol is not natively included.

We then got multiple fixes on the new Keystore API and the corresponding implementations, notably in the SMB and SFTP modules.

The AVI demuxer module was fixed to help reducing the number of connections for distant streams on interleaved files. This should reduce the load on the servers, when playing those files.

Multiple fixes and improvements were pushed on the TLS code, continuing the work from the previous week. Notably, to use I/O vectors for sending and receiving messages.
Then, the TLS code was abstracted to allow TLS sessions not directly above TCP, like in the TLS over TLS case. This big refactoring was necessary to add the support of HTTPS through HTTPS proxies.

Finally, we received numerous fixes for crashes, memory leaks and small issues.

Android

On Android this week, we had quite a few changes too.

We now have a manual way add network servers, like FTP, SFTP, SMB, NFS or FTPS.

On the Android TV, we've improved the settings, reworked heavily the playlist and the advanced options navigation, and refactored completely the video listing, to allow alphabetical sorting and browsing.

Finally, we changed the seek buttons to 10 seconds, instead of 30; we now show bitrate information in media information dialog for audio files and we improved the playlist items' look and navigation.

Try a nightly build to test all those features!

iOS / Apple TV

So, as said in the introduction, VLC for Apple TV was introduced this week, in its version 1.0.0.

Based on the iOS version, it's finally a bit different, to accommodate the specialties of this platform. Especially the casting we introduced is not seen in any other port of VLC.

You should read more about it on Felix's blog.

At the same time, we released VLC for iOS 2.7.2, fixing minor reported bugs.

That's mostly it for this busy week, see you next!

3 January 2016

These weeks in VideoLAN - 31

31st VideoLAN report

After the holiday season, this is the last of the weekly reports for 2015 for VideoLAN and VLC development!

Technically, we're already in 2016, but this report will cover the last 2 weeks of 2015 and only a few days of 2016. :)

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Features and changes

VLC

As one can expect if one has read my previous reports, we had quite a few improvements on the HTTP/2 pipeline (multiple cookies, test cases, ...) and on the HEVC/H.264 packetizers (test cases, SEI...).

When using libVLC, it's now simple to know if the titles are menus or are interactive, with the libvlc_media_player_get_full_title_descriptions call.

In the decoder core, the call decoder_AbortPictures was added, to finish our work on asynchronous decoding; notably to support flushing when doing asynchronous decoding.
Some related work on draining/flushing was also done in avcodec and mediacodec modules.

We've added a way to have tunneled-playback through mediacodec on Android for surface with punch holes. This is only for developers who work on a specific platforms and SOCs, since you must know what you are doing. :)

In the streaming output, we've added sout_MuxFlush to be able to flush, notably useful when seeking the input.

We've also got quite a few commits on the ChromeCast module, preparing the work that will come soon, to have a proper support of those devices.

On OSX, we've had a large rewrite of the messages and the information dialogs.

Finally, we've had improvements on the H.264 and HEVC demuxers, and on the adaptive streaming modules, fixes on the iOS video output, and a lot of small fixes for leaks and crashes.

iOS

On iOS, we've released VLC for iOS 2.7.0. Finally ! :)

It has brought quite many new features and improvements:

  • full iOS 9 support including split screen and iPad Pro,
  • re-written Apple Watch application for watchOS 2,
  • system-wide search for content stored locally within the app using “CoreSpotlight”,
  • Touch ID support to unlock the app,
  • full support for Right-To-Left languages,
  • support for SMB (Windows shares) file servers,
  • highly improved subtitles rendering with font fallback for non-western languages,
  • list of recently played network streams and stored login credentials are shared across devices using iCloud.

Be careful, this version requires iOS 7 to run.

We also released a version 2.7.1 to fix the important bugs we saw in 2.7.0.

Android

On Android, we've done 3 minor releases, 1.7.3, 1.7.4 and 1.7.5.
Those releases fix a lot of bugs, but also improve the Android TV version, notably on the audio player and the now-playing cards.

A large addition was added to the master branch, to support sources extensions.

A bit like on the desktop version, where we have services discovery, one might want to add new source of content, to the VLC on Android application, like ISP-specific TV channels, like Google-Drive browsing, podcasts, or social-network videos.

Those sources extensions will appear a bit later, on the Play Store. :)

We've also added support for Search inside the audio playlist and a playlist in the video view, when using a second-screen!

WinRT

On WinRT, the work was done to improve the navigation stack, and the way we move inside the application, including the hamburger menu. We've improved the MiniPlayer too.

Finally, we've done major refactoring of files and projects to be have a better file layout.

libdvdcss

As you might have seen, we've finally done a new release for libdvdcss!

Happy New Year!

So, that's all for the last weeks!

For everyone, I wish you a happy new year, and give you all my wishes of health and success!

21 December 2015

This week in VideoLAN - 30

30th week of VideoLAN reports

And, closing to holidays season, another week goes by, another weekly report about VideoLAN and VLC development you get!

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Features and changes

VLC/ChromeOS release

If you've missed it, this week, we released the first version of VLC for ChromeOS under the GPLv3 license.

This is a port of the Android application to the Android Runtime on Chrome.

It shares most of the code with the Android version, but includes a few ChromeOS specific modifications.

We've had good feedback on it, but there is still a bit of work to do, from our side, but also from Google's side!

That was the last desktop OS that we were not on. Try it!

VLC

This week, the biggest chunk of work was on HTTP/2, like mentioned last week.
HTTP/2, HTTP and TLS rework in VLC got us 110 commits, on a total of 175.

The second large work of the week was the rework of the NAL (SPS/PPS) parsing and usage for H.264 and HEVC (42 commits, this week).
This impacted most of the hardware and software decoders, packetizers and muxers.

For both HTTP/2 and NAL parsing, I believe we'll see more commits next week too. :)

We've added the support to raw RGB and GREY video inside mp4.

Finally, we've also fixed build issues, memory leaks and small improvements on the Chromecast and the Youtube modules.

Android

On Android, we've started to fix a few regressions that were in the 1.7.x releases, notably small crashes and wake-keeping when playing.

We've re-added the History section that was present a long time ago. It's completely rewritten, though.

We've improved our databinder, our video playlists, and our Android TV behavior.

And of course, merged everything for the ChromeOS port.

iOS

For iOS and the tvOS application, we've submitted all the applications. We're now waiting for the Apple Store reviews.

It might be long to review, because of the holiday season!

And of course, we've already fixed a few bugs on the master branch, but no major feature, until we get a release :)

WinRT

The WinRT port was quite busy last week, with more than 50 commits!

The biggest changes were mostly done:

  • on the Slideshow background, (and Win2D)
  • the Theme and mostly the black theme,
  • the mini player,
  • the Music Player page,
  • the topbar, and the menu.

We hope this redesign/rework will be done and pushed on the store, in the next weeks.

That's quite a busy week, see you next time!

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