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Media Open Source Software News

VLC 2.0 'Twoflower' Released For Windows & Mac 299

Posted by Soulskill
from the new-and-shiny dept.
Titus Andronicus writes "Years in the making, the major new release of VideoLAN's media player has better support for multicore processors, GPUs, and much, much more. From the announcement: 'Twoflower has a new rendering pipeline for video, with higher quality subtitles, and new video filters to enhance your videos. It supports many new devices and BluRay Discs (experimental). Completely reworked Mac and Web interfaces and improvements in the other interfaces make VLC easier than ever to use. Twoflower fixes several hundreds of bugs, in more than 7000 commits from 160 volunteers.'"
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VLC 2.0 'Twoflower' Released For Windows & Mac

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 18, 2012 @09:55PM (#39089771)

    So terrible things will continuously happen, but at least the main characters will survive.

  • by bonch (38532) * on Saturday February 18, 2012 @09:56PM (#39089783)

    Gone is the two window design! Now it's got an iTunes-like single window, but with its own VLC stylings (e.g., the playback controls on the bottom). I dig!

    • by Kenja (541830)
      Old Mac interface. I push play on the Apple Remote(tm) and it plays. New interface seems unchanged from my perspective.
    • by Kenja (541830) on Saturday February 18, 2012 @10:45PM (#39090075)
      Actually, I must interject that the old interface had only a single window for me because I didn't want to use the media library. Now I have no choice. Cant turn it off, cant remove or change the internet sites they opt to list. So to me the new interface is a major downgrade. I just want a media player, not a media management system.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 18, 2012 @10:08PM (#39089871)

    Does it finally correctly skip the video, instead of just skipping to some time near where I clicked?

    • Three ways to seek (Score:5, Informative)

      by tepples (727027) <tepples&gmail,com> on Saturday February 18, 2012 @10:51PM (#39090111) Homepage Journal
      In a constant bitrate stream, you can just multiply the chosen time by the bitrate, seek once to that point in the file, and start playing. In a variable bitrate stream, you can't. So you have to either A. read the whole file and construct an index of where to seek for each second, B. seek somewhere near where the user clicked, or C. seek near where the user clicked and then retry up to four times ("interpolated bisection" assuming piecewise constant bitrate) to find the exact second. The best option ends up differing for each container. In AVI, option A is best because the vast majority of files have an "index" at the end mapping keyframe times to byte offsets. VirtualDub uses option A, which is fast for AVI but slow for MPEG. Based on your description, VLC appears to use B. The Ogg project tends to use C, but Monty eventually realized that that's too slow over an Internet connection with a wireless last mile, so he relented and put an index into Ogg Skeleton (source [xiph.org]).
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        You're overthinking it. The old versions just had bad GUI.

  • by msobkow (48369) on Saturday February 18, 2012 @10:25PM (#39089969) Homepage Journal

    Not surprisingly, most of the work seems to have been for platforms other than Linux, but maybe the upgraded OpenGL rendering pipeline will prove of benefit when full-screening 1080p videos. My box periodically stutters a frame or two when viewing such videos on a 1600x1200 monitor, because I've only got a crufty old P4-3.8GHz CPU with 4G of fast RAM. My video card is more than capable, and I never used to see any frame loss under Windows.

    Mind you, I didn't have a pile of servers running when I had this CPU chugging under XP instead of Ubuntu 10.04.1.

    Alas, the odds are not in my favour that I'll see this update unless I build from source.

    • by hcs_$reboot (1536101) on Saturday February 18, 2012 @11:41PM (#39090355)
      I run the lastest VLC <v2 on Mac and Linux. VLC Linux is by far more buggy and less convenient than its Mac counterpart. Maybe the VLC volunteers don't come from the Linux world after all - or, it's always the baker's children who have no bread...
      • by kikito (971480)

        Sounds like a problem in your particular setup. I have used VLC in 5 different Ubuntu machines and it worked great in all of them.

    • by timeOday (582209) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @01:23AM (#39090773)
      OpenGL isn't what you want. I don't believe it's possible to achieve a solid framerate without hardware decoding in the video card hardware support (vdpau in mplayer). Without that, sure, your CPU might only be 20% loaded. But some frames take much more decoding that others, and occasionally one won't be done decoding before it's time to show it, creating a stutter. I know some people will swear otherwise, but I think they just haven't really looked for it.
      • by evilviper (135110)

        I don't believe it's possible to achieve a solid framerate without hardware decoding in the video card hardware

        There's absolutely no truth to that. Several years ago, you couldn't get CPUs fast enough that they could decode high-bitrate highdef H.264 video, but it's been a long time since that was the case. Even low-end CPUs have enough power these days.

  • It still takes forever to "Rebuild the Font Cache".
    What exactly is VLC doing when it does this?

    • by EdIII (1114411) on Saturday February 18, 2012 @11:13PM (#39090217)

      It still takes forever to "Rebuild the Font Cache".
      What exactly is VLC doing when it does this?

      Uhhhh... it's rebuilding the font cache dude. It say it right there in the dialog box.

      Better question is... why does it need to do it every fucking time? :)

      • by BLKMGK (34057)

        I see a terminal window for this during install for all of about 5 seconds on Win7. Perhaps you've checked the "clear cache" box during install and shouldn't be?

        • by Mashiki (184564)

          Nah sometimes during a crash, it'll freak out and corrupt your existing font cache. In which case it'll spend about 6 years rebuilding it. Well maybe not 6 years, at least 4 years anyway.

          • by EdIII (1114411)

            That's the best explanation yet. VLC crashes quite often for me (10-20% of the time. 100% on some files.). Not surprising since I ask it to play so many different formats and who the hell knows how well it was encoded.

            • by teridon (139550)

              Let's say that's true (i.e. font cache is corrupted on crash).

              1) Sounds like a bug to me. File a bug report? (after gathering evidence, of course)

              2) Possible workaround: Make a known-good copy of the font cache (on Windows it's %APPDATA%\vlc, I believe). Restore it after a VLC crash (before launching VLC again)

    • It's rebuilding the font cache used for subtitle display. It usually happens when you install or remove a font from your system.

      You can turn off this behavior by following the steps here:
      http://superuser.com/questions/189681/can-you-disable-vlcs-font-cache [superuser.com]

      That turns off subtitle display, but IMO a worthwhile tradeoff for not having that annoying dialog all the god damned time.

  • Maybe this isn't the right place to ask, but I tried VLC a while back but I remember only being able to get it to put out stereo. Any VLC experts know if this works?
    • I was able to do this several years ago, with standard VLC on linux; the options are in there somewhere but I remember it not being obvious how to get it to work, and a lot of trial and error was involved.

    • by babymac (312364)
      It's under the Audio menu - Audio Device sub-menu. Select the encoded audio device.
  • by BLKMGK (34057) <morejunk4me@hotm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Sunday February 19, 2012 @12:04AM (#39090473) Homepage Journal

    Wow! I can now skip merrily through a multi-gig MKV file at high bitrates without lag. I can jump halfway through the video and with almost no pause it begins playing with only a little pixelation. This is on Win7 so YMMV on other platforms but I can tell you that compared to even the beta I WAS running this is a giant leap forward - no pun intended. Previously it would hang and slog through the video and was just really awful to skip through big files when I wanted to just check something. Now? Zero issues, clear picture, and plenty of control. I can grab the slider and get pretty good playback too although it obviously jumps some. So far I haven't tried many other video containers or ISO etc. just this one test but for me this was a really big one - very very pleased.

    Bravo to the VLC team!

  • by Aereus (1042228) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @12:12AM (#39090515)

    VLC 2.0? That's nice. I'll keep using my even lighter weight video player that plays even more "darn near everything" than VLC.

    Even the built-in filters for MPC-HC are very good, but extending it with Haali's Splitter and ffdshow or CoreAVC results in even better performance.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      VLC 2.0? That's nice. I'll keep using my even lighter weight video player that plays even more "darn near everything" than VLC.

      Now wait a second...

      Even the built-in filters for MPC-HC are very good, but extending it with Haali's Splitter and ffdshow or CoreAVC results in even better performance.

      If you really want to play, you know, everything, you're going to need a codec kit. So you have to add that into the size of the player too.

    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @01:41AM (#39090855)

      MPC-HC isn't actually a full featured media player. It is just a wrapper for DirectShow and Windows Media Foundation, Windows' own highly competent video interfaces. It doesn't actually handle any of the demuxing or decoding itself, it uses the relevant system filters.

      Now this is useful in that anything you've taught Windows to play, it can play. It doesn't have to specifically support it. This also makes it lighter weight, since it doesn't have to have any of that kind of thing with it.

      The disadvantage is that if the system doesn't have the codec, it can't handle it. Or if the system codec is problematic or the like it'll have problems.

      VLC is an all-in-one package. It does all its decoding internally. The only thing it relies on the OS for is things like providing a video rendering interface. So while you can't just feed it new codecs, it doesn't need anything to be on the system. It is self contained.

      I keep it around mostly for problematic files. Some of the pro software I install replaces things like the default MPEG decoders with new ones. These new ones do not tolerate MPEG files not to spec. Makes sense, they are for production and you want to make sure it is done right. However sometimes there's an old video that is encoded wrong, but I want to watch it. VLC can handle that, it is pretty robust at playback.

      It isn't the be-all, end-all of media players, but it has its place.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Sure, I feel the urge to download this right now but I know I'll be downloading 2.0.1 tomorrow and then 2.0.2 the day after that so I might as well wait until all the "oops" releases get taken care of.

  • "Twoflower has a new rendering pipeline for video, with higher quality subtitles, and new video filters to enhance your videos."

    VPs at Intel are thrilled, this will really help them at CES next year.

  • So any news if the licensing has changed and if they will release for iOS. Still have the old version and it works great.
  • Icon (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cgomezr (1074699) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @07:08AM (#39091551)

    They should have taken advantage of the chance to change that horrendous cone icon. I love VLC, but sometimes I install other alternatives just to get rid of that ugly icon that gives the idea that there is something broken in the files (yes, I know it can be changed, but I'm too lazy to fiddle with that and it's so 90s to mess around with icon configuration).

    • by Lennie (16154)

      Ones a year it already different during Christmas. That is atleast something right ;-)

  • by kwack (98701) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @04:34PM (#39094677)

    I upgraded to 2.0.0 on my old PowerPC G4 iMac, which I like to use as a movie player "for the design". Warning for that! No sound, red stripes all over the frame... The upside is that it's really easy to downgrade, just move the old app bundle back from the trash can to the applications folder.

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