The first step when developing a vlcj application is to make sure vlcj can find the LibVLC native libraries. These native libraries provide the public API to LibVLC and is what enables you to embed VLC media players in your own applications.
In most cases, vlcj will be able to find the installed native libraries without you needing to do anything in your own code. This will likely be the case when you have VLC installed into the default location on your computer. If so, vlcj will be able to find the native libraries just by using your computer's normal search path.
Nevertheless, the most common problem for new developers when using vlcj is how to properly locate these libraries, and this tutorial will show you how to do just that.
Let's Get Started
Start with a standard Java application:
These is nothing special here.
Option 1 - Automatic Native Discovery
vlcj provides a class that you can use to try and automatically discover the location of the native libraries by searching well-known locations on your computer:
This class instantiates an instance of the
NativeDiscovery class and invokes
discover() to return a result to show whether or not the native libraries
were indeed found.
To check the native libraries, the next line of code writes out the version of LibVLC that was found or alternatively if the native libraries weren't found an exception will be thrown.
For most applications this will just work and you won't have to do anything else.
NativeDiscovery class can be sub-classed in your application to add more
locations to be searched for the native libraries if you want.
If it does not work, you have another option...
Option 2 - Explicit Library Path
If the native discovery does not work, you can explicitly set the library path:
This class uses a hard-coded constant to hold the native library search path, you could of course pass this in to your application as a command-line argument, a Java system property, read it from a properties file or whatever you want.
RuntimeUtil.getLibVlcLibraryName() code is required because the native
libraries are named differenty depending on your operating system.
The directory that you use for the search path must be the directory that
libvlccore shared objects (shared objects being
e.g. the files whose name ends
.so on Linux and
.dll on Windows).
This tutorial has shown the two main, and most reliable, ways to help vlcj discover the locations of the LibVLC native libraries.
You may ask why does vlcj not do this automatically? Well, different users will have different ways of configuring their environment and automatically doing native library discovery for every user might not be appropriate, for example it may be the case that multiple different versions of VLC are installed so how would automatic discovery know which one to pick. This is why it is left up to the application developer to choose.
Until you get this working, there is no point trying to do anything else with vlcj!
The rest of these tutorials will assume the automatic native discovery works.