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12 October 2015

This week in VideoLAN - 21

21st week of VideoLAN reports

For the 21st time, here is the weekly report of what has happened in the VideoLAN community and VLC development, during the past week.

Features and changes

VLC

Last week started again with Felix committing, this time to port the CAOpenGLLayer to OS X.

The iOS AudioUnit output gain support for a correct mute implementation, and was moved to a modern Objective-C syntax.

The core gained stream_CustomNew(), to create custom streams; it also gained demux_New() and those 2 functions will be used for adaptive streaming, that need slave streams and demux.

The bluray module gained support for Blu-Ray ISO, through the new UDF implementation.

The HLS module now supports HLS discontinuities, which has been a pain to support for us, so far.
We've also added support for WebVTT and TTML in DASH.

The libass version was updated to 0.13.0 and this should remove the infamous "rebuilding font cache" on OS X and Windows Vista (and later). Anime fans will be happy :)

A Text-to-Speech subtitle renderer was added for Windows, like we did for OS X. It's useful for people with visual deficiencies, that can't read those subtitles very well. It's based on the SAPI 5.1 API.

Finally, we also got fixes for HLS, DASH, cache prefetching, Blu-Rays, OS/2, Closed Captioning sizes, Chromecast, TTML probing and the About view of the OS X interface.

DVBlast

DVBlast, the VideoLAN DVB server, had a 3.0 release.

This release is an important version, that was partially rewritten to use the libev library for the event loop.

It's also the first release supporting OS X.

The new features include PID and SID remapping and support for Deltacast ASI cards.

Download it now!

multicat

At the same time, multicat got a 2.1 release.

This release:

  • adds support for FreeBSD and OS X
  • supports changing source address with raw sockets
  • adds packets reordering based on sequence numbers instead of timestamps
  • adds capping, syslog logging, binding to specific interfaces,
  • and quite a few other things (see NEWS file in the tarball).

Tarballs are available now on the project page.

Android

The Android port was busy to prepare a 1.6.0 and a 1.6.1 releases.

The most visible change of last week was a big interface speed up, in the video and audio lists and the thumbnailer, done by limiting the number of threads and removing some unneeded thread barriers.
We've also added an application-wide threadpool to help managing those threads.

libVLCjni was fixed to support and run correctly on Android 6.0. There is still work left to do for the new permissions model, but that will follow quite soon.

We've had numerous fixes for small regressions mentioned during the 1.4.x and 1.5.x development cycles, notably in MKV/FLV support, screen dimming, various crashes, and incomplete metadata.

The releases 1.6.0 and 1.6.1 were pushed in Beta and in Stage-Rollout on the market.

iOS

MobileVLCKit, the libVLC binding for iOS got support again for the VLCAudio class, including mute support.

There has been improvements on the snapshots events and methods.

The port to tvOS has also been worked on, notably by separating more cleanly the interface from the logic in the iOS apps, so we can have a different interface for tvOS.

WinRT

The WinRT port got changes in the theme, and some colors should now be in your roaming settings.

One of the major crash in the Thumbnailer (start of the application) was fixed: it was due to a race condition when seeking to get the snapshot.

The Windows Indexer API is now used on the Windows 10 Mobile version, to get better search results.
We have more strings translated, and an update of the French translation.
Finally, the gestures are now correctly disabled in locked mode.

The releases 1.8.0 and 1.8.1 were pushed on the store, with all the fixes and features of this week and the previous week.

x264

This week, quite a few changes happened to x264.

The largest changes were ARMv7 and ARMv8 optimizations, done by Martin and Janne, which total around 30 commits on the 40 commits pushed this week on x264.

Anton changed the predictors update and the the row VBV algorithms.

Finally, x264 also has received fixes for PowerPC on FreeBSD, and for the high bit depth lookahead cost compensation algorithm.

That's quite a lot for this week! See you next!

6 October 2015

This week in VideoLAN - 20

20th week of VideoLAN reports

For the 20th time, here is the weekly report of what has happened in the VideoLAN community and VLC development, during the past week.

I'm surprised to have been keeping at it for already 5 months. It's a bit boring to do, and also a bit lonely, but I believe it is necessary so that everyone knows what's going on.

Features and changes

libVLC

For once, we'll start with libVLC, and the new libVLC backend for EFL/Emotion. You can now use libVLC easily in an EFL or Elementary application!

VLC

Last week started with Felix fixing an open bug on the Lua extensions of VLC on OS X.

Then, we received a new audio output for the Tizen Operating System.
So far, it works quite fine on Tizen 2.3 but has extra features on 2.4. The audio/video synchronization is not yet complete, though.

The iOS OpenGL video output was improved to support OpenGL off the main-thread and multiple OpenGL contexts in a sharegroup (multi-thread OpenGL for the n00bs like me in OpenGL).

The libVLC port for tvOS was also improved, notably to correctly disable ARMv7 assembly, that cannot run on the Apple TV.

There were also changes to speed up subtitles sorting and fixes on TTML, WPL, adaptive streaming, and the videotoolbox module.

libbluray

There was a 0.9.0 libbluray release on Saturday, that mostly added:

  • new API to access files from the VFS, useful for embedded subtitles,
  • largely improved support of the BD-J menus and features,
  • and better support for usage in C++ projects.

It should be integrated in the next major version of VLC.

WinRT

The week was extremely busy on the WinRT side: we've had more than 140 commits in a week!

The commits were mostly to fix more of the 1.7.0 release issue, but also adding features:

  • a new way to log all the information and a feedback system to send us the logs, so we can fix the bugs,
  • prepare the live tiles for the UWP Project,
  • use the operating system accent color, if you want it!
  • right-click menu support for mouse users,
  • zoom features on the video player,
  • add a vlc:// protocol,
  • string cleaning, translations and a French translation!
  • propagate better the light theme,
  • fix biography and database refreshing issues,
  • kill warnings, and use more C# 6 features,
  • prepare transition for Window 10 universal applications.

Let's hope 1.8.0 can be out next week!

Android

Not much on Android, this week, just a couple of bugfixes.

Tizen

Quite a few things happened on the Tizen port, and we have a basic application running well.
More on this in a later post, I believe :)

iOS

iOS received a few fixes for:

  • GDrive support,
  • Spotlight indexing,
  • RTL support,
  • collection view sizes, and transparency issues,
  • and a few other bugs :)

The tvOS port had a few changes, notably on the bitcode integration. More on this, a bit later, when we have something to show.

That's quite a bit for this week! See you next!

28 September 2015

Last weeks in VideoLAN - 19

19th week of VideoLAN reports

Because of the VideoLAN Dev Days that happened last week-end, here is a dual-week report of what has happened in the VideoLAN community and VLC development, during the past 2 weeks. :D

It explains also why there may not be as many commits as we usual have. This report is also shorter because I don't have enough time to detail as much as I'd like.

VDD 2015

The VideoLAN Dev Days 2015 were a huge success, with numerous attendees and quite a few nice conferences.

I'll do a longer post about it, but here is a nice picture during one of our meetings!

Features and changes

VLC

We've finally merge the work from outreachy on the TTML subtitles. Largely reworked by Hugo, this makes it supports most of the styles from the TTML specification.
We still need a bit of work to merge multiple styles.

François worked on the subtitles support for DASH and HLS, because we had quite a few issues with subtitles streaming input; be careful, it is not ready yet. :)
He also worked on lazy-loading of the playlists, mp4 seeking.

David found a work-around for AirPlay output that was stuttering, on OS X.

We've had large refactoring on the OS X interface, to continue the cleaning, that you've seen in the past weeks.

Rémi worked on the avcodec direct-rendering support, to always assume edge-emulation; and on simplifications of the hardware decoding setup in this module.

This work introduced 2 calls in the core: decoder_GetPicture() and picture_pool_Wait(). The first can be used instead of decoder_NewPicture() when the decoder manages correctly the format updates. The latter is a variant of picture_pool_Get() that sleeps until a picture is available.
This could be useful for the future asynchronous decoding feature...

Finally, we've had fixes on the Mac OS X advanced preferences, the iOS vout, the Direct3D11 video output, a 2.2.0 WMV regression, videotooolbox crashes.

iOS

The iOS port has been quite busy, starting by fixes for iOS 9.

We did a release numbered 2.6.5 of VLC for iOS.

The MediaLibraryKit project was updated for iOS 9 and for tvOS.

We've also had fixes for WatchOS, for iOS 9 searches, for the database indexing, and thumbnails.

We've also disabled the search if the folder is hidden behind a passcode, to avoid embarrassing results. :)

WinRT

We did a 1.7.0 release for Windows Phone, Windows RT and Windows 8.1/10.

This is major WinRT release, adding the hardware decoding, changing a lot of the internal, and improving the interface to match Windows 10 look.

We've updated the projects to support both a Universal Windows Project and a Windows 8.1 project.

We've fixed a few bugs from this 1.7.0 release, notably crashes.

Android

After the 1.5.90 release, things have been quiet on the Android front.

We've had translations updates, fixes for crashes, fixes for last playlist resuming, playlist&random states on resume and a few other small bugs.

Finally, yours truly fixed a very important bug, where we exported more than 14000 symbols in libvlcjni.so instead of 200. This will make the binary quite smaller and faster to load.

14 September 2015

This week in VideoLAN - 18

18th week of VideoLAN reports

Here is the weekly report of what has happened in the VideoLAN community and VLC development, during the past week.

Features and changes

VLC

The week started with the addition of a long-asked feature in VLC: hotkeys to increase and decrease the size of the subtitles, without going to preferences or restarting VLC.

We then had several fixes for the Bluray support and mostly BD-J menus, that should now work correctly in VLC.

The skins2 module was fixed for some windows managers like Gnome 3 and Unity that could sometimes keep the taskbar above VLC.

The big mutex that we had for Android decoders and video output was removed by Thomas, after a big fight.

Thomas also modified the core loading of decoders and packetizers: we now always packetize. This is done in preparation of the asynchronous decoding that we'd like to merge inside VLC.

François rewrote some parts of the mp4 demuxer related to seeking to improve fragmented MP4 and adaptive streaming support.

We've also had numerous fixes and improvements for the Direct3D outputs, but also for the OS X code signatures, SFTP input, libVLC playlists, Video Toolbox and subtitles handling.

Oh, and one more thing... we started to prepare VLC for tvOS. :)

Android

This week was mostly a preparation for the next major release.

What we mostly did was fixing bugs, notably in audio playback, in cover art management, chapters display and in the bitmap cache.

We largely modified our Android Thumbnailer to fix regressions and support DVD thumbnails.

We also tweaked a bit the interface for advanced options and started to load asynchronously the images for the video list.

Finally we updated all the translations and pushed a version numbered 1.5.90 on the Play Store, in beta.

iOS

On iOS, we prepared and pushed the 2.6.5 release, fixing a couple of regressions, notably the handling of the vlc:// protocol.

The master was updated to match the latest libVLC 3.0.0 which we will base 2.7.0 on.

We also fixed a few bugs for this next version.

Finally, some code to build VLCKit for the new tvOS was merged.
It's very early though, but we have video playback! :)

tvOS simulator screenshot

WinRT

Last week was a calm week, mostly on the UI side, for WinRT.

We've spent our week fixing regressions and issue in the thumbnailer, in the video output and fixing crashes.

No new feature, for once :)

That's all for this week! See you next! Have fun!

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