[vlc-devel] VLC 0.9.0: headphone channel mixer - network neighbourhood

Boris Dores babal at via.ecp.fr
Fri Jul 11 19:58:34 CEST 2008

  Hi guys,

  Just a few words from a former contributor/developer...

  I just tested the 0.9.0 version. The work seems impressive, but here
is a few remarks.

  First, about the headphone channel mixer. A new spatializer is used
in the extended panel and as such seems to be destined to replace the
headphone channel mixer.

  Well, what I'm going to tell you probably won't be a shocker, but I
tend to prefer my algorithm :). For instance:
- the sound is "rounder" and more distant with the headphone mixer
- it's also much less aggressive when used over a long period of time
- frankly, no offense, but I can't see (well, hear) where the
  spatialization is as far as the center channel of a 5.1 stream is
  concerned with the new module

  But all that is highly subjective, so I would understand if it was
not the general opinion. Maybe it could be possible to allow users to
(easily) choose between the two of them ?

  However, much more troubling are the continuous cracks generated by
this new module, which are very annoying. I have no idea if it's a
simple and possibly platform dependant bug or a deeper flaw, but that's
clearly a regression from my point of view.

  I'm waiting for your opinion and ideas on the subjet.

  Anyway, if the headphone channel mixer stays, either as the main
module or as an alternative, a glitch has been introduced in the audio
preferences since last version: the option called "headphone surround
effect" does NOT activate the headphone channel mixer. As said in the
long description, it is a power user setting of the headphone channel
mixer which prevents the decoding of Dolby Surround: this option should
not be displayed in simple settings, and certainly not be called like
that. The only simple setting for this module is the "characteristic

  By the way, I think that the "Force detection of Dolby Surround" would
deserve a place in the extended panel. However, for the time being, the
stream must be restarted for this setting to be effectively changed,
which might be unnatural for users.

  The second issue is about the "open file" dialog box. The problem
is that there is no way, as far as I can tell, to browse and select
a file from the network neighbourhood (aka "My network places", aka
SAMBA of course). Indeed, the usual hierarchy (Desktop/My documents/My
computer/My network places) is not shown, and typing "\\host" in the
file name text box doesn't help.

  The ideal would probably be to respect the whole standard hierarchy in
the "look in" drop down box and the standard shortcuts on the left list
(which probably involves using IShellFolder [1]). However, the minimum
to avoid a regression should be to add "my network places" on the left
list and accepting the "\\host" syntax in the file name text box.

  [1] http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb762175(VS.85).aspx

  That's all folks. Just my 2 cents.

Boris Dorès

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