Last 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:
- http://slackware.com/~alien/slackbuilds/vlc/ (only containing the versions that do not violate US patents).
This repository is mirrored at https://slackware.nl/people/alien/slackbuilds/vlc/ .
If you want to play encrypted DVD’s please install the libdvdccss package separately.
(alternative repository containing packages capable of AAC encoding and encrypted DVD playback).
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.