from the vetinari dept.
VideoLAN has released version 3.0.0 of the VLC media player for Windows, Linux, BSD, Android, and macOS. The new version is billed as enabling hardware decoded playback of 4K, 8K, and 360-degree video (in a demonstration video, VLC 3.0.0 is shown playing 8K 48fps 360-degree video on a Samsung Galaxy S8).
3.0.0 adds support for (not exhaustive):
- Network browsing of distant filesystems (using SMB, FTP, SFTP, NFS...)
- External audio tracks (ac3, m4a, aac, dts...)
- 12-bit color and (10-bit) high dynamic range
- Chromecast (an open source implementation of the proprietary Google Cast protocol)
- 360-degree video/audio
- Ambisonic audio and more than 8 audio channels
- Audio passthrough
- Blu-Ray Java menus
- H.265/HEVC hardware decoding on Windows, Android, OS X, iOS
- AOMedia Video 1 (AV1) video, and Daala (elements of Daala have been incorporated into AV1). VideoLAN is a member of the Alliance for Open Media, which develops the AV1 format.
Linux/BSD default video output is now OpenGL, instead of Xvideo.
The 3.0.x branch of VLC will be maintained as long-term support versions and will be the last releases on Windows XP (with significant limitations), Vista, macOS 10.7, 10.8 & 10.9, iOS 7 & 8, Android 2.x, 3.x, 4.0.x & 4.1.x, and the last to run on compilers before gcc 5.0 and clang 3.4, or equivalent.
From VLC Android developer Geoffrey Métais's blog post about the release, which discusses why Chromecast support took so long to add, as well as other missing features that have now been added to the Android version:
Chromecast support is everywhere and VLC took years to get it, right, but there are plenty of good reasons for it:
First of all, VideoLAN is a nonprofit organization and not a company. There are few developers paid for making VLC, most of them do it in their free time. That's how you get VLC for free and without any ads!
Also, VLC is 100% Open Source and Chromecast SDK isn't: We had to develop our very own Chromecast stack by ourselves. This is also why there is no voice actions for VLC (except with Android Auto), [and] we cannot use Google Play Services.
Furthermore, Chromecast is not designed to play local video files: When you watch a Youtube video, your phone is just a remote controller, nothing more. Chromecast streams the video from youtube.com. That's where it becomes complicated, Chromecast only supports very few codecs number, let's say h264. Google ensures that your video is encoded in h264 format on youtube.com, so streaming is simple. With VLC, you have media of any format. So VLC has to be a http server like youtube.com, and provide the video in a Chromecast compatible format. And of course in real time, which is challenging on Android because phones are less powerful than computers.
At last, VLC was not designed to display a video on another screen. It took time to properly redesign VLC to nicely support it. The good news is we did not make a Chromecast specific support, it is generic renderers: in the next months we can add UPnP support for example, to cast on any UPnP box or TV!
Related: Stable Release of VLC 1.0 for Android
VLC 2.0 for Android Released
EU Offers Cash Bounties to Improve the Security of VLC Media Player
Google Won't Take Down Pirate VLC With 5M Downloads (Update: They Have Taken it Down)
Tom's Hardware reports
[VideoLAN Client] tends to have better codec and format support than most players out there, offering MKV, MP4, AVI, Ogg, MOV, FLAC, TS, M2TS, and AAC. It's also open source and free.
[February 5], we got the news that VLC 1.0 has finally been released as stable, losing the beta tag. VLC will continue to keep a beta branch for the braver users who want to get all the latest updates first and help the group behind the open source organization, VideoLAN, to discover and fix the bugs in the new versions.
[...]From the changelog in the Play Store is the following statement:
"This release fixes ARMv8 processors, Android 5.0 crashes, and minor improvements. The 0.9.x series is major release with hardware decoding and a new interface available in dark or white colors. It integrates DVD iso and menu support, an equalizer, playlist management, Widi [sic] screens support, and updated SD cards detection. Hardware acceleration is now enabled by default on 4.3+ and has better subtitles support. Software decoding has been accelerated too."
VLC 1.0 for Android can be downloaded from the Play Store now.
 A blank page now. Google Search is no help.
Martin Brinkmann reports from gHacks:
VLC 2.0 is available for all Android versions 2.2 and newer, and [is] already available on Google Play and various third-party stores.
Major new features
- Video Playlists
- Download subtitles
- Network Browsing
- Pop-out window
- Other features of note
- Supports favorite folders and URLS
- The history, notifications, and control have been rewritten
- Faster decoding and playback for all video types
The EU is offering cash bounties to improve the security of the VLC media player. The VLC bounties are a proof-of-concept test to learn how to run future bounties via Free and Open Source Software Audit 2 (FOSSA-2). In this trial run, bounties which range from $100 for low-severity bugs and up to $2,000 for critical bugs are offered via HackerOne.
According to Wikipedia: "VLC media player (commonly known as VLC) is a free and open-source, portable and cross-platform media player and streaming media server developed by the VideoLAN project. VLC is available for desktop operating systems and mobile platforms, such as Windows 10 Mobile, Windows Phone, Android, Tizen, iOS."
Much more information, as well as downloads, are available on the VLC homepage.
VideoLAN, the team behind the VLC media player, recently revealed that they turned down several tens of millions of euros to bundle their software with advertising. The same cannot be said of third-party developers cloning VLC for profit, however. An ad-supported clone discovered on Google Play has a staggering five to ten million downloads and breaches VLC's GPL license, yet Google refuses to take it down.
[...] Aside from its incredible functionality, VLC (operated by the VideoLAN non-profit) has won the hearts of Internet users for other key reasons, not least its commitment to being free and open source software. While it's true to say that VLC doesn't cost a penny, the term 'free' actually relates to the General Public License (GPL) under which it's distributed.
[...] Since VLC is extremely popular and just about as 'free' as software can get, people get extremely defensive when they perceive that a third-party is benefiting from the software without adhering to the terms of the generous GPL license. That was the case beginning a few hours ago when veteran Reddit user MartinVanBallin pointed out a piece of software on the Google Play Store.
"They took VLC, put in ads, didn't attribute VLC or follow the open source license, and they're using Media Player Classics icon," MartinVanBallin wrote.
Update: The app is no longer on Google Play.
YouTube has uploaded about a dozen videos that were transcoded using the AV1 codec, which was introduced earlier this year. The test sequences are expected to give Google as well as developers of browsers, decoders, and encoders an understanding how to better use the new royalty-free codec. Netflix is also testing AV1 codec and offers everyone a video in different resolutions and featuring various color depth.
To date, YouTube has added 14 videos transcoded using the AV1 codec to a special playlist. The list includes various types of content, including a talking-head program, musical clips, action videos, and demo footages from RED and Blackmagic Design. YouTube says that this type of content represents a large share of videos hosted by the service, so it makes a lot of sense for the company to learn how they behave on various devices in terms of performance, power consumption, and overall stability.
At present, AV1 support is available only in those Chrome 70 and Firefox Nightly builds released after September 12th. Meanwhile, the test videos use AV1 for resolutions that are lower than 480p, underscoring the fact that they are meant to test decoders that, for the moment, are going to be anything but optimized. This is on top of the fact that at the moment there are no hardware decoders that support AV1, so everything is being handled in software by the CPU to begin with. Eventually the codec will be used for content in 4K+ ultra-high-def resolutions, along with HDR and wide color gamuts.
Also at 9to5Google:
Users on Chrome 70 and Firefox Nightly builds after September 13th can test it by making sure media.av1.enabled and media.mediasource.experimental.enabled prefs are set.
Once running a supported browser, users can head to YouTube's TestTube experiments list and select "'Prefer AV1 for SD."