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1 February 2016

15 years of VLC and VideoLAN

15 years!

Today marks the 15th anniversary of VLC!


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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.

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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!

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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!

10 January 2016

This week in VideoLAN - 32

32nd VideoLAN report

Another year, and another week working on VLC and VideoLAN.

Happy New Year 2016!

Features and changes

VLC

Another week started with improvements on the new HTTP/2 stack.
We mostly got support for HTTPS through HTTP proxy and HTTP tunnel (RFC7639) but also a better documentation and better cookies handling.

The large work of the week was the merge of the new Keystore API for the VLC core.
It allows to store user passwords and credentials in the secure storage provided by the Operating System. This is notably for HTTP or SMB passwords.

This was implemented for HTTP, RTSP, SFTP, FTP(S), SMB. And we have now a KDE Kwallet, a Gnome libsecret and a plaintext backends to store those in the disk.
Hopefully, one for iOS/OSX and Windows will follow soon.

The TLS support has a new shinny test, that helped improve the GnuTLS module, which provides TLS on most platforms. This is going to be important for HTTP/2.

To also help this HTTP/2 module, the core got a new socket function named vlc_socketpair() to create a pair of sockets.

The H.264/HEVC packetizers were made faster, using some SSE2 optimizations.

We also should detect now JP2K inside TS streams.

Finally, we've had fixes for securetransport, improvements for the OS X interface, and improvements on the EAC3 detection in TS.

Android

Android port got quite busy this week, with more than 50 commits from Geoffrey.

In summary, we:

  • reworked all the existing snackbars for deletion (or related actions),
  • reworked the advanced options dialog,
  • added a context menu to delete and play as audio for all files in the file browser (even the ones we don't know the type),
  • adding file deletion in more context menus,
  • added an option to disable the playback history,
  • reduced the number of refreshs in the video, audio and playlist views,
  • improved auto-scroll in the playlist,
  • moved the targetSDK to MarshMallow,
  • added an option to disable gestures,
  • allowed to cancel a swipe on an item in the playlist,
  • added Media Information panel for audio,
  • improved video list and media information fragments post file deletions,
  • moved the 'save playlist' feature to advanced options,
  • change the icon for the Google Drive extension,
  • added other look and small fixes improvements.

:)

iOS

After releasing VLC for iOS 2.7.1 last week, we prepared a version named 2.7.2 fixing more issues reported, notably for UPnP playback, changing subtitles size and passcode lock.

This release is in review on the store.

At the same time, we've prepared the release of the Apple TV version, that will be out this week, (if everything happens according to schedule).

WinRT

The WinRT port is getting in shape and was quite busy too this week, with almost 50 commits from Thomas!

The largest part of the work was the improvement of the Database speed, playing with threads, bindings and properties.

We fixed a large number of bugs on this part.

We also improved and fixed the look for the navigation, when switching from Light Mode to Dark Mode.

That's all, this week for VLC! All my best wishes for 2016!

16 November 2015

This week in VideoLAN - 26

26th week of VideoLAN reports

This week-end, I really did not feel like writing anything about last week, because... you know... fuck it.

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...

...

...

But then, I realized that I shouldn't stop living because some assholes believe the way I live is the wrong one.

So after crying a bit, here is the short (and late) report about last week in the VideoLAN community.

Features and changes

VLC

Once again, a week started with fixes about our adaptive streaming support ( :) ), notably the Smooth Streaming part, to support the Language attribute and per-stream Timescale.
Also, the computation of the bandwidth was reworked to supported split-streams (audio and video separated).

During the week, we've also fixed the streams selection (like the language) when changing quality during the adaptivity of the streaming.

We've also improved our chained OggFlac support (#14972 and #10328).

We've continued to fix the seeking, the flushing and pausing regressions in the core, that I spoke about last week.

On the Blu-Ray menu integration side, we've fixed the selection of audio tracks and subtitles tracks from the Blu-Ray menus (and not the usual VLC topbar), and a problem in chapters handling.

Salah fixed an extremely weird bug on our Freetype integration, because of the new font fallback system: #15840).

Finally, we've also worked on the Youtube integration, we've cleaned our audio output and our hardware decoder on Android and fixed a rotation regression.

Android

Since this week, and the next update, VLC on Android will require Android 2.2 (API 8).
I dislike this decision, but the fact that it allows to correctly drop a permission and the fact that the Percent library requires it forced us to do it. If you have a clean way to revert this, please feel free. :)

The audio playlist was rewritten by using the RecyclerView class: this is cleaner, shorter and more Android-like. It will allow us to add more features to this playlist too, (like the duration of each track).

The video list was also updated to use the RecyclerView class. However, this is a bit a smaller change than the playlist.

We've reworked our notification to always show the next and previous buttons: if the playlist is too short, they will restart the current media.

We've added an option in the preferences to remember the brightness level in the video player, if you want.

Geoffrey also did a large refactoring to move the Java code around, so that it makes more sense for the new developers working on our project.

We've also fixed a few crashes reported in the beta program.

iOS/tvOS

Like last week, most of the work was done on Apple TV instead of the iOS application, while we're waiting for the version 2.7.0 to be updated on the store.

Even more than last week, the commits were quite numerous, but I can't speak too much about those features, yet. I hope this will change soon. :)

WinRT

The work on WinRT was resumed quite a bit, adding new features and fixes to the application:

  • a network panel was added to play and save your streams, like Android and iOS,
  • updated artists and similar artists pages look and features,
  • an updated sidebar menu,
  • updates on colors consistency,
  • speed-ups and crash fixes.

I hope we can provide a release in the next weeks.

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