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VLCWrapper - A Little C++-wrapper Around libvlc

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12 Mar 2012CPOL3 min read 465.7K   25.9K   169   127
An article on wrapping libvlc (VLC media player) in a C++-class
VLCWrapper/VLCWrapper1.jpg

Introduction

This article presents a little C++-wrapper for the libvlc-library, which is the core component of the VLC media player. I was looking for an easy way to integrate video playback in my C++ applications. Because I've been using VLC for media playback for many years now, I started playing around with the VLC API. The result is a little wrapper around the libvlc-library. It provides basic media playback functionality. Since v.2.0 the  libvlc-library is released under the LGPL, so you can use it in commercial applications. All sourcecode in this arcticle is licensed under the CPOL. Please excuse any bugs because this wrapper is more a quick hack than a feature complete wrapper. ;)

For testing purposes, I wrote a simple media player which uses the VLCWrapper. It's included in the example above.

Background

The most valuable source of information about the VLC API for me was the developer section on the VLC website and the documented C-headers of the VLC source. The project website is a good starting point if you plan to code something with VLC or extend the VLCWrapper.

The C++-Interface of VLCWrapper to LIBVLC

The interface declared in "VLCWrapper.h" is small and the member functions are quite self-explanatory. To get a good overlook, I stripped of the comments. Check out the sources for more information.  

C++
class VLCWrapper
{
    std::auto_ptr<VLCWrapperImpl> pImpl_;
 
public:
    VLCWrapper();
    ~VLCWrapper();
    void SetOutputWindow(void* pHwnd);
    void SetEventHandler(VLCEventHandler event, void* pUserData);
    void OpenMedia(const char* pMediaPathName);
    void Play();
    void Pause();
    void Stop();
    int64_t GetLength();
    int64_t GetTime();
    void SetTime(int64_t newTime);
    void Mute(bool mute = true);
    bool GetMute();
    int  GetVolume();
    void SetVolume(int volume);
};  

Using the Code

Using the VLCWrapper is easy. The first step would be to add a new VLCWraper as a member of your window class and a CStatic for video output:

C++
#include "VLCWrapper.h"

class CVlcDialogDlg : public CDialog
{
    VLCWrapper vlcPlayer_; /// Our VLCWrapper.
    .
    .
    //{{AFX_DATA(CVlcDialogDlg)
    CStatic vlcControl_;  /// This CStatic will be used as device context by libvlc.
    . . . 
    //}}AFX_DATA

Now we can initialize the VLCWrapper in OnInitDialog():

C++
BOOL CVlcDialogDlg::OnInitDialog()
{
    CDialog::OnInitDialog();

    vlcPlayer_.SetOutputWindow((void*)vlcControl_.GetSafeHwnd()); // the CStatic will be 
							          // used for video output

    vlcPlayer_.SetEventHandler(&HandleVLCEvents, this);           // Set handler for vlc events

The handler function for VLC events:

C++
static void HandleVLCEvents(const VLCEvent* pEvent, void* pUserData)
{
    CVlcDialogDlg* pDlg = reinterpret_cast<CVlcDialogDlg*>(pUserData); 
 
    switch(pEvent->type)
    {
    case libvlc_MediaPlayerTimeChanged:
       TRACE("VLC_EVT_TIME_CHANGED: new_time %d[ms]\n",
              pEvent->u.media_player_time_changed.new_time);
       if(pDlg)
           pDlg->UpdatePosition();
       break;
    } 
}

Now everything is in place, and you can start playing media files. E.g., the "Load" and "Play" members look like this:

C++
void CVlcDialogDlg::OnBnClickedButtonLoad()
{
    CFileDialog dlgFile(TRUE);
    if(dlgFile.DoModal()==IDOK)
    {
        CString file=dlgFile.GetPathName();
        vlcPlayer_.OpenMedia((LPCTSTR)file);
        vlcPlayer_.Play();  // start media after loading....
    }
}

void CVlcDialogDlg::OnBnClickedButtonPlay()
{
    vlcPlayer_.Play();
}

History

  • 03/12/2012 
    • Updated the project to use the VLC API 2.0.0.
    • Changed license to CPOL.  
  • 09/20/2011 
    • Added project files for Visual Studio 2010. 
  • 09/11/2010
    • Some bugfixes and optimizations, thanks to heretic13!
    • Build the demo with VLC 1.1.4.
    • Removed demo & source links to old VLCDialog versions which required VLC < 1.1.
  • 05/29/2010
    • Updated the project to use the VLC API 1.1
    • The wrapper now uses an auto_ptr for its Pimpl. I missed deleting the Pimpl in the first versions
    • Fixed a redraw error
    • Thanks to Haim Engler for the hint on the memory leak and the redraw problem!
  • 08/20/2009
    • Pimped VlcDialog (Resizing, Icon-Buttons)
    • Striped off dependency to "StdAfx.h" in class VLCWrapper and class VLCWrapperImpl
    • Replaced a deprecated function call to libvlc; now SetOutputWindow(void*) takes a void pointer to a window handle
  • 08/14/2009
    • Some fixes in the example listings
  • 08/11/2009
    • Initial release

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


Written By
Technical Lead HERE, a Nokia Business
Germany Germany
This member has not yet provided a Biography. Assume it's interesting and varied, and probably something to do with programming.

Comments and Discussions

 
AnswerRe: Creating project from begin Pin
Member 1017777929-Jul-13 6:07
Member 1017777929-Jul-13 6:07 
BugProblem with chars > 127 in media path Pin
fred250629-Aug-12 5:25
fred250629-Aug-12 5:25 
QuestionCreating project from begin Pin
aleks3021-Aug-12 0:53
aleks3021-Aug-12 0:53 
QuestionHow to play a video from resources? Pin
sdiazdiaz13-Aug-12 23:28
sdiazdiaz13-Aug-12 23:28 
AnswerRe: How to play a video from resources? Pin
huntkao15-Aug-12 22:21
huntkao15-Aug-12 22:21 
QuestionSupport for Win7? Pin
habichnicht24-Jun-12 22:21
habichnicht24-Jun-12 22:21 
Questionlink with 64 bit application? Pin
Alon Geri18-Mar-12 6:08
Alon Geri18-Mar-12 6:08 
AnswerRe: link with 64 bit application? Pin
Bartlomiej Filipek22-Mar-12 23:14
Bartlomiej Filipek22-Mar-12 23:14 
here: http://nightlies.videolan.org/build/win64/[^]
are nightly builds of VLC that provide lots of versions/systems... maybe that will help?
QuestionNice app - anyone have this in vb.net? if so please post. thanx Pin
bwarehouse12-Mar-12 23:18
bwarehouse12-Mar-12 23:18 
Question.libs included in 2.0.0 Pin
Member 85397381-Mar-12 3:46
Member 85397381-Mar-12 3:46 
QuestionVLC 2.0 Pin
Davide Zaccanti22-Feb-12 7:57
Davide Zaccanti22-Feb-12 7:57 
NewslibVLC is switching to LGPL Pin
Julien Lebot5-Feb-12 22:39
Julien Lebot5-Feb-12 22:39 
GeneralRe: libVLC is switching to LGPL Pin
Alex Skoruppa5-Feb-12 22:57
Alex Skoruppa5-Feb-12 22:57 
GeneralRe: libVLC is switching to LGPL Pin
2374112-Mar-12 4:55
2374112-Mar-12 4:55 
QuestionHelp with the Streaming API for VLC ... Pin
daved900014-Dec-11 7:39
daved900014-Dec-11 7:39 
AnswerRe: Help with the Streaming API for VLC ... Pin
daved900015-Dec-11 8:21
daved900015-Dec-11 8:21 
GeneralRe: Help with the Streaming API for VLC ... Pin
huntkao15-Aug-12 23:45
huntkao15-Aug-12 23:45 
QuestionPassing options to hide title Pin
Davide Zaccanti5-Nov-11 9:34
Davide Zaccanti5-Nov-11 9:34 
AnswerRe: Passing options to hide title Pin
Le Roy7-Nov-11 21:06
Le Roy7-Nov-11 21:06 
QuestionRelease bug in Visual Studio 2003 or 2008. Pin
Member 260660318-Sep-11 21:00
Member 260660318-Sep-11 21:00 
AnswerRe: Release bug in Visual Studio 2003 or 2008. Pin
ironfrocodeproject20-Jul-12 1:28
ironfrocodeproject20-Jul-12 1:28 
Questioncropping Pin
labinator21-May-11 3:42
labinator21-May-11 3:42 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Global Analyser8-Mar-11 6:30
Global Analyser8-Mar-11 6:30 
GeneralMy vote of 4 Pin
xComaWhitex7-Jan-11 23:43
xComaWhitex7-Jan-11 23:43 
QuestionHow to use VLCWrapper to open video/music file from a URL? Pin
huutribk20015-Jan-11 16:37
huutribk20015-Jan-11 16:37 

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