upnpx 1.3.0

When I started to work on VLC for iOS last summer, it quickly became apparent that it would need to support playback from local media servers announced over the UPnP protocol. I came across a Objective-C++ library named upnpx which suited my use case nicely and which included broad support for all the various UPnP dialects.

Regrettably, upnpx was not maintained anymore since a few months, so I started a private fork within VLC for iOS and eventually moved on to github. Nowadays, my fork is officially endorsed by the original developer Bruno Keymolen.

This week, I did a first release of upnpx since the fork. Version 1.3.0 includes full support for iOS 8 and the 64bit runtime as well as fixes to a lot of logical runtime bugs and crashes. Additionally, it adds new APIs for MediaServer1ItemObject, BasicUPnPDevice, as well as server notifications.

I’m particularly happy about the fact that 8 people contributed to this fork and several hundred people are deploying it in their apps.

So, please get the tarball or add it through CocoaPods, deploy it in your app and report any issues or feature requests you might have!  Let’s see where this goes!

VLC media player for Mac OS X, versions 2.1.4 and 2.0.10

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Today, we released 2 versions of VLC media player for Mac OS X targeting different client systems.

Version 2.1.4

This is a small bug fix release, which improves an important regression regarding DVD playback and improves compatibility with HUffYUV contents by upgrading the respective decoder library. Additionally, a rare issue with some specifically crafted wmv files was fixed and a misleading error message no longer appears during video playback on OS X Mavericks.
Grab a copy here or trigger the internal updater if it doesn’t prompt you right away.

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Version 2.0.10

More than 3 months after the last update to VLC’s 2.0 release series, this minor update includes security updates for third party libraries, stability improvements and increased battery life when using a Mac with more than one graphics card.
While we generally recommend anyone using a Mac with OS X 10.6 or later on a 64bit-capable device to deploy version 2.1.4 linked above, VLC 2.0.10 is a great thing to enjoy your media if you decided to stay on OS X 10.5 or if you are using a PowerPC or 32bit Intel-based Mac.
Fetch the PowerPC binary here or grab the Intel variant there. The update is also appearing in VLC’s internal updater.

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VLC for iOS, version 2.2.1

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Today, we released a small update of VLC for iOS. It solves the most important regressions in last week’s 2.2 major release, but also includes a major improvement: full initial support of 64bit aka AArch64 aka arm64 on late 2013’s iPhone and iPad thanks to a close collaboration with the libav team.

Additionally, we added enhanced support for a broader set of UPnP servers, notably Twonky 7, Serviio 1.4 and XMBC 12, and resolved an inconvenient memory management issue in the underlying upnp library, which lead to the weird behavior that from a full folder only a single file would actually be played over and over again.

Regarding VLC for iOS’ networking capabilities, the option to manipulate the caching level was implemented in the same way as known from its desktop counterparts. Furthermore, ftp streams respect non-ASCII file encodings and URLs with spaces correctly now. Streaming from Dropbox is more reliable, too.

Finally, we increased the readability of metadata displayed on iPad (iOS 7), solved stability regressions on iOS 6 and implemented a more intelligent thumbnailing mechanism.

Oh, and your TV show episodes disappeared with the last update? That’s solved, too. Sorry for the confusion and the trouble this database edge-case caused.

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VLC for iOS, version 2.2

Today, we published version 2.2 of VLC for iOS on the App Store. It features a re-designed interface for iOS 7, which we demonstrated in early November last year.

IPhone 5C player 1

Since then, we took the time for further improvements, polishing and most importantly adding features in addition a plain restyling.

Notably, we added the following:

  • Google Drive integration and Dropbox streaming,
  • New multitouch gestures,
  • Improved library for TV Shows and Audio,
  • Better UPnP integration, with downloading support,
  • A startup tutorial,
  • New streaming formats and protocols supported,
  • Rewritten WiFi upload,
  • Improved privacy when using Passcode Lock

Ipad air white landscape

Additionally, we performed a lot of tweaks and minor improvements on the interface, which are also reflected in the legacy iOS 6 UI (yes, we still fully support it!):

  • Improved feedback for media download progress including data bitrate, procentual progress and estimated remaining download time
  • Opening network streams no longer leads to a collapsed file system hierarchy on the remote system. After playback, you can continue where you left off.
  • Added bookmarks for FTP servers
  • Previously removed episodes and tracks no longer show up in the respective group listings (#9705)
  • Improved privacy by requesting the passcode immediately after leaving the app and by obfuscating playback metadata if passcode lock is enabled
  • Added support to endlessly repeat the currently playing item (#9793)
  • Added option to disable file name display optimizations (#10050)
  • TV Shows are sorted by Season number / Episode number and Music Albums respectively by track number
  • Added ability to rename any media item in the library view
  • Added deletion of multiple media items in one step
  • Improved TV Show handling for shows with more than 100 episodes
  • If your media was recognized as part of a music album, the next track will automatically start playing afterwards
  • New translations to Czech, Malay, Persian, Spanish (Mexico)

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Furthermore, we worked on details of all kinds of network interaction supported by VLC for iOS:

  • Improved UPnP stability and new support for downloading files from supported servers
  • Added cover-art and duration to UPnP server item lists
  • Fixed displayed size for files stored on UPnP multimedia servers larger than 2147.48 MB (#9641)
  • Dramatically improved WiFi upload reliability during concurrent or repeated sessions
  • Added support for HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) (#9174)
  • Added support for https playback
  • Added support for system-wide HTTP proxy settings
  • Added support for m3u streams
  • Improved vlc:// custom protocol handling (#9542)

We hope that you with love this new version as much as we do. You can find detailed usage documentation on the VideoLAN wiki.

VLC for iOS is fully developed by volunteers in their spare time. If you would like to contribute in one way or another, please check VideoLAN.org.

In case you are interested in embedding our underlying technology as a simple framework to your own iOS or OS X app, have a look at the VLCKit wiki page and get in touch.

Iphone5s white player 2

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VLC 2.1

Today, we published VLC media player 2.1.1 for all major desktop operating systems. If you used VLC for Android or for iOS in the last couple of months, you already got in touch with VLC’s 2.1 code base.

VLC media player 2.1 was initially published on September 26. However, we didn’t enable VLC’s internal updater since then. Why? We spent extra time on polishing the release, added support for the upcoming major video codec HEVC aka H.265 in MKV and MP4 containers as well as raw files, and lastly improved compatibility with both OS X 10.6 and 10.9.

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2.1 is a major release for us, something we worked on since September 2011. We took the time to entirely re-write VLC’s audio output structure resolving architectural issues, improving lip synchronization, enhanced efficiency and improved device management. On the Mac, this upgrade also adds full support for external audio output devices and 6.1 / 7.1 / 8.1 / 10.2 multi-channel layouts.

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On OS X, we finally added support for hardware-accelerated H.264 video decoding with further improvements including support for MPEG 2 and H263 scheduled for this winter season. Furthermore, video capturing using AVFoundation is supported on OS X 10.7 and later as well as recording the current screen contents, a feature previously supported on 10.5 and 10.6 only.

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VLC 2.1 completes the transition to our re-written Mac interface introduced in version 2.0 with various major improvements, further customization options including additional playlist columns, support for cloned and split video output windows, as well as customizable presets for video filters, audio filters, and the equalizer. A new “Subtitles” menu embraces VLC advanced compatibility with any textual or bitmapped format and allows the user to customize text styles and size on-the-fly during playback. An all-new “Convert/Stream” panel simplifies media to file conversations as well as setup of streams on the local network or the internet. The media library and playlist view gains full Podcast support known from our ports to Windows and Linux.

"Clone" video filter

Those major improvements have a drawback though: VLC 2.1 no longer supports any 32bit Intel-based Macs and any PowerPC-based Macs. It requires OS X 10.6 or later. For the older  Macs, we published another bug fix release last week, 2.0.9, fixing various annoyances and resolving all known security issues. Macs compatible with VLC 2.1 will be offered the update automatically while the others will remain on 2.0.9 with the potential option for a future 2.0.10 release, should it be needed.

We have great news for developers: VLC’s underlying work-horse, libVLC, as well as most of its modules were relicensed to LGPLv2.1+. This allows any interested party to deploy our proven code their own apps and solutions. As showcase apps, we developed VLC for Android and VLC for iOS demonstrating libVLC’s features. While libVLC is a C library, an all-Objective-C framework named VLCKit is available for Apple platforms. Native Java bindings are available for Android, too.

We hope you enjoy VLC 2.1 as much as we do and we are looking forward to further releases in our pipeline on track for release this winter.

VLC for iOS 7, preview

Over the last weeks, I worked closely with Damien Erambert on VLC’s user interface on iOS, rethinking it for iOS 7.

I would like to share a small preview today with further iterations pending. Version 2.2 of VLC for iOS will also include various new features and refinements. More on that, at a later point.

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Any feedback and remarks are strongly welcome.

VLC for iOS, version 2.1

About 8 weeks passed since the initial re-release of VLC for iOS based upon its entirely re-written code base. Its success outperformed our expectations with more than 2.5 million downloads during the first week. Wow!

For the first major update, we listed carefully to the feedback received on the App Stores and through others channels.
It adds the following features and improvements:

  • Improved overall stability
  • Newly implemented menu and application flow
  • Added support for subtitles in non-western languages
  • Improved Subtitles support with options to choose font, size, and color
  • Add basic UPNP discovery and streaming for HTTP servers
  • Add FTP server discovery, streaming and downloading
  • Add Bonjour announcements for the WiFi Uploader’s website
  • Add playback of audio-only media
  • Improved VoiceOver and accessibility support
  • Added Deinterlace option (off by default)
  • Device no longer goes to sleep during media downloads
  • Improved video output on external screens
  • Improved Passcode Lock behavior
  • Minor usability improvements
  • New translations to Bosnian, Catalan, Galician, Greek, Marathi, Portuguese,
    Slovenian

Additionally, we took the time finish a complete walkthrough of the app to discover what’s actually included and to answer most questions.

At present, the update is being processed by Apple for the App Stores and will be available in your local store within a few hours from now.

We are looking forward to your feedback and to our scheduled forthcoming releases, which will add WebDAV support, multi-touch gestures and so much more!