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As some of you might have read in Mark Kretschmann’s blog, we now have a fairly good phonon-vlc backend that already works better in many ways than other available backends. It is still in alpha stage, but we would love to have testers give it a try.

The instructions below are for a Kubuntu or Debian system, I did the installation on the latest Kubuntu 10.04 beta checkout as of Saturday, April 4th. I will give some additional commands for other distributions where those are needed.

DISCLAIMER: Please do not install this backend if you are not comfortable with alpha code and willing to test and report bugs. We currently do not give support for it. We also strongly suggest you test this with Amarok from git, since there were quite some changes applied to the Amarok code, too. See also the KDE git tutorial for those not familiar with it.

The requirements are the following:

I assume you have the environment variables set as suggested in part 3 of the above mentioned HowTo for Amarok from git. We still need to add some more lines to make sure we get a proper debug output for the phonon-vlc backend:

Add the following lines to your $HOME/.bashrc:

export PHONON_VLC_DEBUG=3
export PHONON_DEBUG=1


1. Install the latest VLC version


I haven’t found out how to build libvlc as a standalone library, so I did build VLC 1.1 pre. This will drag in quite some code, but you will get a brand new VLC version as a bonus 🙂 Make sure you do indeed use VLC 1.1, it doesn’t work with the current 1.0.5 on Lucid.

You can find the source code here: http://git.videolan.org/vlc.git. Since I would like to use the new VLC by default, I did a system-wide installation, but the careful amongst you can do a local installation. The steps are the following:

use a local vlc directory, I use $HOME/kde/src/
git clone git://git.videolan.org/vlc.git
cd vlc

Now I am somewhat lazy, so I used the very handy build-dep command to find all the necessary dependencies for VLC. You can do this by activating the source repositories in your /etc/apt/sources.list, then type the following command:

sudo apt-get build-dep vlc

For OpenSuSE users, this would be:

sudo zypper si -d vlc

This will bring in almost all necessary dependencies, but the following did not show up, so I had to install those afterwards:

libxcb-shm0-dev

libxcb-xv0-dev

libx11-xcb-dev

To build VLC, you will also need the following packages:

autoconf

lua5.1

liblua5.1-0-dev
OK, lets build it then:

./bootstrap
./configure --prefix=/usr

don’t forget to change this prefix for a local installation, and of course do not run make install with sudo rights below.

make -j3 && sudo make install

There you are, you have a brand new VLC! For those using a local installation, don’t forget to remove the distro packages to avoid any conflicts.

2. Build the phonon-vlc backend

The current code is located on Gitorious. Keep in mind that this is still very much work in progress, so there will be changes to the code almost daily. Below is the suggestion for a local build:

Again, use a new repository for this code, I suggest $HOME/kde/src/ as usual:

git clone git://gitorious.org/phonon/phonon-vlc.git
cd phonon-vlc
mkdir build
cd build

Everything is read to build now:

cmake -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=$HOME/kde/ -DCMAKE_INCLUDE_PATH=$HOME/kde/include/ -DCMAKE_LIBRARY_PATH=$HOME/kde/lib/ -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=debugfull $HOME/kde/src/phonon-vlc/

all in one line, of course, don’t forget to change the -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX for a non local installation.

make -j3 && make install
the same warning applies for a non local build, do use sudo make install

We are almost there, now let’s activate this backend:

kbuildsycoca4 --noincremental

And now you can change your backend in the System Settings -> Multimedia -> Backend tab. Start Amarok and enjoy 🙂

Please help us improve this backend and report any bugs you might find here: http://bugs.kde.org/enter_bug.cgi?product=phonon, component “VLC backend”. Keep in mind that this is still work in progress, so make sure your bug report is really against the latest version. For those willing to give a hand and/or submit patches, please meet us in #phonon on irc.freenode.net or make a merge request for your patch.

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