A Simple Request: VLC.js —
I mean, it cost a dozen people hundreds of hours of their lives…. and there were tears, rage, crisis, drama, and broken hearts and feelings… but it did happen, and the elation and the world we live in now is quite amazing, with instantaneous emulated programs in the browser. And it’s gotten boring for people who know about it, except when they haven’t heard about it until now.
By the way: work continues earnestly on what was called JSMESS and is now called The Emularity. We’re doing experiments with putting it in WebAssembly and refining a bunch of UI concerns and generally making it better, faster, cooler with each iteration. Get involved – come to #jsmess on EFNet or contact me with questions.
In celebration of the five years, I’d like to suggest a new project, one of several candidates I’ve weighed but which I think has the best combination of effort to absolute game-changer in the world.
Hey, come back!
A quick glance at the features list of VLC shows how many variant formats it handles, from audio and sound files through to encapsulations like DVD and VCDs. Files that now rest as hunks of ISOs and .ZIP files that could be turned into living, participatory parts of the online conversation. Also, formats like .MOD and .XM (trust me) would live again effectively.
Also, VLC has weathered years and years of existence, and the additional use case for it would help people contribute to it, much like there’s been some improvements in MAME/MESS over time as folks who normally didn’t dip in there added suggestions or feedback to make the project better in pretty obscure realms.
I firmly believe that this project, fundamentally, would change the relationship of audio/video to the web.
I’ll write more about this in coming months, I’m sure, but if you’re interested, stop by #vlcjs on EFnet, or ping me on twitter at @textfiles, or write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts and feedback.
Categorised as: computer history
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Do you for sure want the whole VLC, or would it be adequate to get command line VLC stream-and-save functionality working to transcode stuff, then leave the output to whatever the browser normally does?
Whether there might eventually be a vlc-transcode.js or a vlc-player.js resulting set of programs from the effort would have to be seen. But it’s both within the realm of possibility and something with precedent.
Good luck! I wouldn’t have thought it possible if I hadn’t seen what happened with emulation!
I say this with my absolute best Roman Mars voice…you, sir, are a beautiful nerd.
Oh well, why the fuck not.
Bring it on!
Maybe ffmpeg would be even better, you could just render any source to a canvas and paint your own UI.
This is an emscripten version of ffmpeg: https://bgrins.github.io/videoconverter.js/
Indeed. I avoid browsing pages that leave my battery draining fast. But on the other hand what I experienced was in many cases optimized to the point that these sites became browseable again without loss of functionality. I guess with lots of optimalization effort and support of JS engines (like was pushed with WebGL) this is a really good idea! The only better idea would be to implement all these formats in native code in browsers themselves. Yet for now, this would do marvelously to keep wonderful formats mentioned here in use.