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Monday, May 23 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!

Monday, May 9 2016

This week in VideoLAN - 43

43rd VideoLAN weekly reports

After my 42nd report last week, and some nice encouragements, here is another weekly report about VideoLAN and VLC development.

I was far from a computer last week, so here are 2 weeks in one.

Features

VLC

Renderers

The previous week, we started to introduce the concept of renderers in VLC.
Those are distant devices displaying audio and/or video, instead of playing it locally. The usual device people know are ChromeCasts, UPnP/DLNA renderers, AirPlay, WiDi or DIAL devices.

A new type of VLC module was introduced: renderer discovery. Like Service Discovery, they can find those renderers devices on the network, using one of the discovery protocols.

The renderer discovery capability was implemented in our mDNS module.

The Chromecast code was heavily reworked at the same time, and after 4/5 redesigns, we're almost happy with the code :)

The interface is still missing, but it should come soon!

Other features

The S/PDIF passthrough was implemented in the WASAPI module for Windows. This is important, as this module will be the default, starting in 3.0, for most Windows users.

The work on DVB scanning is still going on. We had numerous patches this week on this topic.

Our mDNS module now supports IPv6 and our MKV demuxer started to get a heavy lifting.

We also had fixes for the TS demuxer and muxer, the libVLC headers, the VideoToolbox decoder, Hurd compilation and improvements on the Direct3D11 video output!

Android

The Android port got 2 more beta releases for 2.0.0: 1.9.9 and 1.9.10.

We added numerous fixes, notably in the popup video view, the binder, keyboard and pad management, title display and the video view.

And of course, improvements for the subtitles download feature.

Hopefully, we will push the release soon.

WinRT

If you follow Thomas on Twitter, you will know that the WinRT port has been quite busy lately.

Cortana is now integrated in the application, so you can ask VLC to launch an album or the last video viewed.

Drag and Drop should now work almost everywhere, and you can drop just a subtitle on a playing video, if you want.

The Stream and the File dialogs have been relifted; the Settings dialog in the same way.

The mini-player and the command bar controller have been merged, together, if you have a Windows Preview build.

On the backend, some work was done on the thumbnailer, and the music and video libraries have been merged into one single library.

Some video information is now pulled from TheMovieDB.

Finally, some work was done to adapt the interface to Windows 10 Mobile.

Soon a release? :)

iOS/tvOS

On AppleTV, search was implemented for local servers browsing.

And we also got support for repeat on the AppleTV application.

We should get updates on those 2 applications soon, on the App Store.

That's all for those 2 weeks, see you soon!

Sunday, April 24 2016

This week in VideoLAN - 42

42nd week of VideoLAN reports

After a very busy week last week, here is another weekly report about VideoLAN and VLC development.

42

I'm surprised we're already at 42 and I haven't stopped doing it!

Sometimes, I'm not sure it's really useful, since I don't see many comments...

But lately, some people who don't comment on this blog told me, in real life, that I should continue, so here is a new report.

Features

VLC

Once again, we started the week with fixes for the WinRT/UWP build.

We got numerous small fixes for the Qt interface, notably for resizing issues of the main interface and in the preferences.

Marvin improved the Mac OS interface status-bar icon look and behavior.

Fran├žois continued his work on the DVB scanning, notably splitting in a better way the DVB access from the TS demuxer module, which is a cleaner design.

VLC has also now gained the ability to auto-rotate the JPEG photos using the EXIF data.

Finally, a vlc_close function was introduced to be able to use posix_close instead of close when available.

Android

This week, we published version 1.9.8 of VLC for Android, adding notably subtitles download for local files, and media information on the Android TV version.
In this version, we pushed numerous fixes too, notably for repeat, metadata, resuming files and popup video support.

Then, the bindings for the keyboard and remote was changed too: left/right arrows seek, down arrow shows the controller, up arrow show the advanced options and center play/pause.

We also fixed numerous issues with RTL languages and layouts; and improved the code with more databinding.

iOS

On Tuesday, we pushed VLC 2.7.5 for iOS and VLC 1.0.4 for tvOS. Those release are mostly targeting improvements in SMB shares browsing.

Since then, we've readied VLC 2.7.6/1.0.5, focusing on improving the shares browsing, Dropbox, TouchID and the video filters.

WinRT

On WinRT, the week was quite busy.

We improved the speed and reliability of the libVLC core, notably so that we can use more features of the UWP platform and so we can have a stable 64bit build.

We also improved the interface, based on people's feedback on our screenshots, notably for the settings and the global navigation.

The video player was also re-themed and you can have PiP when browsing the application, if a video is still playing.

That's quite a bit for this week! Thanks a lot and see you next!

Tuesday, April 19 2016

This week in VideoLAN - 41

41st week of VideoLAN reports

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

Features

VLC

We started the week with fixes to build libVLC for WinRT.

Then, after the work from last week, the DVB scanning was improved again, notably to manage timeouts; and the DTV module was fixed accordingly.

The input core was also simplified, removing muteces, reducing the number of functions to create an input, and fixing some preparsing issues (and adding the related tests). One now should just use input_item_AddOptions and the aliases named input_item_New* instead of the input_item_NewWithType or input_item_NewWithTypeExt functions.

libVLC users can now use libvlc_media_get_parsed_status and the new libvlc_MediaParsedStatus event to monitor the item preparsing.

We've had playback fixes for MPEG-SL AAC streams inside TS (#16809), we now support playback of forced subtitles in MP4 (#16803) and support RTP Reception Hint Tracks inside MP4.

We've extended our AVI muxer to support the A-law and ╬╝-law codecs.

Finally, we improved the bluray, SMB, keystore and Qt modules.

Colorimetry

During the week-end, a small team went to Helsinki to work on the colorimetry support for VLC.

As we're moving to UltraHD (4K), the videos are shifting to new, wider, colorspaces. In the past, we just ignored the small differences and took the sane defaults.

It's not possible to do that anymore with the Rec.2020 and the new HDR colorspaces.

Therefore, during the week-end, we laid out the base to support those colorspaces inside the core.

Android

On Android, we started by fixing the navigation with the keyboards and keypads, for the classic android version.

We also added a next and a previous button in the video player, when playing a video playlist.

Then, we added support for subtitles download, from internet subtitle databases.

Finally, we fixed a few bugs, notably on focus and and metadata.

All those changes will be pushed on the store in the version 1.9.8.

iOS

This week, we pushed VLC 2.7.4 for iOS and VLC 1.0.3 for tvOS.

The tvOS release adds notably S/PDIF pass-through and support for finding subtitles over network shares.

The iOS release adds:

  • 3D Touch Quick actions
  • "play all" features for OneDrive and network shares
  • finding subtitles over network shares,
  • stability improvements for SMB shares,
  • numerous fixes notably for video filters, downloads and interface issues.

WinRT

The WinRT code was quite active last week.

A lot of work is not visible, but is done on the libVLC backend, so that the VLC/WinRT code is closer to the Win32 code. We expect that to give us quite a boost in performances.

Another large part of the work on the interface is also not very visible, but is done to improving the medialibrary code, and clean the split between interface and the backend. This should reduce the number of crashes we are seeing.

Finally, last week, we've spent time on the design and look of the application. Here is a screenshot of the current code. AlbumsLight.png

x264

Last week, just before the NAB show, we pushed some new code in the x264 codebase.

The most visible changes are:

  • SSE2 and AVX optimizations for dct, notably for 4:2:2 encoding
  • SSSE3 and AVX2 optimizations for mbtree fixed point conversions
  • improvements pf the b-adapt 1 algorithm, giving better quality without changing the speed,
  • improvements for Windows and Visual Studio compatibility

libbluray

The work on libbluray this week was mostly going on improving the BD-J menus.

This work was visible in the javax.tv namespace, but also in general where many errors were denoted to warnings, and should improve compatibility with more disks.

Finally, there is now a seek event for BD-J.

We'll have a release soon with all these improvements.

That's quite a bit for this week! Thanks a lot and see you next!

Tuesday, April 12 2016

These weeks in VideoLAN - 40

40th report about VideoLAN reports

It's been a few weeks without reports. I'm sorry, I was traveling a bit across the Ocean, and life caught up with me, a bit too much...

And of course, the VideoLAN community has been busy during that time, so a lot happened, and catching up is even harder. So, this report is probably more summarized than usual, please excuse me for that.

Features

VLC

The weeks started by fixing the Windows green lines regressions for 2.2.3 and 3.0.0 that could happen with the Direct3D9 module but also when deinterlacing the content.

The time bar of our Qt module got fixed (some clicks could be on the wrong time, compared to the tooltip), and it got more precise for seeking.

The Jack audio output can now have fixed names for inputs and outputs. This should be easier to reuse, after a VLC restart.

The libVLC has now a libvlc_navigate_popup call to open pop-up menus with BD-J disks.

Quite a bit of fixes and improvements got into the ChromeCast module, notably to clean the code, and to make it closer to the expected behavior.
No, it's not ready yet for primetime, since it's not exposed in the interface.

The Daala module is now independent from the Ogg demuxing library.

Finally, we got a large rework of the DVB scanning code, mostly for Linux, though.

And, as usual, we merged numerous fixes and this week they were mostly on Android Mediacodec, MP4 seeking, TS regressions, MKV ALBUM metadata support, code cleanup and adding more tests to the codebase.

Android

In the last 3 weeks, we published 3 different beta versions: 1.9.5, 1.9.6 and 1.9.7 were published on the Android Store.

Those beta versions are still focusing on stability and feedback from our users.

However, 1.9.7 added support for a popup-video window, so you can float your video above every other application, like this:

Popup Video Window

At the same time, we also added support for Samsung and LG split windows.

WinRT and iOS

The other mobile ports, iOS and WinRT got each a few improvements.

On WinRT, the biggest changes were on the handling of translations, using the new translations framework. The rest were minor fixes for stability.

On iOS, numerous fixes got merged for Cloud drives support and we got 2 releases in the pipe, waiting for reviews:
2.7.4 is the next iOS release, 1.0.3, the next tvOS release.

Those builds should arrive soon in your devices.

libbluray

The libbluray project received a few improvements too.

The number of locks were reduced, the AACS integration was enhanced, and a few fixes on chapters were merged.

However, the biggest changes were in the implementation of some javax.tv. classes, that were missing, notably on the javax.tv.util namespace; but other part of this namespace were improved to support more bluray menus.

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

Sunday, March 20 2016

This week in VideoLAN - 39

39th week of VideoLAN reports

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

Yes, even in the winter and the cold, things are happening!

Features

VLC

The week started with more work on the Matroska (MKV) module, after the various refactoring of the previous weeks. We fixed some regressions, improved the parsing speed, but mostly fixed and improved chapters, ordered segments and edition handling.
We also had fixes for Matroska scripts commands and a lot of this work should prepare the module for seeking improvements.

We've had improvements on the Samba modules, notably to support >2GB files on Android and spaces in filenames.
Similar improvements were made for the SFTP module.

We've finally migrated to Lua 5.3, in the contribs and in the core module. We still have some rough edges to fix, though.

In a similar way, we're also preparing the transition to Qt5.6, notably for Windows.

Finally, we've fixed typoes in the x264 and Qt modules and we've introduced a --udp-timeout option for the UDP module.

Android

This week, 1.9.3 and 1.9.4 were published on the Android Store. Those 2 new betas of 2.0.0 are focused on fixing important regressions and issues.

We notably fixed:

  • video resume and playback states in various situations, including background playback,
  • notifications and control from notifications,
  • network credentials and network playback,
  • we can now set songs as ringtone from current playlist,
  • randomization for playlists,
  • we added an option to remember video playback speed,
  • we added an "Append to playlist" feature for audio media,
  • numerous crashes.

2.0.0 will come soon :)

WinRT

The WinRT port was quite active, doing some deep refactoring and changing the interface to give this:

Artists View 02_Artist_album.png

Albums View 04_Albums.png 09_Albums_dark.png

Video list 08_Videos_Dark.png

File browser 05_Files.png 13_Files_dark.png

Settings 06_Settings.png

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

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