[vlc-devel] VLC Store idea

Jean-Baptiste Kempf jb at videolan.org
Sun Dec 26 13:07:19 CET 2010


On Sun, Dec 26, 2010 at 12:59:32PM +0200, Rémi Denis-Courmont wrote :
> This was already discussed a while ago. However, I think it's fair to say that 
> the VideoLAN project sucks at server administration, due to lack of volunteer 
> time. It's gotten even worse since server access was restricted due to 
> (probably legitimate) security concerns.
I think you are unfair, but this is not the topic here. Since the
restriction, we've updated most of the servers and cleaned a lot the
servers. This cleaning has had some regressions, but the servers are in
way better shape than one month ago. For example, the forum and wiki
haven't been down since the upgrades. Moreover, we've had more and more
attacks (like the git attack of the 24-25/12) lately.
And, I would like to remember that the restriction access was agreed
after the planet.v.o problem.

Anyway, this is not the topic of the mail here.

> > 	The idea is to set up a store called the VLC Store that competes
> > with applications like iTunes, but only starting out with free (e.g.,
> > Public Domain, certain Creative Commons, etc.) content.
> I don't really see why it should be restricted to free content. Music is not 
> DRM'd anymore, as Kaarlo already pointed out.
We've already had discussions with eMusic (dionoea and I, IIRC).
And I've tried to discuss with Qobuz when I met them for work, but they
said nothing would happen before 2011, so nothing interesting to report.

> Only video is really problematic. Personnally, I don't like DRM, but I can 
> live with it. However, I could not accept restricting DRM'd content to somehow 
> "certified" and digitally-signed VLC versions. This would lock Linux 
> distributions out.

I haven't seen any DRM-free video store so far, and none of the DRM'd
systems seems to be Linux friendly, so I believe DRM'd video is yet to
be possible.

> > 	VLC Player could be updated to include a store option (I would
> > recommend that the user be prompted on first use to choose the way
> > VLC currently works {the default} or if they'd like to have it
> > default to the store since I think choice is very important).
> You probably assume some kind of interface design that you did not explicit, 
> so I can't comment much on this.

Interface is really the last part of the equation.

> > 	I'm willing to start out providing some server hardware and
> > database, but my concern is with bandwidth costs -- I have to make
> > sure that I can afford this, and I would need to talk to my upstream
> > providers as well.  We do have IPv4 and IPv6 addresses (native, not
> > tunnelled), which is also important for this type of project.
> The VideoLAN project would have the same problem. Most of our bandwidth is 
> provided by mirrors, including SF.net. As far as I know, we do not have 
> permission to provide non-software content through the mirrors. And we 
> definitely do not have permission to use the mirrors for commercial purposes, 
> if we were to sell music.

This would be stupid to do, managing our own store would be useless,
costly and boring.
If we (ever) have a store integration, it should be outsourced and

> > 	Any thoughts or ideas?  Better or different approaches?  I realize
> > that this isn't a new concept, but I think it's one that the VLC
> > Player may be well-suited for.
> I suspect it would be far simpler, both technically and legally/contractually, 
> to strike a partnership with an existing dealer, where we get a share of the 
> sales made through VLC.

Anyway, to be able to have a music store in VLC, we need improvements in
the audio part of VLC, and a correct Media Library. We've worked on that
for 1.2, but my opinion is that the road to go is still long.

Best Regards,

Jean-Baptiste Kempf
+33 672 704 734

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