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Monday, August 8 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!

Wednesday, August 3 2016

Last week in VideoLAN - 51

51st VideoLAN report

So, after a few crazy weeks, I'm coming back to a more regular schedule for my weekly reports about VLC and VideoLAN.

Features

VLC

Decoder fallback

The major change, during last week, was the possibility to restart the audio decoders when the audio device changes.
This is very useful when you switch from normal decoders to SPDIF/HDMI pass-through for DTS, Dolby and related codecs.

In the past, VLC could only restart the filters, not the decoders, so our Dolby and DTS decoders were actually filters. This was finally changed and now decoders are decoders.

For those who don't understand what all this means, it means that it will help us support more formats for pass-through over HDMI, like DolbyDigital+ or DTS-HD.

Modules

We've fixed the green line that appears only on AMD GPUs on Windows. This is scheduled for the next Windows update.

I've implemented the support for browsing FTP remote directories, so that it behaves similarly to SFTP or SMB.

On Windows, we've added the support for hardware decoding of 10bits HEVC , using DxVA and D3D11.

We also pushed improvements to the prefetcher module and to our TTML support; and we've fixed issues for DVD menus, SAT>IP protocol and HLS protocol.

Finally, please note that the license of the UPnP module was switched from GPL to LGPL.

Android

On Android, we've fixed a few issues related to old devices, and we've improved the libVLC Java bindings to support statistics.

WinRT

Last week on WinRT, we've removed all the code that was focusing on older versions of Windows.

The codebase now support only Windows 10 Universal with its Anniversary Edition version.

That's all for this week!

Thanks for the support and see you soon!

Thursday, July 28 2016

Last weeks in VideoLAN - 50

50th VideoLAN report

So, after a few crazy weeks, I was taken a bit by RealLife©®, and we've had 3 weeks without report. And this one is late. :)

Therefore, here is a new report about the VLC and VideoLAN communities, covering the last 3 weeks!

The report will be a bit more summarized that usual, and more dense in information, for obvious reasons. :)

Features

VLC

We've added support for codecs with colors in 12bit-depth, in YUV 4:2:0, 4:2:2 and 4:4:4. Of course, nothing can display that yet, but it can happen in some HEVC samples. It will be dithered down before displaying.

The Windows users will be happy, because we're reintroducing the MIDI support, using a new library called FluidLite, in order to replace FluidSynth.

A new protocol to control and distribute satellite signals on a LAN called SAT>IP was implemented in a new access module.

There was a lot of work and rework on our adaptive support, notably to change timings and drain, but also to start supporting HLS using mp4 fragments.

Some work on URL and URI was done to support more cases and improve test coverage. 2 new functions called vlc_uri_resolve() and vlc_uri_compose() were introduced.
At the same time, modifications on the HTTP redirections were merged.

On Windows, we merged the VP9 hardware decoding, using the DxVA APIs.
This code requires very recent video cards to be usable.

Finally, an important work was done to merge the access and stream-filter behavior and semantics. The 2 type of modules still exist, but a large part of the code is now common.
This allows now block-based stream filters.

To achieve this, we now have introduced the vlc_stream_Eof(), vlc_stream_ReadBlock() and vlc_stream_ReadPartial() functions.

Finally, we added support for MP4 chapters in Unicode, and we fixed some Qt sizing issues with Qt5, a DLL loading potential security issue for Win32, MP4 subtitles size, a WMV integer overflow, a crash in smem, the Qt right-click menu on the playlist, SFTP browsing, and the audio fingerprinter. We also improved the HTTP/2 stack, our TS demuxer when dealing with scrambled content, and a few other minor things I forgot.

Android

On Android, we've pushed 2.0.3, 2.0.4 and 2.0.5 to fix the most important issues and regressions reported.

However, we also added a few features notably:

  • Support for HTTP proxies,
  • Support for HTTPS self-signed certificates,
  • Subtitles style modification in preferences,
  • Improvements for SMB browsing,
  • Support for more ARMv8 devices.

And we also added, in the main branch, some modifications about preferences, and adding new ones.

iOS

The iOS buildsystem was modified to support full cocoapod building, so you can compile just the application, without compiling VLC and libVLC.

This important change introduced quite a bit of cleaning of the code and of the project. :D

WinRT

On WinRT, we've prepared a MediaCenter Mode for the Xbox 1.

We fixed numerous interface issues and crashes, that were reported in 2.0.1.

A few fixes where pushed also to address issues happening with specific themes or specific resolutions in responsive mode.

That's all for those weeks! There is probably a bit more I forgot about, but you should have the important parts.

See you soon!

Tuesday, July 5 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!

Wednesday, June 29 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!

Tuesday, June 21 2016

Announcing VLC for Android 2.0

VLC for Android 2.0

After a long development period, VideoLAN is finally releasing VLC for Android 2.0.
Our last major release was 1.7.0, more than 6 months ago!

VLC for Android 2.0 is a major update to VLC for Android, that adds numerous features, notably:
support for new releases of Android, network shares browsing and playback, video playlists, subtitles downloader, pop-up video view and support for multiwindows, an optional history panel, favorite network shares and URLs, and a merge between the Android TV and Android packages.

We also offer faster decoding, using our new asynchronous hardware decoder and we've updated most of our codecs and formats support.

Video Player

Download it now!

Features

So here is an overview of the new features.

Permissions and Android N

The first good news is that we have decreased the number of dangerous permissions that VLC was using. The only permission that is now considered as dangerous is the access to media files, which is expected for a media player.

On top of that, we support the Android N runtime permissions:

Runtime Permissions

And we still support Android 2.2!

Network Browsing

One of the most requested features, since the creation of the application, was the playback of network shares and local servers in VLC. It's mostly done :)

We support DLNA/UPnP, Windows Shares, FTP(S), SFTP, NFS protocols to discover and browse your local servers or your NAS. And we also detect associated subtitles over the network!

Network Browsing

Subtitles Download

If you want to download subtitles directly from OpenSubtitles, without going to the website, it's now directly integrated in the application:

Download subtitles

Video Playlists

As we've done for audio, we support basic video playlists.

Video Playlists

Pop-up

Another often requested feature, was the popup-video view, mostly for tablets.
It's now implemented and we do support Samsung MultiWindow and LG Dual Window extensions to allow 2 applications on the same screen.

Popup Video Window

History

The history feature that was present in the 0.9.x days is also back, but can be disabled.

You can see now all the features in our menu!

Sidebar Menu

Advanced Options

We've improved the options of the video player and we simplified the landscape/portrait modes

Video Advanced options

TV

The Android TV interface has been improved and ​was merged to​ the same package as the normal Android one."

Therefore, if your device form-factor is more suited to the TV look or you just prefer it, you can select it in the preferences.

Here is the audio player on the TV:

Audio Player for Android TV

RTL and CTL

Finally, we've done a lot of work to support Right-To-Left and Complex Text Layout subtitles. As you can see here with Malayalam:

Android CTL

We also improved the interface to support RTL layouts.

Thanks

Thanks a lot for the support, hoping that you will love this release. :)

Download it now!

Video List

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