Extensions in VLC media player, starting from version 1.1

Motivated from the community driven addons feature of Firefox, VLC developers have announced that starting from Version 1.1 users will be able to write their own plugins, code named extensions, for VLC media player. These extensions will be written in Lua, a light weight scripting language, embedded inside VLC media player.

What are these extensions we are talking about?

Extensions or plugins are not a new conecpt in multimedia applications, all of you would have used plugins in amarok, exaile or rhythmbox that let you fetch lyrics or artist's data from Wikipedia. The idea here is similar and some of the extensions proposed by Jean-Philippe André, one of the developers, are:

  • Wikipedia: get information about the artist, the album or the movie from Wikipedia.
  • IMDb: read the plot summary, learn about the cast of a movie and get a direct link to the Internet Movie Database.
  • Last.fm: Read useful information fetched from the artist's page on Last.fm.
  • Lyrics: Automatically get the lyrics of the current song.
  • Subtitles: Find and insert subtitles on top of the video in two clicks.
  • Concerts: Learn about the next concerts of this artist.

Take a look at the screenshots to get a better picture of VLC media player extensions.

So, as you can see these extensions will be some scripts running in the media player which will pop up and fetch the data from the web for you.

Why would I need extensions?

Again the Firefox example, the biggest reason behind its success and fan following is because of tons of useful addons available for it. One of the main reasons why I am a big fan of amarok is because of its great plugins that will download the song's lyrics, artist's info from Wikipedia, album cover etc. for me.

So, just imagine, wouldn't it be amazing if you can get a similar or may be more powerful functionality with VLC media player extensions. It is no doubt one of the most popular cross-platform open-source applications and if it gets the same community response as Firefox addons have, it will be unbeatable or I would like to say GoD LiKe!

This looks awesome, how do i start using and writing extensions?

Slow down pal, this feature will be available from version 1.1 which is currently under heavy development. But if you still want to try, you will have to install the nightly build of VLC from http://nightlies.videolan.org.

Once the nightly is installed you can find more info about downloading the script from the developer blog. If you are interested in coding some extensions, then you can either wait for some tutorials or you can read the README file and follow the example scripts for help.

I am not sure about you but I can't wait to use VLC 1.1.

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