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Monday, March 31 2014

VLC for Android: take 2

Intro

VLC for Android is on the store since quite some time, and it is quite popular, notably knowing it is only a Beta release.

After more than 6 months since the last release, we've developed a new version that is changing a lot of things.

This could be mostly considered as a Second main release of VLC for Android.

The most important parts are a new UI, closer to a modern Android theme and a rewritten hardware acceleration.

Continue reading...

Saturday, March 15 2014

Second build submitted to the store

After the first beta release a couple of days ago, a second build fixing the most important crashes has been submitted to the store, for certification.

It should notably fix the crash on start, on some machines, but other stability issues, on the music side too!

We'd like to thank the new contributors that helped.

It should appear automagically in a few hours on the store.

Next release, next week!

Have a nice week-end!

Monday, March 10 2014

First achievement unlocked!

Oh boy, this has been a long and bumpy ride!

Today, the first Beta of VLC for WinRT is getting deployed on the store.

As many of you know, the road to come to this point has been long... Very long.

I've been driving or helping some ports of VLC on mobile, but this port has been the hardest, by an order of magnitude.

I'll speak a bit more about the lateness of this port, another time. Today, I'll introduce a bit to this application.

Features

This application, version 0.2.0, is a BETA stage of the port of libVLC on WinRT. WinRT is the runtime of Windows 8/8.1 Metro/ModernUI, Windows Phone 8 and Xbox 1.

As this is a beta, some features are still not perfectly stable, but we are working on that. We thought we should share it with the users, so that people could test and help us.

This application:

  • works on Windows 8.0 and 8.1: too many people are still on 8.0, so we had to use that. This decreases the stability of the application, though...
  • is compiled for Intel x86 CPUs: Windows RT version will follow as soon as we are able to compile it. ARM version will also apply to Windows Phone.
  • plays all video and audio formats of VLC, including MKV, Ogg and Mov files or FLAC and MPC;
  • supports the same codecs as the VLC application for desktop, from MPEG-1 to H.265, through WMV3 and VC-1;
  • supports multiple-audio tracks selection;
  • supports embedded subtitles;
  • supports Background Audio playback;
  • features a easy-to-navigate but complete UI, notably for audio browsing;
  • supports Live Tiles!
  • supports removable storage and DLNA servers.

However, there are a few limitations:

  • This app is currently slow, and is slower than VLC for desktop for video decoding and has no hardware acceleration;
  • Subtitles support is not very good yet, and notably it only supports embedded subtitles; this is our major point of focus for now.
  • Audio does not seem to work in all configurations;
  • Playlists and streams are not supported in the UI (they are present in the core)
  • It's clearly not as stable as it should be.

We are working on all those points, but notably on subtitles and audio quality and stability. Since we now have a release, it will be easier to do releases quite often, as soon as we can.

We also have longer terms goal to work on, and we'll share them when we know more :)

We hope you like this application, and if you don't, we'll fix that soon :) Entry Point VideoPlayer.jpg Main Page Video Pane Music Pane Music Playback Artiste Page Removable Storage Search

Thursday, November 14 2013

VLC: 2.1.1 and 2.0.9

VLC 2.1.1

So, we've released today VLC 2.1.1. It's mostly a release to fix the numerous bugs and regressions that always happen at major.0 releases.

But why are there so many regressions at every major releases of VLC?

The main two reasons are:

  • we still don't have enough people testing the prebuilt and release candidates versions...
  • our major releases cycle is too long.

While I don't know what to do for the first, we will shorten our development cycle, starting from 2.2.0.

New formats

But for once, this release introduces new features, notably a new decoder to support HEVC (H.265).

We did that because we could not ignore this major codec and introduce it only at our next major release.

We worked quite a bit on Opus and VP9, because we want to help pushing those formats.

As for HEVC, VP9 and Opus integrations are quite young, so you should expect issues or shortcomings...

Updates path

As you might have seen, we have not pushed 2.1.0 through the update system, for the reasons you've seen above.

But 2.1.1 is different and will be pushed through the update system.

Windows installer

On Windows, 2.1.1 introduces a new installer that will allow us to upgrade to future versions without asking the options at every install! 2.1.1 should be the last annoying installer that you will see on Windows.

Mac OS X 2.0.9

We did a release of source for 2.0.9, but unlike on Windows, we did binaries too for Mac OS X. Why is that?

Well, as you might have seen, we've discontinued VLC for PowerPC and Intel32 for 2.1.x. This is mostly for technical reasons, (notably to support correctly OS X.9), but also for timing reasons (there are few Intel macs that are 32bit only, and it's time consuming to support them).

So PowerPC users will upgrade to 2.0.9, where we fixed many bugs affecting them, as one would expect.

But, a contrario from what you would expect, Intel32 and Universal Binary users on 2.0.8 will be upgraded to the 2.0.9 Universal Binary.

This will allow users using the Intel32 version of VLC but running on a 64bit-capable machine to upgrade to a 64bit version of VLC. Indeed, the 64bit slice of this UB will upgrade to 2.1.1 afterwards, but not the 32bit slice which might upgrade to 2.0.10, if ever there is one :)

I hope this clears a few questions...

Thursday, August 1 2013

News about our WinRT port

WinRT still advances

As people who follow @videolan know, we keep working quite a bit on our port to the WinRT platforms. It is probably the port where the most effort is spent on those days, and is probably the most difficult.

The good news is that we are improving quite a bit, and we are closer to having something on the store.

Precision about VLC ports

Some people said that we stopped working on WinRT to ship VLC on iOS... This is totally wrong, because those are not the same people working on it.

VLC development is closer to a bazaar than to a cathedral building, and while the core advances altogether, people, who are volunteers, work on what they want, and on the features they want. This is very often true for VLC modules, and this is even more true for the ports to the mobile platforms.

Notably:

Therefore, doing work on one platform does not slow down the development of other platforms ports.

On the contrary, porting VLC to more platforms improves the portability of VLC, and helps finding weird bugs or misdesigns that benefit all the other ports, when they are fixed!

For example, the work on OpenGL ES for Android helped the port to iOS. Or the work on WinRT helped the normal VLC for Windows.

WinRT calls

So, last time we spoke about our advance, we had to fix 16 forbidden calls to 4 Windows dll, from 5 dlls and all the socket code. And those required WinRT direct calls from C.

We fixed most of the issues, including the WinRT static calls, meaning that we rewrote a lot of idl, idl tools and header files. We are at 5 forbidden calls (3 tonight, I hope), to 1 Windows dll, from only the VLC core. We still have the socket code to fix though.

The remaining calls are on the threading initialization, and so far, we are not able to create those WinRT objects from a C codebase. We are looking at alternatives, including using a C++ library to work-around this issue.

For the socket code, we have an idea for that too, and I hope I can share it soon to you.

As soon as we are down to 0 calls, we can upload something on the store, for the backers to test it.

Goodies

We've done another round of sending of goodies.

Therefore, if you had a certificate, a key-holder, a mug or a cone, you should have received them before the end of the week.

If you had a t-shirt or a hoodie, they might not have reached you yet. Note that, if you had one of these, the keyholder and certificate will arrive at the same time.

If you have not received your goodies, please e-mail us about it, to the email where you received your confirmation from. If you are at a total loss, please mail me or contact me :)

Sorry again for the delay, but we're doing the best we can, so far. Have fun!

Tuesday, April 2 2013

New report about the WinRT port

News and Excuses

I must start this post by sharing some excuses of not doing enough updates lately.

The main reason is that we've been mostly under-water with the current development, that took most of our time.

News and report

The good news is that we have had tremendous progress...

The bad is that we have still a bit of work to do before sharing it on the store, as I will explain soon.

Pictures

But first, the current pictures:

Current start screen

Metro Start Screen

Metro Main Screen

Fully working playback

Metro Playback

Metro Playback 2

Technical update

If you followed closely, our main work, in addition to the UI, was to fight and replace the forbidden symbols not allowed on Windows App Store mode.

We've been quite efficient at that, working closely with Mingw-w64 project and GCC developers.

The biggest result is that we have now cut down 90% of our symbols, that are forbidden on Metro Mode.

We mostly did this by:

  • replacing our forbidden calls with newer authorized equivalent calls,
  • modifying gcc and Mingw-w64,
  • writing new code in a special library of ours,
  • writing dummy functions,
  • disabling VLC code that would not work on the Metro platform,
  • moving VLC to MSVCRT 11.0,
  • moving all the VLC codebase to UNICODE and WideChars to fit the new requirements.

We did also a lot of minor things to help the integration of libVLC and VLC in this modern platform.

What are we working on now:

We are now mainly working on 2 things:

  • make VLC work with MSVCRT 11.0 without crashing ;)
  • write headers and C/C++ code to access the new fashion of COM APIs in which WinRT is written in.

What we are gonna work just after:

  • ARM, ARM, ARM,
  • WP8

Goodies

They are gonna get shipped soon :)

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Jean-Baptiste KEMPF | jean-baptiste.kempf _(at)_ via.ecp.fr | Powered by Chaussure | xHtml et CSS valide