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SimpleVLC, a GUI for VLC

October 17, 2016 — BarryK
I recently wrote about compiling the CLI-only version of VLC:
http://bkhome.org/news/201610/vlc-224-compiled-for-pi2.html
http://bkhome.org/news/201610/maybe-vlc-for-pi.html

Back around 2010, Puppy Forum member 'sc0ttman' wrote a GUI frontend for VLC, named VLC-GTK
http://bkhome.org/news/201610/maybe-vlc-for-pi.html
http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=80629

I started to fix VLC-GTK, however, came to realise it would be better to make a fresh start.

That fresh start is named SimpleVLC. It is a frontend using 'gtkdialog' for the GUI, and the utilities 'xdotool' and 'wmctrl':

xdotool:
http://www.semicomplete.com/projects/xdotool/
wmctrl:
http://tripie.sweb.cz/utils/wmctrl/
https://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Software/wmctrl/

I am using wmctrl to find the window-id of the playing video (also audio has a visualisation window), and xdotool to send simulated key-presses to the window.

So far, have only got it to play local video and audio files. There is not (yet) any playlist mechanism, but it will play whatever is in a folder.
It is working well on the Pi2, including full-screen with OpenMAX hardware acceleration -- though, I found the Pi2 is barely adequate for playing 1080p videos even with the hardware acceleration -- though, I read that Omxplayer does it better than VLC. 4K videos are totally unplayable.

One hint for Pi users. To play 1080p videos, you have to set "gpu_mem=256" in file 'config.txt' in the boot partition. This is reserving part of the 1GB RAM for the GPU.

Tags: linux