Phonon VLC 0.3 – Rock Solid

Quite a while ago a project was started to combine the awesomeness and beauty of VLC with the awesomeness and beauty of Phonon in order to achieve world peace through world domination.

Today the extraordinary Phonon-VLC team released version 0.3 of their Phonon backend.  Marking another milestone on the way to a truly cross platform Phonon backend.

© Phoenix Han

Phonon-VLC 0.3 comes with Casian Andrei’s video and audio capture functionality, he implemented as part of his Google Summer of Code project. This makes the VLC backend the first one to implement this new terrific feature, introduced in the recently released Phonon 4.4.3. Additionally an incredible amount of fixes and improvements are part of this release.

We now consider the Phonon VLC backend stable enough for day to day use and encourage everyone to give it a try.

Mark Kretschmann, founder of Amarok said following about this release:

Phonon-VLC is rock solid now. Not a single crash in two weeks. Smooth as butter.

If you want to try the newest release, either poke a distribution developer near you to get a ready to go package for you distribution or compile the source yourself, following the excellent guide by Myriam Schweingruber.

Have fun, I already do… ;)

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29 thoughts on “Phonon VLC 0.3 – Rock Solid”

  1. Great! hope that Kamoso and other application could use phonon now to capture audio and video.

    Any plans to support Equalizer and visualization in phonon VLC?

    Keep the great work, I love VLC and phonon

    1. Kamoso has a bit of specific requirements, so I would not be so sure about that, but we are in touch with the Kamoso devs and try to make things fall into place for them. Equalizer and visualizations are on the TODO and probably going to be in the next big release :)

  2. Very cool, congratulations, specially for the video and audio capture functionality! It would be very nice when this lands in KDE stable, it will surely enable a whole range of new and exciting applications to be created.

    1. Absolutely, I hope to get this stable for Phonon 4.5 (which will probably be what comes with KDE 4.7), it is already working pretty well. Mostly we just need to do a sanity review on the API and maybe enhance it a bit.

  3. Does it still use the double CPU percentage when playing a mp3 file via amarok compared to playing the same mp3 with the xine backend?

  4. Great news. I wonder though if this will ever enter in Fedora considering they don’t have VLC in their repos.

  5. Interesting. Reading up on Wikipedia, it looks like Phonon supports Gstreamer as a backend — does this mean one could compile VLC without FFMPEG and use Gstreamer as a backend instead? If so, that would be a huge deal, as it would allow VLC to be legally distributed in regions where FFMPEG cannot be used without dealing with patent licenses.

    1. No. Both VLC and GStreamer are backends to Phonon and inter-changable. So, Phonon provides a framework/library independent interface for application developers and underneath works GStreamer or VLC or xine (depending on the backends installed and configured).
      Hope this helps :)

    2. You can have VLC with just the right plugins, and for example, not the FFmpeg one.
      VLC is a framework, exactly like GStreamer.

      1. How does one currently compile VLC without FFMPEG? And in such an event, what could you use to supply the codecs? I’ve been able to compile VLC with FFMPEG, disabling certain codecs, but can’t find any way to remove the FFMPEG source entirely.

        1. When you configure VLC build, just add –disable-avcodec –disable-avformat –disable-swscale –disable-postproc. If I havn’t forgotten anything you won’t have anything from ffmpeg compiled with vlc.

  6. Cool to read!

    Up until now I used the GStreamer backend because afaik it has the best PulseAudio support of all available backends. Is phonon-vlc superior to phonon-gst in that regard as well?

    1. I would not call one superior to the another at all (well, except for everything being superior to the xine backend, because that is pretty much unmaintained and well possibly be dropped out of official Phonon soonish). From what I know, all Linux backends have good PulseAudio support. However, there is at least one rather annoying bug with VLC and an unpatched PulseAudio, where each application will crash at exit because of bad threading in Pulse, so I suppose it depends on your distribution, whether they patched this or not. Other than that there should be nothing Pulse specific.

  7. Very nice! Congrats on the release! For me it has been rock-solid since 0.2.0!

    Can I make a feature request/suggestion??

    Could it be possible to add a config file like Phonon Xine Backend has in ~/.config/kde.org/Phonon-Xine.xine.conf for Phonon-VLC?

    e.g. ~/.config/kde.org/Phonon-VLC.vlcrc

    I Have made a patch for vlcloader.cpp for my own use, adding –fmpeg-hw and my external subtitle encoding and it works great with VDPAU/VA-API H/W acceleration \o/!!

    Vlc has the –config /path/to/alternate/vlcrc option for this so I guess it must not be far too difficult, although the settings defined in vlcloader.cpp should be always respected. A simple conf gui in SystemSettings would be desireable for some users.

    Thank you very much for your work on Phonon, and also to all the devs of phonon and vlc!

    @jens
    I am using pulseaudio and phonon-vlc with absolutely no problems.

  8. the file vlc/vlc.desktop in line 7: X-KDE-PhononBackendInfo-Version=0.2.0
    Should this not be 0.3.1? Other wise in the Phonon configuration in System Settings, it will display 0.2.0.

    As kboy said, gapless playback would be super!

    Thank you apachelog for you work!

          1. I also have this version issue:

            martin@shambhala:~/Debian/KDE/phonon-backend-vlc-0.3.1+git~a8a9c88c/vlc> grep -i “\-version” vlc.desktop
            X-KDE-PhononBackendInfo-Version=0.2.0

            martin@shambhala:~/Debian/KDE/phonon-backend-vlc-0.3.1+git~a8a9c88c/vlc> git log | head -7
            commit a8a9c88ca4c21552e6cd6c3d3c4674356fd8b82a
            Author: Jean-Baptiste Kempf
            Date: Wed Dec 1 19:47:39 2010 +0100

            Force cdda:// when playing an Audio-CD

            At least, the right access module is called

            martin@shambhala:~/Debian/KDE/phonon-backend-vlc-0.3.1+git~a8a9c88c/vlc> git pull
            Already up-to-date.

          2. I think the link to the tarball is wrong, there is a missing /src/ after /0.3.1/

            I hadn’t check the tarball before, now I see it is 0.3.1, but the master branch in gitorious is 0.2.0. lol

          3. @Martin: if you make a git snapshot it is your responsibility to fix the version anyway :P
            But as said, the version string is going to change to GIT or maybe BASEVERSION-GIT soonish anyway.

            @Gres: good point, fixed :)

  9. COOL!! Thanks a lot! I just needed simple things: that my track plays up to its true end (not with phonon-xine) and that pause then play continues from same point (not with phonon-vlc 0.2). With this release, things seem indeed well groomed. Seeks are precise, sound is really nice. I just have to wait for support for the equalizer now. Thanks!

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