[vlc-devel] Re: [vlc] Illegal characters in RTSP stream user/password mechanism

Ross Finlayson finlayson at live.com
Sat Aug 6 08:09:35 CEST 2005

>It seems that when there is an illegal character in the user/password
>authentication mechanism of an RTSP URL, then VLC fails to deliver
>the content.
>For example, for user "user" and password "passw at rd" the RTSP URL
>is: rtsp://user:passw@rd@somesite/somecatalog/file.rm and that's
>something that causes VideoLAN not to show the stream.

The problem here is caused by the RTSP client code's parsing of 
optional "<user>:<password>@" fields in "rtsp://" URLs (in the 
LIVE.COM libraries).  It stops at the first '@' (or '/').

Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any good way to fix this, 
because of the fact that the '@', '/' and '.' characters can also 
appear in the stream name portion of the URL (i.e., after the host 
name or address).  I don't believe that this can be parsed 
unambiguously.  Basically, "<username>:password@" is a non-standard 
hack, and one that we shouldn't really be using in any case.

The real solution to this problem is to fix VLC so that - if a RTSP 
(or HTTP!) authentication failure occurs - it will then pop up a 
dialog box in wihch users can enter a <username>,<password> 
pair.  Then, retry using that <username> and <password>.

This is what QuickTime Player and other media players do; VLC should 
be doing it as well.

If the VLC developers would implement such a dialog box, and use it 
for HTTP authentication, then I'll add the appropriate code to the 
LIVE.COM libraries and "modules/demux/livedotcom.cpp" to also use it 
for RTSP authentication.  Just let me know...

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