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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!

25 August 2016

Last weeks in VideoLAN - 53

53rd VideoLAN report

During the core of the hot European summer, here is a weekly report about the last 2 weeks in the VLC and VideoLAN communities!

It was a bit calm, to be honest; and I'm a bit late to publish. Summer is the cause :)

Features

VLC

The week started by a lot of code cleanup and renaming for the Mac OS interface. We also had improvements focus on the Sierra release.

On the decoding side, we've had some improvement for hardware decoding in Direct3D11, focused on HEVC decoding.

We also had fixes for the OSX VideoToolbox decoder, notably to be able to restart the decoder when required.

A module supporting the AV1 from the Alliance for Open Media was merged too. So far, it's only a decoder, and disabled by default.

On the streaming side, the MP4 muxer timestamps were fixed. It was also backported to the 2.2.x branch.

We now have ARM64 assembly for our deinterlacer, which will be very useful for iOS, Apple TV and Android TV.

Finally, we had fixes for RTSP passwords saving in the keystore, improvements for RTSP support and the H264 packetizer, and we added support for UTF8 filenames in FTP directory listings, and support for DiscNumber and DiscTotal metadata in MP4, and DNxHR!

Android

On Android, we've mostly fixed crashes, updated translations and pushed 2.0.6 in production, on the play store.

The work is mostly done now on the new media library code, that will be merged later.

WinRT

On UWP, the focus has been on the XBox 1, and mostly on how we can upload files on the box, since we don't have access to the filesystem.

The current solution is using an HTTP webserver to upload the files from your browser, and support for USB disks.

That's all for those weeks, see you next!

8 August 2016

Last week in VideoLAN - 52

52nd VideoLAN report

Another summer week passes by and here is a new weekly report about the VLC and VideoLAN communities!

Features

VLC

The week started with numerous additions to the Direct3D video accelerations and video outputs, to continue the support for 10bits decoding and HDR.

Related to those improvements, we added support for hardware decoding of HEVC decoding inside the TS format, by improving our HEVC packetizer.

We fixed (actually added) the support of QuickTime Videos inside MKV, aka MP4-inside-MKV; and also the support for QuickTime Audio inside MKV.

We improved again the ChromeCast support, by fixing small issues, notably when reloading and stopping the stream.

In the core, an important deadlock was killed, that was affecting Windows and Android platforms.

Finally, we also did a fix for hidden chapters in MKV, and improved the MIDI integration for Windows, and reworked a bit our contrib system.

Android

On Android, we finally fixed the support for old x86 Phones like the ZenPhone that claimed to be ARM phones. Those phones lie about their CPU with CPU_ABI, CPU_ABI AND they expose a fake /proc/cpuinfo to the applications! Thanks to a contact at ASUS, we got a phone and coded a work-around.

We also added support for saving audio-delay when using your Bluetooth headphones, so that you have a different audio-delay when using those headphones than without headphones.

Finally, we fixed a few crashes and regressions that were reported against the last release.

WinRT

On UWP, the biggest focus was on cleaning the code and on the Xbox 1 interface.

More to come soon, I hope!

libbluray

We've had a lot of small fixes for libbluray, mostly on fixing issues and crashes reported by static analyzers, but also build issues, Windows issues, and crashes reported by the users.

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

5 July 2016

Last weeks in VideoLAN - 49

49th VideoLAN report

So, after two busy weeks, you can get a new weekly report about the VLC and VideoLAN communities!

Releases

Android

10 days ago, we released VLC for Android 2.0.

After a long period of development, we're finally at a release that supports more features than the old 0.9.x versions and the 1.7.x versions.

Video List

UWP

And last week, we released the new VLC for Windows 10, numbered 2.0 too.

It is a continuation of the work we did for WinRT, the kickstarter, focused on Windows 8.1, Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows RT.

The new application should supersede the old one.

Black.png

Features

VLC

In the last 2 weeks, we improved the ChromeCast support, notably to work on transmitting the pause status and the title between the device and VLC, and we also changed the interface to scan for devices, since it was a bit confusing.

We added support for some uncompressed video format inside MKV, for the AlbumArtist meta-tag inside mp4 and we now support more MicroDVD subtitles styles.

Our new Kwallet module was transitioned from using libKwallet to DBus. This will be better to support both Qt4 and Qt5 applications with libVLC, because those versions are not ABI compatible.

The core gained a new stream FIFO API, with functions like vlc_stream_fifo_New, vlc_stream_fifo_Queue, vlc_stream_fifo_Write and vlc_stream_fifo_Close.
This change, in addition to the new chained_demux implementation in the core, removes the need for stream_Demux (now removed).

We also improved the security when loading of DLLs on Windows.

And for Android, AudioTrack DTS pass-through was implemented.

Finally, numerous fixes were pushed, notably for Direct3D11, our contribs, some in the core, youtube playback regressions, the Mac OS interface, crashes for MMDevice device, and for the MediaCodec decoders. And more that I forget...

Android

As I said, we released 2.0, and we also pushed 2.0.1 and 2.0.2 to fix the most important crashes reported.

WinRT

Same, we released 2.0, the first beta version of the UWP application. Fixup releases are coming soon!

iOS

On iOS, we pushed the promised update and we had a few refactoring, notably on the network login view.

libbluray

The libbluray code was modified to support 8.3 filenames, like in AVCHD directories we see in camcorders. This is the first step for full AVCHD support in VLC :)

That's all for those weeks! Not too bad :)

See you soon!

29 June 2016

Announcing VLC for UWP 2.0 beta

VLC for Windows 10 beta

If you follow this blog, after a long development period (and a lot of issues), VideoLAN is finally releasing the beta of VLC for Windows 10, numbered 2.0.0.

This beta is the first version targeting Windows 10 and running on the Universal Windows Platform, aka UWP.

Features

The Windows 10 application has all the features available on iOS and Android and a few more.

Like the classic VLC, it supports a very large number of formats, but it also has a medialibrary triaging audio and video media, a full player with subtitles, audio/video synchronisation, an audio mini-player and a network shares browser! We also support Cortana, Live Tiles, Pining and Continuum!

The only important missing feature is DVD/Bluray playback and TV tuners that are not yet possible through the UWP APIs.

And of course, it's completely open source, available under the GPLv2.0 license!

You should try it now!

Video Library

We have a medialibrary, with video management:

VideoList.small.png

and a video player with subtitles, subtitles download, chapters, audio/video sync:

VideoPlayback.small.png

We even support a PiP mode to browse your library while playing a video:

PiPView.small.png

Audio Library

We have, of course, audio management, sorted by albums,

AlbumList.small.png

artists,

ArtistsView.small.png

and you can get detailed information about artists.

Artist Biography

Dark Mode

If you live in a cave, you might prefer our Dark Theme:

Black.png

The accent color is, of course, modifiable and it will change the VLC cone color too!

Network

We support DLNA/UPnP, Windows Shares, FTP(S), SFTP, NFS protocols to discover and browse your local servers or NAS.

NetworkBrowsing.small.png

Windows 10

We support some Windows 10 specific features, like Cortana (supported in English and French), Live Tiles, Artists and Album pining to the start menu, Drag & Drop, and Continuum, if you have a Lumia 950 or Lumia 950XL

Under the hood, we use some technologies exclusive to Windows 10, like some DirectX 11.1 features for video and low-latency audio. This should give you enhanced battery life and allow smooth 4K playback.

Platforms supported

This release works now on:

  • Windows 10 desktop and tablets,
  • Windows 10 mobile,

but also, when a few remaining issues are fixed:

  • Xbox one,
  • Surface Hub,
  • Hololens.

And, in a few weeks, we will update the application to also support:

  • Windows 8.1,
  • Windows RT 8.1,
  • Windows Phone 8.1.

Important remarks

NotaBene 0: This application is NOT replacing the desktop application.

NotaBene 1: This application is a new entry on the store compared to the 2 WinRT applications, because Microsoft could not offer a simple upgrade path.

NotaBene 2: Please report bugs!

NotaBene 3: the Xbox one version should be out this summer, when the store is open to 3rd party UWP applications; the Windows 8.1/Windows Phone 8.1 version should come during the next month, if all goes as expected.

Here is a photo of the application running on the Xbox 1:

XBox.jpg

And a gif on the Hololens:

Windows10Holo.gif

You should try it now!

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!