[vlc-devel] VLC browser plugin for Mac OS X

James Bates james.h.bates at gmail.com
Sat Oct 6 15:18:07 CEST 2012

Hello all,

A while back I was trying to get the VLC npapi plugin to display in-browser on Mac OS X using the so-called "Core Animation drawing model". I had some posted some mixed results here in the mailing list at the time, and intend to look into it further.

In the meantime, it is possible to build the vlc-npapi plugin on OS X as a 32-bit plugin, and get it to run in the newest versions of Safari, Firefox and Google Chrome for OS X. The video contents are however displayed in a separate window, not inside the browser (as far as I can tell from the code this has always been the case on OS X).

To build this, it is necessary to first fix the minimal_macosx gui module in the vlc project, so that it can build and run with the new VLC 2.x core architecture. Subsequently the npapi-vlc project must be tweaked in order to get it to build on OS X again. In particular modern OS X browsers require something called "drawing & event model negotiation" during plugin initialisation, which I have included. I will submit both patches (one for the vlc project, and one for the npapi-vlc project).

To build a 32-bit plugin I used OS X 10.8 "Mountain Lion", aka Darwin 12 and Xcode 4.5 with command-line tools. A few tweaks in npapi-vlc were also necessary to deal with this newer Xcode version, and they are included in the patch. (The main vlc project already builds with newer Xcode's). I have made the resulting 32-bit plugin available here: https://ssl.jamesbates.de/vlc/VLC-Plugin-2.1-i386-apple-darwin12.tar.bz2  Note this is not an installer package, but simply an archive of the "VLC Plugin.plugin" folder, which you must manually install in /Library/Internet Plugins.

Hopefully this will at least give some hope to OS X users, who at present basically have no option whatsoever of using the browser plugin. In the meantime, I mean and hope to continue working the core animation drawing model stuff, to get the contents to display in-window, fingers crossed :)

Kind regards,
James Bates
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