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Play DVD audio via AirTunes and VLC Apps
Encouraged by the success of channeling sound to iTunes and then AirTunes with NiceCast, I thought I would try doing the same thing with VLC, since it also can stream audio. VLC's interface is almost purposefully cryptic, and it's hard to find a reference to it streaming 'Shoutcast' (the stream that iTunes can receive), but Shoutcast's ICY protocol is so simple that you can replicate it just by telling VLC to stream an MP3 to HTTP with raw (no) encapsulation.

VLC's streaming configuration panel doesn't really work (or at least I can't figure it out), but after significant googling, I deciphered their MURL scheme enough to write my own streaming MURL. Here it is:
#transcode{acodec=mpga,ab=192,channels=2}:duplicate{dst=std{access=http,
mux=raw,url=:8080}, select=novideo, dst=display, select=noaudio}
Note: the above should be one long line, and do not add a space after the comma at the line break...

What this says is to transcode audio to 192 bit/sec MPEG layer 2 (the MP3 encoder is much slower), to display the video only, and to stream the audio to HTTP port 8080. Copy and paste this MURL to the "Choose a stream output" input box of the Stream output page of VLC's preferences. You'll need to check "Advanced" to see this page. Don't change any other streaming controls.

It turns out that VLC 0.7.2 is not a very efficient transcoder. You'll likely need to use the crash-happy but fast 0.8 test2 version. Play a DVD with these settings, and you should see video with no audio. Open iTunes and go to Advanced -> Open Stream. Tune to icy://localhost:8080 and select your AirTunes speakers. You should hear your movie with a considerable delay. On my computer, this delay is reliably 2.85 seconds. On the audio page of VLC's prefs, put in -2850 for the desynchronization compensation. Close your movie and open it again (you have to do this for any preference change to take effect, it seems). When your movie opens, it should be more closely synchronized. If it's not perfect, you may need to fiddle with the compensation. Pausing the movie, or clicking through menus, will require some patience since everything is affected by the audio delay.

The volume control in VLC seems to have no effect, so you'll need to use the one in iTunes. Seeking in a movie is VLC's weakest point; in the beta version, you'll need to pause before you seek or it will probably crash.

My 1Ghz PowerBook is able to do all of this at less than 50% CPU utilization. Increasing the audio bitrate helped lower it, so you may want to increase it more if your CPU is overloaded. Also, it's conceivable that you could stream the audio to another computer's iTunes to offload some of the work. Either of these changes will increase the audio delay and require adjustment in the compensation.

Setting this up is a bit of work, but in my wireless household, we wouldn't have it any other way. Good luck!
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Play DVD audio via AirTunes and VLC | 14 comments | Create New Account
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VLC owns
Authored by: tetsuotheironman on Oct 26, '04 12:55:56PM

I've commented before how much VLC rules. With the publication of this hint, I just wanted to repeat how much VLC rules. Hate the be the VLC fanboy here, but really... It rules.



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Can't install VLC 0.8
Authored by: avi4now on Oct 26, '04 05:24:18PM

I really want to try this out, but I'm having trouble installing the 0.8test version. I downloaded the DMG file from videolan.org twice with two different browsers, no dice. OS X gives me an error dialog: Warning: The following disk images failed to mount. Reason: no mountable file systems.

Can anyone help me out on how to get a good copy of this software?

---
Avi Flax
Student in Jerusalem
PowerBook G4 15" 1.25GHz 10.3.5

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Can't install VLC 0.8
Authored by: ebernet on Oct 26, '04 07:34:19PM

Sounds like you have stuffit expander set to mount disk images. It does not work with many disk images. You could try to upgrade your Stuffit Expander to a new version, or disable the mount disk images option.<br>
Eytan



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Can't install VLC 0.8
Authored by: The DJ on Oct 27, '04 08:35:41AM

The download server has been down for a couple of hours this week.



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Can't install VLC 0.8
Authored by: avi4now on Oct 28, '04 04:20:18AM

I got it! Thanks for the suggestions. I looked at the files that I downloaded and I saw that they were too small - the downloads didn't come in completely. I'm not sure why Safari didn't tell me though - that's pretty annoying.

That said, this is an awesome hint! I'm loving it - no more stringing a long cable from our stereo to the laptop. I think I need to fine-tune the audio "delay" a bit, but that's no problem. Sweet! Thanks!

---
Avi Flax
Student in Jerusalem
PowerBook G4 15" 1.25GHz 10.3.5



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Play DVD audio via AirTunes and VLC
Authored by: The DJ on Oct 27, '04 08:43:04AM

This is very advanced usage of VLC. i applaud this very much. I agree that this isn't straight forward to setup. Please understand that this is exactly the reason that VLC CAN do this. It's so flexible technologically that the interface just can't keep up. Making every single feature available trough an easy to use interface has never been the goal. As long as you can use the feature if you want.

BTW. this is one of those things that I would like to improve in future versions.



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Can't get VLC to play DVD's
Authored by: rondavesal on Nov 07, '04 09:02:59PM

Great hint!
I tried it with several types of music and movie files and it works fine.
However, whenever I try with actual DVDs, VLC crashes every time.
Sometimes it gives me one frame (the FBI one...) before giving up.
I use the stable 0.8.0 version, tried re-installing, tried using the 0.7.2 version, but I can't get it to play DVD's. (I used DVD Player before, so I don't know wether it ever worked in the past).
Am I the only one having these kinds of problems with VLC? I am using a 400MHz, 384MB tiBook; could this be too slow? Does anything depend on the DVD region?
Please help me out: I would really like to use my AE at least for music AND DVD (and preferably have an Sys. Prefs. sound out option set to AE, since my internal speakers are broken).



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Play DVD audio via AirTunes and VLC, delay
Authored by: karl_rumbold on Dec 04, '04 06:15:34PM

I have troubles getting the delay right. I delay does not change if I set the Audio desynchronisation compensation from the Audio menu. I have restarted the movie every time I made changes. Must I change other settings as well?



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Play DVD audio via AirTunes and VLC
Authored by: taylanpince on Dec 31, '04 08:23:18PM

i don't know how to thank you for this hint. at last, i feel like i wasn't that much ripped off by buying an airport express. thanks so much.



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Play DVD audio via AirTunes and VLC
Authored by: Digeridude on Feb 08, '05 05:47:20PM

Ok - I have installed VLC - copied the special line to the advanced streaming output location as so: #transcode{acodec=mpga,ab=192,channels=2}:duplicate{dst=std{access=http,mux=raw,url=:8080}, select=novideo, dst=display, select=noaudio}

But I don't get any sound whatsoever - a few screach's were audible but nothing more...

Any ideas on this?



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Play DVD audio via AirTunes and VLC
Authored by: keepzen on Feb 12, '05 10:03:45AM

Yay, that's cool. Just one thing: The transcode part is absolutely not necessary. This is sufficient and bypass an unnecessary encoding step:
#duplicate{dst=std{access=http,mux=raw,url=:8080}, select=novideo, dst=display, select=noaudio}
Working fine ;)

Just imagine how it would have been watching a divx: an mp3 files is transcoded to mp2 audio to iTunes and then streamed in mp4 lossless to the Airport Express LOL. Think about your poor laptop batteries ;)



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Play DVD audio via AirTunes and VLC
Authored by: Milford on Jul 01, '05 02:17:04AM

Incidentally, playing VLC's streaming video sound via your LAN is easy--just tell another iTunes to look at your video-serving-computer's local ip, port 8080 (eg, http://192.168.1.3:8080/) and iTunes will pick up the stream easy as pie. I couldn't get the second streaming code mentioned in this thread to work, but the original one at the top of the thread worked fine for me--only a 1-second delay!



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Play DVD audio via AirTunes and VLC
Authored by: Tom Robinson on Oct 12, '05 12:10:19PM

Note under VLC 0.8.2 the place to enter the MURL is in Preferences, click Advanced, Stream output -> General, 'Default stream output chain'.



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Play DVD audio via AirTunes and VLC
Authored by: katmarie24 on Mar 13, '10 11:20:13PM

I've gotten about 1/2 of it working, but when I go to iTunes I don't have an "Advanced: Open Stream". I have an "Advanced: Open Audio Stream" which I assume is about the same. But when I enter the text suggested nothing happens. It doesn't ask me to choose any speakers and no audio plays. What am I doing wrong?



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