New VLC more open source than ever

Summary:In the past we've thought of video mainly in terms of TV. Video isn't just TV. Video is also gaming, and gaming is one of the few consumer PC niches that is pushing hardware hard.

Version 1.1.0 of the open source VLC media player, code-named The Luggage, is now available for download, and it is even more open source than ever.

VLC 1.0 is said to have been downloaded 175 million times, 2.1 times each second. So this is a big deal that will generate lots of Internet traffic.

Why is it more "open source-y?"

The new version drops support for AOL's Shoutcast, an Internet radio package, in favor of Icecast, a more organically open source project.

VLC said in a statement AOL's "license forces us to integrate the spyware and adware based Shoutcast Radio Toolbar inside your browser." So it dropped Shoutcast entirely.

Don't tie me down is a general theme of the software, which has lots of features aimed mainly at other developers. The code base has been slimmed-down, and GPU debugging has been added, which pleases gamers.

That point may prove important. In the past we've thought of video mainly in terms of TV. Video isn't just TV. Video is also gaming, and gaming is one of the few consumer PC niches that is pushing hardware hard. You can do video on just about any box in the store, but you actually have  to shop for a PC gaming machine.

So when VLC pushes a version aimed at developers today, it's really talking to game developers.

Not all is happy in VLC land, however.

NB: so far, on Windows, VideoLAN is quite sad to be forced to recommend nVidia® GPU, until ATI® fixes their drivers on Windows, and until VLC developer get access to some Intel® hardware supporting GPU decoding.

This is not something video users will be troubled by, although it will in the near term limit VLC's push in the game space. Or game developers could force ATI and Intel to respond in ways VLC likes, which would be big news indeed.

Topics: Open Source

About

Dana Blankenhorn has been a business journalist since 1978, and has covered technology since 1982. He launched the Interactive Age Daily, the first daily coverage of the Internet to launch with a magazine, in September 1994.

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