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An early look at VLC 4.0 - Hello darkness, my old friend

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Movies
Reviews

I first tried VLC around 2003 or so. It wasn't a good experience. The player's interface showed me a garbled view of the video file I was trying to play. Then, in 2006 or so, I tried it again. Since, it's become my staple media player on every single platform and operating system, including the mobile. The reasons are many: the king of codecs, tons of features, a simple no-frills interface.

Recently, the VLC team has started working on a visual revamp of the UI, which should come live in version 4.0. This marks a significant departure from the established look & feel of the player, which really hasn't seen any big visual updates throughout its history. So I thought, let's have a look at the early work and see what the future has in store for us. Early impressions, don't get too excited, things may rapidly evolve and change and whatnot. Follow me.

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VLC Turns 20

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Software
Movies
  • VideoLAN marks two decades of open source success - Software - iTnews

    One of the world's most successful and widely used open source software projects, VideoLAN, is marking its 20th year of existence this month.

    Best known for the popular x264 streaming video encoding app and library, and the well-known VLC media player, the volunteer-driven organisation has released a large range of free and open software over the years.

    The non-profit VideoLAN organisation makes available the Movie Creator video editing software, DVBlast MPEG-2/TS demux and streaming app, and several libraries for developers working on audiovisual programs.

  • VideoLAN turns 20

    The VideoLAN project and the VideoLAN non-profit organisation are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the open-sourcing of the project.

    VideoLAN originally started as a project from the Via Centrale Reseaux student association, after the successful Network 2000 project. But the true release of the project to the world was on 1 February 2001, when the whole VideoLan project was open-sourced under the GNU GPL. This open sourcing concerned all the software developed by the VideoLAN project, including VideoLAN Client, VideoLAN Server, VideoLAN Bridge, VideoLAN Channel Switcher, but also libraries to decode DVDs, like libdca, liba52 or libmpeg2..

  • VideoLAN celebrates its 20 years anniversary

Youtubedl-gui: New Graphical YouTube Downloader based on Youtube-DL

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Software
Movies

Youtubedl-gui is a simple new graphical interface for the popular command-line YouTube downloader youtube-dl.

The tool is quite simple to use, just paste the video URL, select audio quality and format, video resolution and format, and click download! And of course, there’s an option to change the destination folder of your downloads.

Once you click download, a small dialog will pop up with the process bar.

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Watch "Fight to Repair," demand the right to repair

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GNU
Movies

"Fight to Repair" is an animated video from the Free Software Foundation (FSF), telling the story of two dedicated free software engineers rushing to fix a life-threatening problem in a vehicle's autopilot code. Coming up with a fix for the bug is only the first step in their journey, which has them facing off against the malicious proprietary software corporation DeceptiCor, and culminates in a high-speed motorcycle chase.

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Also: Alex Oliva: another day

OSMC's November update is here with Kodi v18.9

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GNU
Linux
Movies

Last month, we released Debian Buster with Kodi v18.8. While this version had the majority of fixes backported from Kodi v18.9 which was still in progress, we've decided to issue a final release of the Kodi Leia series in the form of an 18.9 point release.

Our focus will now be on enabling OSMC support for Kodi v19 (codename Matrix) which is now in beta release. This new version of Kodi will bring a significant number of improvements. However -- it should be noted that this new Kodi release will also introduce some caveats, and this is why we've chosen to polish the Kodi v18.x series of OSMC as much as possible, particularly as some users may need to stay on this version if there device is no longer supported or their add-ons do not work with the new version.

Kodi Matrix upgrades its Python implementation from Python 2.x to Python 3.x. While the majority of add-ons have already been updated to support this new version, you may find that some add-ons do not work. Furthermore, Raspberry Pi 0, 1 and Vero 2 will no longer be supported, meaning that this release will be the final supported version for these devices.

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Kodi 18.9 Released with HTTP Access Workaround [PPA]

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Software
Movies

Kodi media center released one more update for the 18.x “Leia” a day ago, with a quick workaround to the third-party HTTP2 and SSL changes that impacted internet access from Kodi by scrapers, streaming addons, etc.

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Streaming services, beware: International Day Against DRM (IDAD) is coming Dec. 4

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GNU
Movies
Web

The fourteenth International Day Against DRM (IDAD) is coming soon, and the Defective by Design (DbD) campaign needs your help to spread the word. This year's annual day in protest of Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) will be on December 4th, 2020, and will focus on streaming services' unjust use of DRM. We need your help to spread that message far and wide to both anti-DRM activists and those simply concerned with how in a world with continued technological advancement, our digital freedoms are increasingly under threat.

While in quarantine, we've all been conscious of how the way we engage with our favorite films, television, and music has been changing. Many (if not most) homes connected to a high-speed Internet connection have turned to streaming services that peddle DRM to seek entertainment, subjecting themselves to onerous restrictions in exchange for a way to pass the time. The Defective by Design campaign exists to raise awareness about the injustice of these services and other ways that media conglomerates use DRM to deprive computer users of their freedom.

In the last few years since the rise of these services, we've seen their influence grow from a mere drop in the bucket of video distribution to a stranglehold on global culture. Each more poorly named and unnecessary than the last, these services dictate what we watch, surveil us while we watch it, and through it all, make use of digital restrictions to keep viewers helpless and unable to exert meaningful control on how they choose to experience movies, music, and television. Not only do they keep subscribers trapped in the "walled gardens" of their service, but these dis-services dictate exactly how the works they distribute can be viewed, down to mandating the use of proprietary software and hardware that curtails user freedom. We deserve better.

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Debian donation for Peertube development

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Movies
Debian

The Debian project is happy to announce a donation of 10,000 USD to help Framasoft reach the fourth stretch-goal of its Peertube v3 crowdfunding campaign -- Live Streaming.

This year's iteration of the Debian annual conference, DebConf20, had to be held online, and while being a resounding success, it made clear to the project our need to have a permanent live streaming infrastructure for small events held by local Debian groups. As such, Peertube, a FLOSS video hosting platform, seems to be the perfect solution for us.

We hope this unconventional gesture from the Debian project will help us make this year somewhat less terrible and give us, and thus humanity, better Free Software tooling to approach the future.

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OSMC on the Raspberry Pi

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GNU
Linux
Hardware
Movies

Hot on the heels of LibreELEC follows a test of OSMC. The nice thing about this little board is that you can have as many operating systems as you like and just swap them out as easy as loading another Micro SD. So your device can go from media center to OpenWRT router in a flash, for example. And because they are tiny you can always have a whole collection of them handy for the various roles the Pi can perform.

OSMC is another specialist operating system whose aim it is to provide just enough an environment to run Kodi. As such Kodi is the only graphical interface you get and not only its own settings but also all system configuration options have to be accessible through the Kodi interface.
The web site claims that "OSMC can play all major media formats out there and supports a variety of sharing protocols so you’re guaranteed to be able to stream from other devices. OSMC can stream media and serve files to other devices as well!"
The media center being extremely themeable, OSMC in its current iteration has a refreshed and really nice looking but still functional skin that I wished would be available as a free version for general download but it seems the main developer is guarding his logo and distiguishing features jealously so this may not be possible.

[...]

You can then install this repository from the file manager like any other and add the plugin from here (see instructions). The advantage of this plugin is that it has a huge pre-populated list of VPN providers and their locations which you can easily switch within the app.
OpenVPN needs to be installed first with „apt-get install openvpn“ as unlike LibreELEC it is not part of OSMC by default.
Unfortunately despite doing this and OpenVPN being up and running the VPN plugin did not connect for me. Odd, as OSMC like its cousin is based on Debian Buster. This points to some other underlying incompatibility in OSMC with the VPN manager plugin. I'm not willing to troubleshoot this when there's another solution that works equally well and better in this case but there are other, more traditional OpenVPN plugins for Kodi around like this one that let you import configurations if you really want to stay with OSMC.

If you got yourself a remote like this one it's easy and fluid to navigate around the interface once everything has been set up and your plugins imported or set up from the media repositories. The choice of add-ons in the included repo is not great and probably not enough to satisfy most users. If you thought OSMC might distribute more than just some of the basic free add-ons from the Kodi repository you will be disappointed. Not even the BBC iplayer. Ok, that one is broken anyway. If you're serious about streaming you'll have to install your own but with ever more websites like the BBC breaking plugins with redesigns on purpose and Youtube requiring an API key to stream the future might lie in the browser.

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Kdenlive 20.08 is out

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KDE
Software
Movies

Kdenlive 20.08 is out with nifty features like Interface Layouts, Multiple Audio Stream support, Cached data management and Zoombars in the Clip Monitor and Effects Panel but one may argue that the highlights of this release are stability and interface improvements. This version received a total of 284 commits with some major contributions from new developers. (Thanks Simon and Julius)

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Also: Please contribute your syntax highlightings upstream to KSyntaxHighlighting

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More in Tux Machines

today's howtos

  • What is Automation and Configuration Management with CHEF – Part 1

    Configuration Management is the key focus point of DevOps practice. In the Software development cycle, all the servers should be software-configured and maintained well in such a way that they should not make any break in the development cycle. Bad configuration Management can make system outages, leaks, and data breaches. Using Configuration Management tools is about facilitating accuracy, efficiency, and speed in the DevOps-driven environment. There are two models of configuration Management tools – PUSH-based & PULL-based. In the PUSH-based, the Master server pushes the configuration code to the servers wherein PULL-based individual servers contact the Master for getting configuration code. PUPPET and CHEF are widely used PULL-based models, ANSIBLE is a popular PUSH-based model. In this article, we will see about CHEF.

  • How to Install XWiki on Ubuntu 20.04

    XWiki is a free and open-source Wiki Software platform written in Java. It runs on servlet containers like Tomcat and uses a database such as MySQL to store information.

  • How To Install Zoom on Manjaro 20 - idroot

    In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Zoom on Manjaro 20. For those of you who didn’t know, Zoom is the leader in modern enterprise video communications, with an easy, reliable cloud platform for video and audio conferencing, chat, and webinars across mobile, desktop, and room systems. It is commonly used in education sectors, in workplaces for communication with clients and colleagues, teleconferencing, and even for social relations. This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of Zoom on a Manjaro 20 (Nibia).

  • Starting LaTeX on Ubuntu with the User Friendly Gummi

    Academics people and alike tend to love documents written with LaTeX -- one of the best text creation systems you can run on computer. The benefit is, the resulting document is truly beautiful. To start making LaTeX document on Ubuntu, you can start with the user friendly application, Gummi, which features preview. This short tutorial includes examples for basic texting and several math formulas. Now let's learn!

What is GNU/Linux Copypasta?

I’d just like to interject for a moment. What you’re refering to as Linux, is in fact, GNU/Linux, or as I’ve recently taken to calling it, GNU plus Linux. Linux is not an operating system unto itself, but rather another free component of a fully functioning GNU system made useful by the GNU corelibs, shell utilities and vital system components comprising a full OS as defined by POSIX. Many computer users run a modified version of the GNU system every day, without realizing it. Through a peculiar turn of events, the version of GNU which is widely used today is often called Linux, and many of its users are not aware that it is basically the GNU system, developed by the GNU Project. There really is a Linux, and these people are using it, but it is just a part of the system they use. Linux is the kernel: the program in the system that allocates the machine’s resources to the other programs that you run. The kernel is an essential part of an operating system, but useless by itself; it can only function in the context of a complete operating system. Linux is normally used in combination with the GNU operating system: the whole system is basically GNU with Linux added, or GNU/Linux. All the so-called Linux distributions are really distributions of GNU/Linux! Read more

Ben Widawsky: Framebuffer Modifiers Part 1

In a now pretty well established tradition on my part, I am posting on things I no longer work on! I gave a talk on modifiers at XDC 2017 and Linux Plumbers 2017 audio only. It was always my goal to have a blog post accompany the work. Relatively shortly after the talks, I ended up leaving graphics and so it dropped on the priority list. I'm splitting this up into two posts. This post will go over the problem, and solutions. The next post will go over the implementation details. Read more

Linux Lite 5.4 Will Be Based on Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS, Release Candidate Ready for Testing

Linux Lite is a user-friendly distro that aims to bring more ex-Windows users to the Linux and Open Source ecosystem. The new release of this Ubuntu derived distribution, Linux Lite 5.4, will be based on Canonical’s recently released Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS (Focal Fossa) operating system. But Linux Lite 5.4 will ship with the long-term supported Linux 5.4 LTS kernel instead of the much newer Linux kernel 5.8 from Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS. However, users will be able to install any other kernel they want up to the recently released Linux kernel 5.11 from the software repositories with just two commands. Read more