Keyword - ChromeOS

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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.

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!

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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!

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!

17 December 2015

Announcing VLC for Chrome OS

VLC on ChromeOS

ChromeOS is one of the last Operating Systems where you could not run VLC and play all your media as you wished. :)

Even worse, it was the only significant Desktop Operating Systems that we did not support (so far, VLC exists for Windows, OS X, Linux, BSD, Solaris, OS/2, Haiku/BeOS, ReactOS).

At the same time, VLC for Android is quite popular and is supported on most phones and tablets, and is currently being expanded to Android TVs or other forms of Android.

Today, I'm pleased to tell you that you can use it now! DOWNLOAD!


Chrome-Player.jpg


Android Runtime on Chrome

A few months ago, the Chrome team announced the possibility to run some Android applications on Chrome OS using the new Android Runtime for Chrome. Starting from that moment, we wanted to support this runtime.

Why did we want ARC support?

VLC is mostly a native application on all ​platforms​, using low-level APIs to output video, audio and get access to threads. VLC is using mostly C, C++ and hand-crafted ASM to get the best performance, as required for a realtime application.

Therefore, it's currently impossible to port VLC to Javascript and other Web technologies (or FirefoxOS). It might be possible in the future, but this is off-topic. :D

Usually, the mobile ports of VLC, like VLC for Android, VLC for iOS or Windows phone, use the native language of the platforms to create the interfaces and the media database.

For ChromeOS, the only solution we saw, before ARC was announced, was using PPAPI, NaCL and Javascript, but that would require to rewrite a complete interface in Javascript and would be a bit problematic for the database. That work would have taken months of work.

Therefore the ARC solution was a blessing, and helped us to recycle 95% of the Android code and optimizations we did in the last months (some are not released yet).
Of course, some work was required, nothing is magical, but way less than other solutions.

Features

VLC on ChromeOS supports:

  • all video files supported in VLC, including MKV and DVD ISOs,
  • all audio files supported in VLC, including FLAC and other weird audio formats,
  • subtitles files, from SRT to SSA and with auto-detection, when possible,
  • a media database like on Android and iOS to select the right medias, and resume playback,
  • playback of streams, local and on the internet, include adaptive streaming like HLS or DASH,
  • we also support playlists, accelerated playback, audio equalizer, audio/video synchronization and hardware accelerated video/audio decoding.


Chrome video listing


Open Source and Free Software

As everything VideoLAN is doing, VLC for ChromeOS is completely free and open source.

We would LOVE help to improve this port! Join the community, fork the code and send patches!

The source code is licensed under the GPL (v2 or later) and is currently distributed as GPLv3, like VLC for Android.

Compatibility

The current version was tested on the 2 ChromeBooks we had access to:

  • a Chromebook Pixel,
  • an HP Chromebook 14.

It is possible that there are issues with other machines, and we ADVISE to use the latest Chrome 48 or the current beta version, to test VLC.

Please report the bugs, if you can!

Nota Bene: ChromeBit

Currently, the Chromebit by ASUS is untested, because it seems to be not available in France yet, and ASUS did not answer to our query to get access to one.

Any testing on this would be welcome!

Nota Bene 2: ARChon

In the same way, ARChon Runtime is currently not supported, because it was not tested at all.

Help on this is welcome too!

Download

You can download it here!

Be careful, it's just the first release, but for now, Enjoy!

30 November 2015

This week in VideoLAN - 28

28th week of VideoLAN reports

Another week, another weekly report about VideoLAN and VLC development.

I'm still here. :)

Features and changes

VLC

Following last week's work on Freetype font fallback on OS X and iOS, after a few fixes, we removed the QuartzText and the WinGDI text renderers.
The Freetype renderer should always be the best one, now.

We've added a new libVLC event: libvlc_MediaPlayerChapterChanged to detect a change of chapters and we've fixed the libvlc_MediaPlayerTitleChanged event, that was not fired in all cases.

The core handling of objects was changed, to notably have a lock per parent-object and not per instance; this should reduce the lock contention.
Also in the core, the variables callbacks were changed in order to be privatized and some string-related functions were renamed.

Also in the core, an important change was introduced in the flush mechanism for decoders and packetizers, adding a custom pf_flush function.

The HLS support was improved by adding support for inconsistent HLS playlist numbering, fixing live pruning, using targetduration hints for HLS updates and other small fixes.

On the Blu-Ray side, we've fixed interactive titles selection, subtitles that disappeared too quickly, and implemented overlay wiping to fix some HDMV menus selections.

Finally, our last.fm plugin now supports NowPlaying events and we've pushed fixes for the Qt interface, for an XSS in the HTTP interface, the new Youtube URLs, and improved our OS/2 support.

Android

On Android, we've polished the 1.7.0 release, fixing the menu's look, some crashes and some alignments in the video player. This version should go live during this week :)

We've worked quite a bit on the ChromeOS version, more news about this, next week :)

However, the biggest work was done for the next release, by adding support for video playlists, something that was requested for years...
The core of the feature is done, the playback is correctly working, and you can play a group or all the elements from a directory.
What is currently missing is an interface to manage those.

iOS

On iOS, we've integrated the new subtitles renderer based on Freetype, improved our fonts support and fixed some crashes in the core.

We've also improved the notifications, the information panels, the media library and the SMB browsing.

A lot of features were added to the tvOS port, but once again, this is still only for testers. The release is on its way, as soon as we can push it on the store.

libbluray and other libraries

On libbluray, we've fixed the Android compilation (no BD-J support and untested), fixed small numbering parsing issues, and fixed support for Windows pathes that are in non-ASCII folders.

On libudfread, we've made the same changes for Android compilation.

That's all for this week, folks, see you next one!