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23 May 2016

These weeks in VideoLAN - 44

44th VideoLAN weekly report

Once again, unfortunately, the report skipped a week :(

But this report, the 44th report, is quite important for 2 reasons:

  • it's been over one year I've started those reports, since the first one was published on May 10th, last year;
  • and this post is the 300th blogpost on this very blog!

This also mean I skipped 8 weekly reports, and did dual-reports for those weeks, which is not too bad, compared to what I hoped to achieve...

So, without waiting any further, here is the report about what happened in the last 2 weeks in the VideoLAN and VLC development community! It was a couple of busy weeks!

Features and changes

VLC

The week started by some work on the supported MIME-types for the .desktop file for VLC on Linux, by a Debian developer, which cleaned and merged all our different mimetypes support correctly.

Then, a very large patchset for seeking in the MKV (matroska) files was merged. It rewrites most of the seeking support and builds an index when playing the file. This new code fixes quite a few bugs we had on the matroska support.

We added support for subtitles over the network, with a set of functions named libvlc_media_slaves_add, libvlc_media_slaves_get (and related).
At the same time, we now auto-detect subtitles in networking shares; this is currently tested on SMB and UPnP.

We've had improvements on the Qt main window resizing, and on the playlist model.

The work on DVB scan was continued, notably to support device limits.

Another batch for ChromeCast was merged, mostly focusing on seeking and stopping the stream. We're still missing a few bits, though :)

And finally, we improved again our adaptive streaming support, our Blurays menus support, added support for vorbis and flac inside MP4, improved WMV metadata and prepared support for streaming output on Android.

VLC core for WinRT

The VLC engine has seen many changes for WinRT, in the last few weeks, mostly to merge the existing patches we had pending.

The 3rd party libraries (contribs) were updated and patched to correctly compile for the WinRT/UWP version.
At the same time, we merged numerous patches for the core, the modules and the buildsystem.

We improved quite a bit the Direct3D11 output, both for desktop and the WinRT version. We notably fixed the green line issue and added support for more hardware decoders on Windows Phone/RT.
We also accelerated the chroma conversions when using hardware decoding.

Finally, the WinRT audio module now supports volume changes. This was forbidden in Windows 8 apps, but is allowed in Windows 10.

Android

As we're approaching the 2.0.0 release, the Android port was quite calm.

We pushed 2 beta releases on the store: 1.9.10 and 1.9.11 to fix minor issues, mostly to fix subtitles regression and improve the thumbnails look.

We then added support for the network subtitles and subtitles downloading for network media.

This will be in the next release, that should come soon.

iOS

We released VLC 2.7.7 for iOS and 1.0.6 for AppleTV, to fix minor issues, update the software decoders, and activate AC3 and E-AC3 decoding on 64bit device and the Apple TV.

Since then, there were fixes for onedrive support, for subtitles over FTP and for SPDIF pass-through support.

WinRT / UWP

The WinRT port was extremely busy, these past two weeks.

Indeed, we are preparing a beta version named 1.9.0, that would prepare for the first true UWP version, that will be named 2.0.0.

We've added most of the features that you usually see on the Android and iOS versions of VLC, notably UPnP and network shares browsing, support for HTTPS and adaptive streaming, better hardware decoding, dialogs support, as many codecs as the desktop version, and so on.
Moreover, the engine use the runtime 12.0_app instead of the 11.0 one we used on the WinRT version.

On the UI side, we now support correctly Windows 10 integration, with Cortana, drag and drop, tablet mode and a lot of fixes so that the application looks responsive enough on all the devices, from mobile to the Xbox 1. We polished this UI and fixed a few important regressions, notably on the playback and the thumbnailer.

The application is currently in private beta mode, so that the biggest issues are fixed before opening it up. :)

libbluray

We released a new version of libbluray, numbered 0.9.3

This release:

  • adds a bd_open_files() function, deprecating old global file system hooks;
  • adds flags for on-disc menu support to DISC_INFO,
  • improves Java building and Linux integration
  • enable UDF/ISO support by default,
  • improves BDJ_EVENT_CHAPTER, main title detection,
  • improve BD-J compability, and fixes numerous bugs on BD-J,
  • improves libaacs and libmmbd detection.
  • fixes a large number of bugs too long to describe here :)

That's all for those weeks! See you soon!

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!