The VLC media player is both – hated and loved. I tend to like it because it plays a lot of different formats and broken files pretty well in my experience.
Recently I set up a new Gentoo-based PC. I’ve emerged vlc with the recommended flags (see VLC media player for Gentoo Linux) and everything seemd well till I tried to play something with subtitles. It didn’t really matter if those were SRT, MicroDVD or any other. They just didn’t work. Funny thing though – the OSD as such worked. The file name has been displayed on playback start. As was other information like time, volume, etc.
So even though I didn’t suspect font problems I tried changing font face, size, position, background… I’ve reemerged it with
+fontconfig – nothing. Desperate I’ve gone through all the options and menus until I’ve hit the Messages window. It was spitting messages like crazy. Messages about inability to find XML library.
XML? What the heck? Well – let’s try. I’ve added the
+xml flag, reemerged, and… Yeah, it worked.
If someone can enlighten me why does it need XML support to display MicroDVD subtitles, I’ll appreciate. For now I just take it as a precondition and save it for future generations in this post.