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Monday, February 1 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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Sunday, January 31 2016

These weeks in VideoLAN - 34

34th VideoLAN report

I was traveling quite a bit lately, so here is a double-week report about the VLC and VideoLAN communities.

FOSDEM

Once again, the VideoLAN team was present at FOSDEM.

Here is a the usual Delirium Cafe photo!

FOSDEM 2016 Delirium

And of course, my talk about VLC 3.0.

FOSDEM 2016 VLC talk

Features

VLC

The first change was related to ChromeCast: a new module was added, to split the control of the chromecast from the streaming part. More code on that feature should come in the next weeks.

Petri then got us support for a Bluray demuxer in our Bluray module. It was only an access_demux before, and will now allow to open ISO files of Blurays over the network, including FTP, SMB, NFS or HTTP. Additionally, you can now use the default drive with the MRL bluray://.

We fixed the support of Windows XP for the 3.0 release: but XP support is now only on a best-effort basis.

François also got support for ATSC A65, aka PSIP, or information like EPG and related, for ATSC broadcasted streams.
Almost at the same time, we received support for SCTE-18 / AES, aka alerting system inside broadcast.

Hugo added support for Metadata over UPnP, (notably artist, album, cover ART and related fields) and fixed quite a few issues on this module.
We finally will get proper UPnP support soon!

We also received fixes for TS sections, dialogs, win32 installer, TS seeking, DxVA decoding and MIDI. And also improved the features merged in the last weeks: keystore, the dialogs and SMB modules.

iOS / Apple TV

After the release of the Apple TV version in my last report, we produced 2 updates to fix bugs: 1.0.1 and 1.0.2.

We're still waiting for feedback to improve for the future releases.

On the main development branch, we mostly got:

  • improvements on FTP and Plex protocols,
  • support to play "next item" automatically,
  • support for a "play all" action,
  • support for 3D Touch Quick Actions,
  • and a few bugfixes.

Android

Android development was quite busy too, as it's been the usual in the last few weeks.

The most visible change is that from now on, you will have only one version and apk for both Android TV and Android.

We also got:

  • a new File Browser for the Android TV version,
  • an option to select Android TVs or Android look, (useful for TV devices not officially Android TV),
  • support for the history view on TVs,
  • support for icons in the extensions,
  • media directories are now displayed on the main TV screen,
  • fixes for keyboard and remotes navigation,
  • fixes for bitrate display, preferences and equalizer,
  • improved now-playing support,
  • the About and License dialog in the TV interface,
  • numerous fixes for crashes,
  • memory reduction when the application background.

WinRT

WinRT development was quite active too, mostly focusing on a complete UWP project.

Thomas:

  • improved the launch speed of the application,
  • reworked numerous exceptions,
  • fixed numerous crashes,
  • reduced the amount of WindowsPhone specific code,
  • improved the responsiveness of the application,
  • improved our Pivot-control,
  • improved the audio metadata,
  • added various interface fixes and improvements,
  • and many other small tweaks...

That's mostly it for those weeks, see you next time!

Tuesday, January 19 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!

Sunday, January 10 2016

This week in VideoLAN - 32

32nd VideoLAN report

Another year, and another week working on VLC and VideoLAN.

Happy New Year 2016!

Features and changes

VLC

Another week started with improvements on the new HTTP/2 stack.
We mostly got support for HTTPS through HTTP proxy and HTTP tunnel (RFC7639) but also a better documentation and better cookies handling.

The large work of the week was the merge of the new Keystore API for the VLC core.
It allows to store user passwords and credentials in the secure storage provided by the Operating System. This is notably for HTTP or SMB passwords.

This was implemented for HTTP, RTSP, SFTP, FTP(S), SMB. And we have now a KDE Kwallet, a Gnome libsecret and a plaintext backends to store those in the disk.
Hopefully, one for iOS/OSX and Windows will follow soon.

The TLS support has a new shinny test, that helped improve the GnuTLS module, which provides TLS on most platforms. This is going to be important for HTTP/2.

To also help this HTTP/2 module, the core got a new socket function named vlc_socketpair() to create a pair of sockets.

The H.264/HEVC packetizers were made faster, using some SSE2 optimizations.

We also should detect now JP2K inside TS streams.

Finally, we've had fixes for securetransport, improvements for the OS X interface, and improvements on the EAC3 detection in TS.

Android

Android port got quite busy this week, with more than 50 commits from Geoffrey.

In summary, we:

  • reworked all the existing snackbars for deletion (or related actions),
  • reworked the advanced options dialog,
  • added a context menu to delete and play as audio for all files in the file browser (even the ones we don't know the type),
  • adding file deletion in more context menus,
  • added an option to disable the playback history,
  • reduced the number of refreshs in the video, audio and playlist views,
  • improved auto-scroll in the playlist,
  • moved the targetSDK to MarshMallow,
  • added an option to disable gestures,
  • allowed to cancel a swipe on an item in the playlist,
  • added Media Information panel for audio,
  • improved video list and media information fragments post file deletions,
  • moved the 'save playlist' feature to advanced options,
  • change the icon for the Google Drive extension,
  • added other look and small fixes improvements.

:)

iOS

After releasing VLC for iOS 2.7.1 last week, we prepared a version named 2.7.2 fixing more issues reported, notably for UPnP playback, changing subtitles size and passcode lock.

This release is in review on the store.

At the same time, we've prepared the release of the Apple TV version, that will be out this week, (if everything happens according to schedule).

WinRT

The WinRT port is getting in shape and was quite busy too this week, with almost 50 commits from Thomas!

The largest part of the work was the improvement of the Database speed, playing with threads, bindings and properties.

We fixed a large number of bugs on this part.

We also improved and fixed the look for the navigation, when switching from Light Mode to Dark Mode.

That's all, this week for VLC! All my best wishes for 2016!

Monday, December 21 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!

C

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!

Thursday, December 17 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!

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