Wednesday, October 16, 2013


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Ever since I started using VLC Media Player, I was impressed with its capabilities, especially its built-in codecs which require no further installations. After exploring the VLC structure a little further, I found the libvlc.dll module which is an API for the entire VLC engine, and contains a rich set of rendering, streaming, and transcoding functionality. Libvlc is a native DLL which exposes hundreds of C method calls. The main concept of this article is to provide a .NET API for the libVLC interface so the vast majority of VLC functionality could be utilized in managed applications.

VLC 1.1.x introduced several improvements and fixes detailed here; the most compelling ones are GPU decoding and simplified LIBVLC API with no exception handling. Version 1.1.1 also adds support for the Google WebM video format.


In order to use libvlc in a managed application, it has to be wrapped by some kind of interoperability layer. There are three ways to accomplish this:

COM Interop

Since libvlc is a native library which exports pure C methods, P/Invoke is chosen here.

If you are planning to enrich your knowledge of P/Invoke, libvlc is a great place to start. It has a large number of structures, unions, and callback functions, and some methods require custom marshalling to handle double pointers and string conversions.

We have to download the VLC source code to better understand the libvlc interface. Please follow this link. After extracting the archive content, go to the <YOUR PATH>\vlc-1.1.4\include\vlc folder:

Read more: Codeproject
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