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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!

28 July 2016

Last weeks in VideoLAN - 50

50th VideoLAN report

So, after a few crazy weeks, I was taken a bit by RealLifeĀ©Ā®, 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!

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!

20 June 2016

This week in VideoLAN - 48

48th VideoLAN report

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

Features

VLC

Like our previous week, most of the work was focused on stabilizing features and bug fixing. Therefore, the changelog will be quite short too. :D

A new type of module was introduced, named demux filter; they are used to filter or intercept demuxer controls commands and demuxing.
The first use case of this type of module is the ChromeCast demux filter, to show the correct playback time when using the ChromeCast, that we merged this week too.

Some work was done to support the next version of macOS: Sierra. This notably concerns the input capture plugin.
Also, on MacOS X, the interface for renderers was merged.

The 2 SPDIF modules, ac3 and dts have been merged into a single one.

In the core, we've seen fixes for UTF-8 support, media discoverers API, libVLC parsing calls memleaks, tests, buildsystem and Windows threads.

Android

On Android, we've done the same kind of bugfixing as last week, and we have released 2.0.0 RC4 and pushed it on the store.

Not many issues are remaining for the release, now.

WinRT/UWP

On WinRT, we are also in the bugfixing phase, with a lot of commits to make sure the application does not crash too much.

Indeed, we're closing to an open beta release, but the number of crashes was still too high, especially when using the application for a long time.

We also fixed the background audio support on Windows 10 Mobile phones; and reworked the thumbnailer.

The application should be opened in beta to everyone soon.

iOS

The iOS application got a few fixes, notably for remote playlists and XDCAM support and we're pushing an update named 2.7.8 this week.

That's it for this week, stay tuned!

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