2014
02.04

A short and simple post for today. Playing a video file in Freepascal, without using Lazarus.

I honestly couldn’t find any examples on the internet of how to do this, so I made one.

The DirectX9SDK has examples of how to use DirectShow/ActiveMovie to play back video files in C++, however, the common version of the DirectX headers for Delphi/FPC (Clootie’s graphics pages) don’t include the DirectShow headers, seemingly due to ActiveX dependencies.

For a lot of people, they might use video playback maybe once or twice in their whole application: playing a logo, or an end-of-game cutscene, and that’s it. Having to familiarise yourself with how to use COM, ActiveX and DirectShow in FPC seems like a lot of overhead just to achieve something so simple!

So, I created a handy class that takes care of all of that work and presents an extremely simple interface to anyone wanting to play video. Here’s how it works:

[code language=”delphi” gutter=”false”]
var
VideoPlayer: TVideoPlayer;

begin
VideoPlayer := TVideoPlayer.Create;
VideoPlayer.PlayVideo(‘somevideofile.avi’);
VideoPlayer.Free;
end;
[/code]

Download source code (including precompiled exe and sample video file) from the guide page.

The source code also shows you where to insert other code, if you want to do something useful while the video is playing (like loading other assets) or respond to user input.

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