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VLC Launches On Chrome OS Thanks To Android Port 44

An anonymous reader writes: VideoLAN today launched VLC, the world's most used media player, for Chrome OS. You can download the new app, which is a port of the VLC version for Android, from the Chrome Web Store. Chrome OS was one of the last desktop operating systems for which VLC was not available (the media player exists for Windows, OS X, Linux, BSD, Solaris, OS/2, Haiku/BeOS, and ReactOS). Yet Chrome OS wasn't an easy operating system to support, as VLC is a native application on all platforms (it uses low-level APIs to output video, audio, and gain access to threads) built using mostly C and C++. Writing VLC in JavaScript and other Web technologies, as Chrome OS requires, is not an easy task by any stretch.
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VLC Launches On Chrome OS Thanks To Android Port

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  • Is the chrome OS being discontinued by Google?
  • by iampiti ( 1059688 ) on Thursday December 17, 2015 @03:02PM (#51138735)
    From TFA: Android Runtime for Chrome (ARC) makes it easy to make Android apps work on Chrome OS. "“The ARC solution was a blessing, and helped us to recycle 95 percent of the Android code and optimizations".
    Also, I don't know why the author decided to include ReactOS in the list of supported OSs since there's no special version of VLC for it, it just runs the Windows binary.
  • Quite Useful (Score:5, Interesting)

    by freefal67 ( 949117 ) on Thursday December 17, 2015 @03:22PM (#51138871)
    While many people's first reaction might be that this is just a silly proof of concept, I can say from personal experience that it will actually be quite useful. I set up a Chromebox for my folks (got sick of providing Windows support). When my mom plugged in a USB drive with a short video, it wouldn't play without first being saved to Google Drive to be reencoded. Hopefully having a VLC app will fix the problem of ChromeOS only natively supporting a limited number of codecs.
  • "Writing VLC in JavaScript and other Web technologies, as Chrome OS requires, is not an easy task by any stretch."

    No... ChromeOS has ways to write native and semi-native apps:

    NaCL - https://developer.chrome.com/n... [chrome.com] and PNaCL

    That said, if you already have a functional Android app, ARC is probably easier. Works great for Quasseldroid if you remove one socket configuration call (TCP_KEEPALIVE socket option) currently not supported by ARC.

  • ...the media player exists for Windows, OS X, Linux, BSD, Solaris, OS/2, Haiku/BeOS, and ReactOS.

    What? Still no FreeDOS, Amiga, Nintendo DSi or ATmega328P support?

  • It's really odd that an os based on linux kernel is so problematic when it comes to porting applications.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Picture tux the linux penguin strapped face down on the boardroom table at google hq while all the google execs take turns fucking him in the ass. That's the relationship between linux and android.

    • It's not just Linux. I think it is also X-windows!
      Write a media player in javascript? WTF?
      I am continually amazed that people buy up crap that restricts what they can do on really powerful computers.

  • I wonder what legal reasons prevent including VLC as default media player in Android, ChromeOS, Windows. It certainly is way above anything these systems provide in video department.
    • Re:VLC as default (Score:4, Informative)

      by SeaFox ( 739806 ) on Thursday December 17, 2015 @04:08PM (#51139173)

      I wonder what legal reasons prevent including VLC as default media player in Android, ChromeOS, Windows.

      You sound like you already know the answer to your own question.
      VLC includes code to account decoding of patent-encumbered media formats. DVD playback, AAC, AC3 are all formats that are not really free for people to implement playback for without paying the piper.

      You know VLC for iOS will not decode AC3 -- unless you change you time zone location to somewhere outside the U.S.?

      • You know VLC for iOS will not decode AC3 -- unless you change you time zone location to somewhere outside the U.S.?

        You know VLC for iOS will not even see most DLNA servers on the local network? And when it does, occasionally, list a UMS server it is unable to enumerate even its root folder contents? It would have been nice to see VLC for iOS work as well as its desktop counterparts on Windows, Linux and OS X, but I doubt that will ever happen. More license sales lost to 8player and ArkMC I guess.

  • by Meneth ( 872868 ) on Thursday December 17, 2015 @04:05PM (#51139151)
    The original blog post from the VLC team: http://www.jbkempf.com/blog/po... [jbkempf.com]
  • Yeah, maybe the GUI and glue logic. The actual heavy lifting codec side will almost certainly be done by libraries written in C/C++ with possibly some assembler.

    Hate to burst your bubble webdevs, but javascript is a loooong way from being able to decode video streams in realtime on its own.

  • I needed a reliable playback of an MP3 file with ability to to seek for my child's school presentation. Lately I noticed being incapable of doing the simpliests of tasks on Android unless it is handled by the pre-installed software. Something as obvious as drawing on a photo or an MP3 playback result in hours of wading through the junk yard known as the Google Play. There is all sorts of bloatware, spyware, apps that cannot open a file, apps that cannot save a file and everything in between. I got too spoil

Can't open /usr/fortunes. Lid stuck on cookie jar.

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