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9 May 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!

24 April 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!

19 April 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!

12 April 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!

21 December 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!

14 December 2015

Last weeks in VideoLAN - 29

29th VideoLAN report

This report is a bit special, since the previous week-end was the VideoLAN meeting in Barcelona, so I did not do a post last week.

So, I'll cover in this post, the work of the last 2 weeks on VideoLAN and VLC development.

VideoLAN meeting

The VideoLAN team met for our 4th quarter meeting, in Barcelona, Spain, in the offices of Skyscanner. VideoLAN @Skyscanner

We were around 20 for 2 days, and worked on quite a few things around VLC. VideoLAN working in Barcelona!

During the week-end, we worked on:

  • the next update of the videolan.org website, to update its contents and to make it responsive,
  • finishing the next release 2.2.2 of VLC,
  • fixing important 3.0 blockers, notably in the Qt and OS X interfaces and in the core decoder,
  • most of the 3.0 blockers, to discuss and find the correct way to fix them,
  • new features like HEVC packetizing or HTTP/2 support (see below),
  • finishing our Apple TV/tvOS port,
  • finished the port to Android 6.0, aka Marshmallow,
  • adding important features for our Android port,
  • reworking our Code of Conduct,
  • preparing our move to Gitlab,
  • fixing important VLC bugs in demuxers and decoders,
  • internal policy and decisions for the VideoLAN non-profit,
  • and other stuffs I forgot about. :)

So, all in all, a quite busy week-end :)

Features and changes

So let's discuss a bit more in details, what got merged, in the last weeks.

VLC

Core

The fight against the deadlocks in the input and video output core went on during the last 2 weeks. To solve this, the core got 2 new functions named picture_pool_Cancel() and vout_Cancel() for the video output and the function vlc_fifo_TimedWaitCond() which allowed to introduce an interruptible mwait in the decoder core.
We should now be close to the end of these issues.

Related to this, all the decoders and packetizers now have a pf_flush function that they can implement. This flush was notably re-implemented in the libavcodec module.

VLC now has support asynchronous decoding, in the core: the methods decoder_QueueVideo, decoder_QueueAudio, decoder_QueueSub were introduced for that, and the preroll was fixed and simplified accordingly.

Finally, we have now timespec_get() (to fix issues on Win64 snapshot numbering) and timegm() replacements in our compat/ library.

Access

On the bluray side, the menus are now activated by default, we've improved the speed of transitions, and the overlay, and we also fixed numerous issues on titles detection, chapters count, end-of-file behavior and static menus.

We fixed the listing of numerous UPnP shares, including the Plex ones and UPnP module was made interruptible.

We fixed the support for AVC Intra files without SPS/PPS, and we added support for HEVC NAL parsing, at the same time.
This led to a big refactoring of the H264 and HEVC packetizers and parsers. This will allow us to record in HEVC codec.

HTTP/2 stack

Finally, a large piece of code was added to VLC last week: a new HTTP/2 stack.

It's around 5000 LoC and it supports HTTP 2.0 protocol, and supports seeking by reusing the TCP connection and the TLS session.

The code is currently only used for HTTP/2, because it is still missing some features compared to the HTTP 1.1 module (proxies, cookies, auth...)

OS X

On OS X, we've had an important rework of the simple preferences interface.

We've also reworked and fixed the starting of the interface from command-line.

Qt

In the Qt interface, we've fixed the layouts for the Right-To-Left (RTL) languages.

We've also fixed an important 3.0 regression in the input seekbar and a singleton thread-safety blocker for 2.2.2!

Miscellaneous

  • We've fixed an SMB module performance issue,
  • We've improved tizen and iOS video output.
  • We've fixed a FLAC CRC issue, that rendered some FLAC inaudible
  • For the adaptive streaming module, we fixed the computation of the length, in some unusual Content-Length cases,
  • Finally, we've fixed a regression on MKV ordered chapters issue and improved our WebVTT support.

Android

Android development got quite busy in the last 2 weeks: we've released VLC 1.7.0, 1.7.1 and 1.7.2.

We've fixed the video playlists feature introduced the previous week, we've improved the Android TV audio player, and fixed numerous reported issues.

Then, we've pushed the last fix for Android 6.0 Marshmallow support to VLC's core. It was mostly related to PIC issues (Position Independent Code) in 3rd party libraries. We will now be able to target Sdk 23!

Finally, we've merged the asynchronous decoding, which should improve, once again, the performance of VLC on Android. VLC should be now the fastest player in town.

iOS

Most of the work on iOS was done for the tvOS port, and to fight against Kafkaesque issues in the iOS Store.

We're still waiting.

WinRT

The WinRT port got quite busy too. Large refactoring to the applications were made to clean and simplify the old code and increase the speed of the application.

The look was refreshed too.

Finally, the port to UWP projects was merged. It should allow us to compile the application as a UWP application, without dropping support for 8.1.

That's quite a lot for those weeks, see you next time!

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