Tag Archives: videolan

VLC 2.2.1 “Terry Pratchett”

largeVLCThe first incremental update for the VLC 2.2 series is available now. The version 2.2.1. fixes a lot of bugs; numerous crashes (FLAC, SPC), codec issues (VP9, Atrac3, AAC), regressions and several issues (Resume, MP4 chapters, MKV over network). And it addresses some security issues too which makes this a recommended updgrade.

The source release was several days ago but the VideoLAN team has waited with the official announcement in order to double-check that this release does not contain unwelcome surprises.

In memory of Terry Pratchett, the famous writer of fantasy books who passed away recently, this release has been dedicated to him. VLC 2.2.1 has been nicknamed “Terry Pratchett (Weatherwax)“.

Where to find my latest VLC packages:

Rsync access is offered by the mirror server: rsync://taper.alienbase.nl/mirrors/people/alien/restricted_slackbuilds/vlc/ .

For BluRay support, read a previous article for hints about the aacs keys that you’ll need.

Note  I compiled the packages on Slackware 14.1 which is the cause of one bug in the package if you use it on Slackware-current: the ProjectM visualisation plugin does not work because of a libGLEW library version error. I have not yet been able to find a fix for it, but the impact is fairly minor so I let it pass.

My usual warning about patents: versions that can not only DEcode but also ENcode mp3 and aac audio can be found in my alternative repository where I keep the packages containing code that might violate stupid US software patents.

Have fun! Eric

Coordinated release of VLC 2.2.0

largeVLCSeven months after the VideoLAN team released version 2.1.5 of their VLC player, we are treated to two new releases. There is a version 2.1.6 bugfix release, but that is not really getting attention. Everybody’s eyes are focused on the brand new 2.2.0 release. For the first time in the history of the VideoLAN Client, nowadays better known as the VLC player, there are simultaneous releases for most Operating Systems, including Android, iOS, Windows RT and Windows Phone. Of course there’s a release for Linux too (ok… and Windows) so I built you all some packages for Slackware (compatible with 14.1 and -current).

The 2.2.0 release has been (very) long in the making. With nothing really exciting going on for many months – at least not publicly – I spent my time on other things and left the VideoLAN developers to do what they do best: release good software when it’s ready. A commendable philosophy, obviously they have eyes on Slackware as the shining example of releasing when ready, not before 🙂

A month ago, I took some time to check out the ongoing development because the number of show-stopping bugs had almost gone down to zero. I refreshed many internal support libraries, polished the vlc.SlackBuild and tested a git version of the player. Looked good! Most of the open bugs and remaining things to be done were not relevant to Linux anyway. Therefore it took no time at all to build packages for the official 2.2.0 release once that was announced yesterday afternoon.

I had a busy saturday, so the blog post took a while, but those of you who check the repository’s RSS feeds or are using slackpkg+ will already have seen the new packages yesterday.

What’s new in 2.2.0 apart from cross-platform support? There’s enhancements all over the spectrum: video decoding, encoding, supported formats etc. Here are some of the highlights taken from the official release notes that are relevant to the Linux player:

  • GPU 0-copy decoding-rendering for Linux using VDPAU
  • Improved support for UltraHD codecs, H.265 and VP9
  • Resume playback where you left off
  • Subtitles download from the web, using OpenSubtitles
  • Support for BD-Java menus and overlay in Blu-Ray
  • Acceleration of VP9 and H.265/HEVC decoders
  • Support for encoding in H.265, Opus and VP9
  • Rewritten support for WMV, Ogg, MP4 and AVI, notably for seeking

But under the hood there’s a lot more going on than these buzzwords can do justice. The team have indeed delivered a tremendous job. considering that this is an all-volunteer project.

Where to find the new VLC packages:

Rsync access is offered by the mirror server: rsync://taper.alienbase.nl/mirrors/people/alien/restricted_slackbuilds/vlc/ .

For BluRay support, read a previous article for hints about the aacs keys that you’ll need.

Note that I only built packages for Slackware 14.1 & -current. I stopped creating packages for Slackware 14.0 and earlier because of the effort it takes to build 4 packages for every Slackware release. One remark: I compiled the packages on Slackware 14.1 which is the cause of one bug in the package if you use it on Slackware-current: the ProjectM visualisation plugin does not work because of a libGLEW library version error. I have not yet been able to find a fix for it, but the impact is fairly minor so I let it pass.

My usual warning about patents: versions that can not only DEcode but also ENcode mp3 and aac audio can be found in my alternative repository where I keep the packages containing code that might violate stupid US software patents.

Have fun! Eric

VLC, the VideoLAN player, in version 2.1.5

largeVLCThe VideoLAN team released version 2.1.5 of their VLC player a while ago. The development of this versatile multimedia player has slowed down quite a bit as the team seems to have more focus on improving the OSX and Android versions (the previous release for Linux was almost half a year ago) so I was not really in a hurry to provide new packages.

The new 2.1.5 version is another maintenance release, mostly “fixes a few decoding bugs, on MP3, MKV” and the remaining changes are not relevant for our Linux based player.

Where to find the new VLC packages:

Rsync access is offered by the mirror server: rsync://taper.alienbase.nl/mirrors/people/alien/restricted_slackbuilds/vlc/ .

For BluRay support, read a previous article for hints about the aacs keys that you’ll need.

Note that I only built packages for Slackware 14.1 & -current. I stopped creating packages for Slackware 14.0 and earlier because of the effort it takes to build 4 packages for every Slackware release.

My usual warning about patents: versions that can not only DEcode but also ENcode mp3 and aac audio can be found in my alternative repository where I keep the packages containing code that might violate stupid US software patents.

 

So I finally packaged VLC 2.1. And what about LibreOffice?

VLC

Finally, the daunting task of compiling 12 packages for VLC has come to completion. I created packages for the latest VLC 2.1 (codenamed ‘rincewind’… who the heck keeps thinking that these half-arsed nicks are useful). Like with the release candidate which I packaged last month, the internally used libraries are up to date again (ffmpeg, fluidsynth, libass, libcdio, libdc1394, libdvbpsi, libebml, libmatroska, libva, opus, orc, schroedinger, vcdimager, vo-amrwbenc, and x264).

Those of you who are running Slackware 13.37, 14.0 and -current will rejoice 🙂 That being said, it is likely that this is the last major VLC update for which I will produce a Slackware 13.37 package – the effort is just becoming too big.

The 2.1 release is the culmination of nearly two years of work by the team, squashing over a thousand bugs (although it is not mentioned anywhere how many of those were caused by actually coding the 2.1 branch). More importantly, the commit history shows that VLC is very much alive, evidenced by the fact that 140 code committers do not belong to the actual VideoLAN team. Good news because my expericnce was that the 1.x and 2.0 development cycles have actually caused a decrease in the quality and robustness of VLC as an allround media player. Let’s see if 2.1 will turn this around. With a new audio core and lots of work on improving the ports to other platform, I really hope that much of the deficits of the video decoders which made me switch back to MPlayer as my video app of choice, have been addressed as well.

Where to find my new VLC packages:

Rsync acccess is offered by the mirror server: rsync://taper.alienbase.nl/mirrors/people/alien/restricted_slackbuilds/vlc/ .

My usual warning about patents: versions that can not only DEcode but also ENcode mp3 and aac audio can be found in my alternative repository where I keep the packages containing code that might violate stupid US software patents.

libreoffce_logoLibreOffice

My latest LibreOffice packages (for Slackware 14) are version 4.0.5. In the meantime, those hard-working LibreOffice developers are almost at version 4.2.1… so what happened to the ‘alien’ builds of LibreOffice 4.1?

Well, during the packaging of 4.0 I noticed that the dictionaries which are now being offered as a source tarball, including many languages, needed another way of building and installing. I have been trying to find time to investigate and come up with proper packages, but I ran into a snag with the SlackBuild script and kept telling to myself that I would look into it right after the next KDE… OpenJDK… Calibre… whatever package would have been created. To be honest…. I am swamped with work during my paid daytime job and I spend more hours per week at work. It takes time to finish the bigger projects (like LibreOffice) in my spare time. Be patient, packages will be released eventually.

Oh yeah…

I helped my son today with the home-made pizza he had promised to create. I did something I realized I had never done before… I created the pizza dough from scratch: flour, yeast, water, olive oil, salt. Kneading the dough, seeing it rise and flattening it out to an oven-plate sized pizza bottom was very rewarding. Eating the pizza was rewarding as well! I have promised myself to finally bake that Focaccia bread which I have been wanting to try forever.

And finally:

Anyone with a Google Nexus tablet out there and experience with unlocking it, putting some brand of real Linux on it? I am going to pick up my own ARM port after Slackware 14.1 is released and besides my personal targets (getting it to boot on my TrimSlice and my ChromeBook) I was wondering how open the Google Nexus tablets really are with regard to having linux device drivers available. I am dead-curious about seeing how well Slackware behaves on a touch device… and both the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 look like they are awesome devices.

Be good! Eric

 

 

VLC 2.1 Rincewind about to enter the arena

For quite a long time now, I have been compiling VLC packages in the 2.0 series (nicknamed “Twoflower”). My standard way of working is to prepare tarballs with pre-compiled code for the internally used libraries (the “contribs” in VideoLAN terms – stuff like ffmpeg, matroska, dvdcss etcetera) and then leave those precompiled tarballs relatively unchanged while I update the VLC version between builds. That way I can kind of guarantee that the internal encoding and decoding capabilities do not break all of a sudden –  new bugs are usually easily tracked down to VLC bugs.

Also, compiling a new VLC package does not take long that way – I just “import” the contribs and link against the binary code. Remember, I have to create 4 VLC packages for every Slackware release: 32-bit and 64-bit packages, and for both architectures I create an “unrestricted” (in terms of distribution) version as well as a one containing the MP3 and AAC encoders, and the DeCSS library, all plagued by software patents.

Someone asked me via email if I could upgrade some of the internal libraries, and that was something I was not really looking forward to – updating the internals of the VLC package often results in compilation errors and hunting for patches to get everything to work nicely together again. But for a while, I had been eyeing the progress in the 2.1 branch of the VideoLAN git repository. The next release of VLC is nearing completion and a “2.1.0-pre3” tag has already been applied to the repository, indicating that the developers are getting serious about finalizing “VLC media player 2.1.0 Rincewind“.

So I set to the task of collecting new source tarballs and updating the vlc.SlackBuild script. Actually, the update went rather well. I used the newest versions of libraries like ffmpeg, fluidsynth, libass, libcdio, libdc1394, libdvbpsi, libebml, libmatroska, libva, opus, orc, schroedinger, vcdimager, vo-amrwbenc, and x264. My first attempt yesterday, uncovered a regression in saving the VLC advanced preferences (VLC would crash) but after some interaction with the developers in their IRC channel, the cause was found and a fix was quickly applied (thanks Edward Wang).

I now present you with the 20130819git snapshot build of the vlc-2.1 branch. In fact, the player reports a RC1 in its version information:

VLC media player 2.1.0-rc1 Rincewind (revision 7cbb328)

I was most pleased to see that the VAAPI (GPU hardware-assisted) video decoding of AVI files no longer crashes VLC (possibly caused by my update of the internal libva library to the latest release). Also, the preferences window finally is fully resizable. Oh, and the ProjectM visualization works again – that plugin was broken if you had a VLC installed on -current which had been compiled on Slackware 14.

Note that I built these packages only for slackware-current! If you want to try out VLC 2.1 on Slackware 14 you can use my sources and build script to create your own package. Depending on the time it takes for Slackware 14.1 to emerge versus the release of VLC 2.1.0, I may still decide to create packages for Slackware 14. However, this git snapshot is mainly used to test the code and get bugs resolved before the 2.1.0 release is finalized. Hence my choice for slackware-current which is what all you tinkerers should have running anyway 😉

Where to find my new VLC packages:

Rsync acccess is offered by the mirror server: rsync://taper.alienbase.nl/mirrors/people/alien/restricted_slackbuilds/vlc/ .

My usual warning about patents: versions that can not only DEcode but also ENcode mp3 and aac audio can be found in my alternative repository where I keep the packages containing code that might violate stupid US software patents.

Have fun! Eric

And a “thank you” goes to…

… all of you who voted for my blog on FOSS Force. Actually, you Slackers pushed my blog all the way to top position in the second round. There is a third and final round which started today with a remaining 10 blog sites – can I ask you to please vote for me again? Much obliged!