Tag Archives: vlc

VideoLAN releases VLC 3.0.7

largeVLCThe new 3.0.7 release for the VideoLAN multimedia player VLC was tagged in git almost two weeks ago but it took until today to find official tarballs on their web site. By the looks of the git log I can only assume that the VideoLAN developers needed to fix some annoying post-release bugs first.
The ChangeLog documents that the focus of the developers is mostly on the Android, MacOS and Windows platforms, presumably because that is where most of the issues are found? Also – through sponsoring by the European Commission’s EU-FOSSA2 program – more than 35 security bugs were fixed.
So I built new ‘vlc‘ packages for Slackware 14.2 and -current yesterday and uploaded them to my repository. Between the previous 3.0.6 and this 3.0.7 release I u
pdated some of the packages’ internal libraries: bluray, dav1d, dvdnav, ebml, matroska. If you want to know what you can expect from the VLC 3.x releases (as opposed to the 2.x releases which took way too many years to get obsoleted) you can read this older article on my blog.

A note about dependencies for the new package:

My Slackware packages for VLC are mostly self-contained with all of the supporting libraries compiled into the package. This makes for a minimal dependency on external libraries/packages. But there are some caveats with the new release: most importantly, its interface has switched from Qt4 to Qt5.
While Slackware contains a ‘qt4’ package, it does not contain ‘qt5’ and therefore, the vlc-3.x package introduces some new external dependencies, all related to the Qt5 GUI: SDL_sound, OpenAL, libxkbcommon, qt5. Hopefully Qt5 will get added to Slackware-current sometime in the future.
On Slackware 14.2, two more packages are needed – they have already been incorporated into Slackware-current: libinput and libwacom .

A note on compiling:

When you want to compile VLC 3 yourself, be sure to install java8 and apache-ant or your build will fail.
If you are running Slackware 14.2 you will additionally need the following four packages (required to compile the ‘dav1d‘ decoder): meson, ninja, python3, python3-setuptools .

Where to find the new VLC packages:

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

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

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

New VLC and Flash

Time for an update of Adobe’s Flash Player plugins folks! I uploaded Slackware packages for the version 32.0.0.114 of the flashplayer-plugin (NPAPI plugin for Mozilla based browsers) and the chromium-pepperflash-plugin (PPAPI plugin for Chromium based browsers) to my repository. This release does not address security issues and instead resolves feature and performance bugs.

The VideoLAN media player, VLC, saw a new release a few days ago. I skipped 3.0.5 which is a lucky streak I guess according to the release notes for 3.0.6: “… fixes an important regression that appeared on 3.0.5 for DVD subtitles“.

Noteworthy to tell is that I added the ‘dav1d‘ decoder for AV1 video to this VLC package.
AV1 is a new video codec by the Alliance for Open Media, composed of most of the important Web companies (Google, Facebook, Netflix, Amazon, Microsoft, Mozilla…). AV1 has the potential to be up to 20% better than the HEVC codec, but the patents license is totally free. VLC supports AV1 since version 3.0.0 but I never added the ‘aom‘ decoder/encoder to my vlc package, since ‘aom’ is the reference implementation of the video format and it does not really perform.
The VideoLAN and FFmpeg communities are collaborating on ‘dav1d’ to make this a reference optimized decoder for AV1. Now that ‘dav1d’ has an official release I thought it would be cool to have in the VLC package. Mozilla and Google browsers already have the support for AV1 video playback built-in, so… overdue here.

Remember that this VLC package depends on Qt5 – you’ll need libxkbcommon, qt5 and qt5-webkit packages, and on Slackware 14.2 additionally libinput and libwacom (those two are already part of -current).

Have fun! Eric

Finally: VLC 3

largeVLCIt took the VideoLAN developers several years of development to leave the ageing v2 releases of their VLC player behind and release a shiny new version ‘3’. This is also the first version which unifies the releases for all platforms the player can run on.
Lots of changes went under the hood and I encourage you to read the release notes. The new release contains working ChromeCast support using a software stack the developers wrote from scratch, where the video’s you cast are transcoded on the fly if necessary. The UPnP support which was broken for many years, has been re-written and finally works again, so that you can watch the movies you make available on your LAN using for instance Plex or Universal Media Server.

When I compile the VLC package I try to follow the VideoLAN guidelines for its supporting libraries, so that the user experience and functionality matches that of the official binaries as closely as possible. That resulted in several changes to the libraries used by VLC:

  • Updated internal libraries: libass, libdvdcss, libdvdnav, libdvdread, libbluray, ffmpeg, live555, libssh2, x262, x264.
  • New internal libraries: microdns, sdm, srt.
  • Removed libraries (no longer used internally): aacenc, daap, faad, faac, vcdimager.

A note about dependencies for the new package:
My Slackware packages for VLC are mostly self-contained with all of the supporting libraries compiled into the package. This makes for a minimal dependency on external libraries/packages. But there are some caveats with the new release: most importantly, its interface has switched from Qt4 to Qt5. While Slackware contains a ‘qt4’ package, it does not contain ‘qt5’ and therefore, the vlc-3.0.0 package introduces three new dependencies, all related to the Qt5 GUI: libxkbcommon, qt5 and qt5-webkit. On Slackware 14.2, two more packages are needed which are already incorporated into slackware-current: libinput and libwacom (the latter one only for 64bit).

A warning to users who built a ‘qt5’ package themselves, using the SlackBuild script at slackbuilds.org:
Un-install that ‘qt5’ package please and install mine. The ‘qt5’ package built with the SBo script will make VLC crash with a segmentation fault.

A note on compiling:
When you want to compile VLC 3 yourself, be sure to install java8 and apache-ant or your build will fail.

Where to find the new VLC packages:

Rsync access is offered by the mirror server: rsync://slackware.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 14.2 & -current. I stopped creating packages for Slackware 14.1 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 AAC audio can be found in my alternative repository where I keep the packages containing code that might violate stupid US software patents.

VLC 2.2.8

largeVLCLast week, Robby Workman alerted me to a new release of the VLC media player by the VideoLAN team. I must confess that I had stopped following the development of my (yes, still) favorite media player. Looking a bit more closely, not only have they released version 2.2.8 without informing the world on their homepage (where they are still offering downloads for the now deprecated 2.2.6) but there’s now also a git repository called “vlc-3.0-git” and even a “vlc-4.0-dev” which seems to have been split off the 3.0 branch. I assume this is an indication – finally – that there is life beyond vlc-2.2.x and a 3.0 release is actually a possibility.

I built the 2.2.8 packages for VLC (Slackware 14.2 and -current) and uploaded those earlier today. Finishing these packages was a process that took longer than I had anticipated. The reason for that is that I wanted to apply some serious refreshing of the supporting libraries which I link statically into the package.
I usually follow the decisions of the VideoLAN team quite closely when it comes to the versions of supporting libraries to be used. For that reason, my vlc-2.x packages have historically been using a ffmpeg-2.x snapshot. But now I have finally updated the internal ffmpeg codebase from 2.x to 3.x, switching to the git snapshot which is being used in the (future) vlc-3.x. Since the vlc-2.x code does not support the use of ffmpeg-3.x I had to find and adapt the patches to make that possible.
There are several other libraries that did not make it into the new vlc packages: orc/schroedinger (no longer developed), libggi (obsoleted, unsupported), aacenc, faad2/faac (not used anymore by vlc nor ffmpeg).
And finally, it took me many days to try and link the libva and libvdpau libraries statically into the package. I failed, because even though the VLC player would work, several of the VLC plugin libraries had unresolved symbols related to libva and libvdpau. I could not guarantee that hardware acceleration would work. Therefore I reverted to a dynamic, runtime linking of the system libva and libvdpau libraries (both are present on Slackware >= 14.2). Problem solved.

Where to find the new VLC packages:

Rsync access is offered by the mirror server: rsync://slackware.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 14.2 & -current. I stopped creating packages for Slackware 14.1 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 AAC audio can be found in my alternative repository where I keep the packages containing code that might violate stupid US software patents.

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