Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?

GStreamer: Full-featured Multimedia for Linux 53

Ur@eus sent us this: "We at Linuxpower have just put up an interview with Erik Walthinsen, lead developer on GStreamer. GStreamer is a full featured MultiMedia framework which recently got commercial backing from RidgeRun Inc.. GStreamer has also been chosen to be featured at GUADEC 2. For those interested in Multimedia on Linux there is a new version available from the GStreamer homepage today."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

GStreamer: Full-featured Multimedia for Linux

Comments Filter:
  • dmSDK [] is SGI's Digital Media SDK. It was recently released for Linux. The advantage IMHO is that dmSDK is already being deployed on Irix and NT, in other words, it has been field tested and is very well documented []. And because it's desktop enviroment independant (i.e. it doesn't have a G or K prefix :) its acceptance might happen more frictionless. It is not (yet?) released under GPL but under SGI's OSS license. But the most important "advantage" is has is perhaps the fact that it is included in the Khronos group's [] standard which makes it just as standard as OpenGL. I encourage you to go check it out...

  • Maybe now people can settle on one interface instead of repeating everything over and over again.

    Hopefully this will allow some really fast and tight YUVRGB code so that we [] don't have to worry about that and can have a nice common interface.

    New worlds are not born in the vacuum of abstract
  • 'The Don' was the Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky of cricket all rolled into one.

    But he still can't hang with He Hate Me.


  • Because, quicktime is not the only file format you find. You have AVI's, mpeg, etc.

    Gstreamer's scope is much larger than quicktime's. Read more about it to understand why.
  • LAMP - A good start, but no encoding. Just another player xthreatre(sic) - smpeg player... no heavy lifting xmovie - Another Andy Williams production. Much heavy lifting. Wish Ridge Run would hire hime.
  • I now see what you mean, quicktime is bigger. I was only thinking of the file format, which is cool, but not all that gstreamer is shooting for.
  • Here's why: The arts project does even mention video from their site: >aRts simulates a complete "modular analog >synthesizer" on your - digital - computer. >Create sounds & music using small >modules like oscillators for creating >waveforms, various filters, modules for >playing data on your speakers, mixers, >faders I only took a brief glance, but only being intrested in video, moved on. Also keep in mind gstreamer has been developing for over a year and a half.
  • Genuine question (not intended as flamebait or trolling): What is the reasoning for developing Gstreamer when there is something that already does the same thing available?

    KDE are using the toolkit independent aRts daemon to provide a similar function. Although aRts was originally intended as an audio framework, it has since been expanded to work with video. Gstreamer does the same thing. I don't know if Gstreamer fixes some technical problems with aRts, but what is the advantage of reinventing the wheel again (apart from the fact that Unix people seem to like that)?
  • you forgot xmps []

  • I'm sorry... admittedly, I only glanced through the article, so I could've missed something important. How is this in any way increasing the potential of Linux as a piracy platform? Are you saying that people *shouldn't* support multimedia file formats on Linux? I don't follow your point at all...

  • A true sign of a sportsman, he retired with a 99.94 average when one innings of about 10 would have given him an eternally magical century average but instead he bowed out gracefully as simply the most incredible batsman the sport has ever seen. Pick any other sportsman who reached the pinnacle of their sport and ask yourself if they would have left their sport just below such a milestone (would Walter Payton have gone for another game if his "last" game had left him with a 9.994 yards/rush average?)
  • Quicktime's scope is overbroad.The list of featuers mentioned aren't even directly related

    maybe. Personally I disagree but I think it is quite subjective. qtvr & rtsp both relate information to display video - that is the sharing point. The capability to integrate flash, (downloaded)still images, streaming video, sprites, etc into a single movie imply that there is a common core(the integration can be very useful too).

    GStreamer has focused itself on "streaming media" in an attempt to do it the best way possible

    I'm not knocking gstreamer, icepick stated that "Gstreamer's scope is much larger than quicktime's." I disagree and cited quicktime's rich features as a counter point. I doubt you would agree with icepick.

    comparing GStreamer and Quicktime is like comparing RealMedia Architecture to DirectX when it should be compared to DirectShow.

    Yes but just because Quicktime is hard to define doesnt mean it should be looked at in a limited view. Especially with QT's "xyz is just another track" philosophy. Actually I think i might agree with you. People should refer to quicktime as the quicktime API, quicktime file format, quicktime streaming, quicktime codecs, etc rather than simply *QuickTime*.

  • Apple's Quicktime certainly doesn't count to be "in the market", since you need to buy thier program to make and edit .mov's

    apple's streaming server doesn't count because of your false claim that "you need to buy thier program to make and edit .mov's?(you don't need an apostrophe to pluralize) QT is an open API. You can write your own editor.(well you probably can't but somebody else can)

    Isn't it interesting that Apple, Microsoft, and Real all give away some aspect of their software(streaming server, player, editor, & encoder-MS being the only one dumping everything- I mean 'integrating' everything) You expect it to be free so then you are shocked(!) that they dare try to charge for software!

    you need a fucking supercomputer to play them ... Celeron 300

    *gasp* a celeron not performing well!!! Next time buy an AMD

    not to mention a big FUCK YOU to every other OS user on the planet.

    with mac and windows versions they cover the vast majority of the market. Do you really think the users they would gain from porting to Solaris or Linux would cover their investment in porting it? How many linux boxes are servers, how many linux users routinely boot into windows or use vmware?

  • Because, quicktime is not the only file format you find. You have AVI's, mpeg, etc.

    Quicktime can read and write AVIs(no apostrophe dammit!) and read and write MPEG1(the heuris plugin). The other poster said "QuickTime API"

    Gstreamer's scope is much larger than quicktime's Read more about it to understand why

    Gstreamers's scope doesn't seem even as broad as QuickTime's. Read more about it to understand why(like qtvr, wired sprites, motion sprites, qd3d, rtp, rtsp, text tracks, vector tracks, live transitions, a varaity of codecs, reference movies, etc)

  • The streaming server market is definetly not saturated... not yet anyway.

    By your defs there are already 5 streaming servers, so 6 is one too many. In 1991 though there were many more than 5 OS's (Windows, MacOS, NeXT, 10's of UNIX flavors, DOS, and many others I'm forgetting), but there was still room for Linux... unless of course you're a windows whore...

  • Heh, you're both morons.
    Please don't ever pretend to know about things which you obviously don't.

  • The problem with Linux is it is free, and there are few companies that will mess with it. The good thing about Linux is that it is free, and anyone who wants to develop for it can, for free. Since there are still few BIG companies willing to jump into Linux and throw their weight around, then it will be harder for someone to shove a standard down our throats. Standard bullying is bad because many times, we are forced to accept a standard that is flawed just because a big company, or group of companies, decided that their way was the best. However, they picked for us, and we then had a standard to use, and sometimes improve.

    Most of the potential standards for multimedia in Linux out there are good, or on their way to good, but who is going to agree on which one is for everyone? Theoretically, the best would evolve and emerge as the leader. Unfortunately, that is rarely the case. I guess in a few (very few) instances, big companies can help us.

    FYI, I am a Linux advocate, and I tend to hate big companies, but they do help (although inadvertantly) consumers from time to time.

    Anyone have an idea how this will play out?
  • And why anonymously? I'm programming for a living (mostly Java, but I can do C as well). I've never writen anything like that, but the size of similar plugins (for xine), the existence of libcss and the docs for GStreamer suggests that there is nothing stopping me, that half a week of research wont solve).

    So you can say, that I could write that plugin (I think there are serveral other people outside the USA who'd be much faster and produce better plugins, but what matters, is that I _could_), I don't live in the US of A ... so what could the MPAA do, if I wrote that plugin and distributed it.

    AFAIK the MPAA can't do very much outside of the USA.
  • I have personally commuted from portland to boise serveral times. 25minute drive form NW portland (the good side) to the airport. A way quick flight to boise (goto horizon airlines web site). Pick up rental and 10-15 minutes to downdown boise.

  • Why do we need another one, why don't just use
    Apple's, I will help out if need be, I can make a
    website, the QuickTime API is on of the best
    Multimedia API out there.

    Andrew Pinski
  • Quicktime can read avis and mpeg, it is extenable and even the gui is.

    Its scope is even broader than Gstreamer.
    Quicktime's API is cleaner, and I would expect we could write a complatible one, like MESA does for OpenGL.

    Andrew Pinski
  • I would like to congragulate the developers for developing this fine multimedia framework. It's nice that the best OS in the world can now be used to do the most fun activity in the world, watch porn movies.

  • Pretty soon the college CS courses became a bit of a joke, so I kinda stopped going...

    That couldn't describe me...

  • Not that Im trying to be trollish but. What does that have to do with anything in this discussion? Simply out of curiosity.


  • by tykals ( 266589 )
    I would like to see English get a neuter pronoun.
  • but I just want my fonts to stop giving me a headache. I'd solve the problem myself but I'm still logging on as root because I don't understand permissions. Seriously, the Audio tools that Erik seems keen about could make Linux the choice for musicians. Like when Adobe made MAC the choice for graphic designers.
  • Why do people who really have no understanding of the game of cricket attempt to slam it as a "namby-pamby" game. It's obvious you haven't been to the streets of the islands in the Caribbean, nor to Indian, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, West South Africa, Zimbabwe, England, NZ, Australia - where it is one of the few ways that the poor can fight their way out of their circumstances. People like Sir Donald Bradman who died today and Lord Colin Cowdry who died a year ago helped elevate this sport so that it would be played by young kids from the streets - with a crate for stumps, a piece of wood for a bat and anything that bounces for a ball. By the way every wicket was sticky and lbw's did count.
  • GStreamer and similar pieces of software have the potential to turn Linux into the ultimate intellectual property piracy platform - if not in reallity, at least in the eyes of the RIAA and MPAA.

    I am not certain what to make of this, really. On the one hand, I appreciate the opportunity to have better multimedia on my Linux machines. However, I think that the community needs to be more cautious when producing programs that have the potential to be used for piracy.

    Software authors are themselves producers of intellectual property, and they have the moral obligation to assure that their programs are not used to steal the property and livelyhood of others. I simply don't see that the authors of GStreamer have taken even the barest precautions to assure this.

    - qpt
  • Quicktime's scope is overbroad. The list of featuers mentioned aren't even directly related...some aren't even "streaming media" (those that are will be supported by GStreamer as soon as we write the code 8-] ). For example, QTVR and RTP/RTSP are so different from each other that they hardly share any code. There is no common core tying these together, just the name. GStreamer has focused itself on "streaming media" in an attempt to do it the best way possible.

    Think of it this way: comparing GStreamer and Quicktime is like comparing RealMedia Architecture to DirectX when it should be compared to DirectShow.
  • I cannot seem to find a list on the site of what
    is supported... I've been looking for weeks for
    some means of playing a Windows Media Player audio
    stream so that I can listen to a station that is on

    If anybody has ideas in this regard, I would love to hear them!!!
  • Well, that is correct if you are just trying to do the obvious. There are a number of extensions to X that address this problem (Indeed games in Linux do use this strategy to bypass the X server).

    SGI pioneered Direct Rendering, which is a trick that requires hardware + (kernel and or X) support to allow user land applications to directly drive the hardware.

    Various PC hardware cards have supported this for a long time, and a few people were working on this. I lost track of this project a long time ago, as my interests shifted to other things.

  • I only know about Trinity because I wrote to one of the developers after the announcement on a few weeks ago. We were talking about whether gstreamer would make a good foundation for a free NLE. He told me there was already one in the works called Trinity, etc.

    Information about Trinity isn't on the gstreamer page, as far as I know.

  • Assuming he didn't exaggerate his time door to door, he could easilly do this under two hours.

    PDX (Portland International) to BOI (Gowen Field, Boise) is 298.2 nautical miles []. Even my slow ass Beech Sundowner can make that trip in under two hours (true airspeed 110 knots, ground speed wind dependent). If he lives relatively close to the airport, and the office at the other end is relatively near, and he flies in a reasonably fast plane, he should have no trouble in getting door to door in a couple of hours.

    Of course, bad weather and other factors can cause delays, or force the flight to be cancelled altogether. This is especially true with General Aviation aircraft, which fly at lower altitudes and are more vulnerable to weather en route than higher-flying commuter or corporate jets.
  • Even my slow ass Beech Sundowner can make that trip in under two hours

    Argh! I should really preview before posting.

    The above should have read "Even my slow ass Beech Sundowner can make the trip in under two hours with a good tailwind." Normally such a trip, in still air, will take my plane closer to 2 hours and 40 minutes (110 - 120 kts tas), which is slower than many General Aviation aircraft.

    My guess is he's either flying a fast single (150-200 kts), a twin (150-200kts), or a corporate jet (300+ kts).
  • You seem to have mistaken Slashdot for a private
    pilots' website. This 22 year old guy is probably
    _not_ flying his own plane to and from Boise. He
    is likely glad his firm pays commercial airfares.

    But yes, it's possible to get from Portland to
    Boise in ~2 hours, if you don't waste time in the
    airports. Portland isn't a very busy airport and
    Boise is... um, even less busy. I think airlines
    use Fokker 100s or small MD-80s from Portland to
    Boise. These commercial jets do 500+ mph, which
    makes the Portland/Boise trip about 40-45 minutes.

    I grew up in Portland, OR (but I don't live there
    now), and yes, I went to Boise by air last year.
  • Yeah, it's tacky to reply one's own post, I know.

    But this is tale telling. The fire's dying down,
    and you younger folks might appreciate a story...

    In high school, a substitute teacher in foundry
    class (!) mentioned a ranch in Eastern Oregon to
    apply for field hand work. I wrote, was accepted,
    so I went up there, traveling on my Yamaha 250cc
    motorcycle. I spent the summer there, lived in
    a bunkhouse, up at dawn, fed well, down at dusk.

    I went back a second year (almost 18, now), and I
    was given a piece of heavy equipment to run about.
    Well, it was interesting. I almost ran over some
    transient field worker (but didn't, thank God) and
    almost got called out by some little truck driver
    half my size (didn't happen, thank _his_ stars).

    Most important lesson - it you're going to ride a
    motorcycle 200 miles, get some good sleep before.

    I didn't, and I almost died several times on the
    way home because of it. When you're on the gravel
    at 70 mph, on a bike, that's on the edge! I have
    done that. I would have preferred not to do that.

    It's funny, I later ended up as climbing teacher
    for the same guy who mentioned the ranch to me....
    Too bad the weather was prohibitive. I would have
    enjoyed scaring him half to death, several times.

    Thus endeth the story.

  • Let's see--we have xine, xmms, oms, and now gstreamer..

    Not to mention LAMP, mplayer, Xthreatre, XMovie, and a couple others I've forgotten!

    To be fair though, GStreamer is a library rather than an application, so it may be worth taking a look at...
  • the ./configure script shows on my system:

    checking DVD CSS code... no
    looks like it's already there :)

  • The above post is not informative; we're talking about the QuickTime API here, which is codec-independent.
  • Erik has writen the followng reply to that question, which I thought I link to here for completion. GStreamer mail archive []
  • Better than re-inventing them as square wheels [].
  • Apple doesn't even own most of the codecs they use.
    They're licensed from other companies.

  • Newsflash: GStreamer "Lots of Duct Tape" 0.1.1 Released!

    Looks very promising, but I think the editotial title of the version says it all.


    Another worthy project I just wish I had the time for!

  • I noticed that one of the screenshots was of a Matrix .vob file. Hmmmm.... if DVD playing wasn't compiled in, I'm sure someone could make a DeCSS plugin a la xine. I guess it would be hard for the MPAA to go after someone who anonymously writes a plugin for any of these players.
  • Even then, unless he lives right next to the airport, less than 2 hours is pushing it. figure 300 miles air distance. That's a roughly one hour flight (terminal to terminal), but you add in all the overhead at the airports and you're talking 3 hours easy.
  • The G in GStreamer at one time stood for Gnome but we realized that our core should be GUI-agnostic. We have worked hard to limit our dependencies save one: C. Ok, Ok we still need glib 8-]
  • by leviramsey ( 248057 ) on Sunday February 25, 2001 @05:40PM (#403795) Journal

    Sorry about this, but slashcode wouldn't let me post this in response to the article...

    Personally, I've lived in Portland, Oregon for all my 22 years, and would like to stay here. RidgeRun is in Boise, Idaho, so I do some commuting (less than 2 hours door-to-door), but it is telecommuting for the most part. [Emphasis mine...]

    Uh, according to [], the distance between Boise and Portland is ~421 miles. I know you can drive fast out west, but I don't think that hitting 250 is acceptable...

  • by tykals ( 266589 ) on Sunday February 25, 2001 @06:07PM (#403796)
    It's about time the Linux community got its act together and started making real apps, because every little bit helps. Eventually we won't need Microsoft to supply user-friendly software.

    I really hope this project succeeds. Congrats to the guys working on GStreamer!

  • by VValdo ( 10446 ) on Sunday February 25, 2001 @06:21PM (#403797)
    Providing access to cheap/free multimedia functionality, especially an open non-linear editor (a "word processor for video") is very important.

    As video has become a central way to entertain, inform and influence the public, "the people," not just government and big media companies, must be given the power to create decent video presentations..

    If you can't run one of the more popular commercial non-linear editors (Avid/Final Cut Pro/etc) I offer the following list of Linux alternatives.

    (And before you mod me offtopic, note that Trinity uses Gstreamer. So there.)


    Broadcast 2000 [] -- One of the more developed linux editors. Works with a variety of hardware. I personally haven't used it, but there is at least one company out there [] selling pre-packaged versions of this.

    Trinity [] -- Another Linux solution - still very early in development. Uses Gstreamer though

    MainActor [] -- I think this is a commercial Linux product, about $100.

    And for fun...


    ProTools FREE [] - This is a commercial product, but this free, non demoware version, limited to 8-tracks, does not require dedicated hardware. It does require Mac or Windows, though I have no idea if it will run under WINE.

    ProTUX [] - Although the web site denies it, this is basically an open source ProTools.

    Audacity [] - A cross-platform open source audio editor.

    I'm sure there are more, but these are the ones I know about.


  • by Stiletto ( 12066 ) on Sunday February 25, 2001 @06:22PM (#403798)

    Flame suit on and ready!

    Let's see--we have xine, xmms, oms, and now gstreamer... How often does the wheel have to be reinvented before there is an extensible media-playing system for *nix that provides what "Video for Windows" did for Windows years ago?

    Just to *catch up* with Windows, let alone trump it, this system needs:

    1. The ability to load a platform-independant module that provides any arbitrary codec, and all your movie or sound players will make use of the module.

    2. Something that can take advantage of hardware acceleration (MJPEG or MPEG accelerators, and capture cards)

    3. Is network transparent like X, for remote displaying over a high-speed network (none of them do this right, yet)

    I sure don't have the answers, but I bet if the amount of work that is put into so many seperate projects was concentrated on making them work together, Linux video woudln't be in such a sorry state.
  • by icepick ( 17241 ) on Sunday February 25, 2001 @07:33PM (#403799) Homepage Journal
    xine - uses avifile and mpeg2dec in an application to display video. It works, but so what? The heavy lifting is in those two libs.

    xmms - same here.

    oms - yep, yep. mpeg2dec. I know I've seen messages over a year ago to them from Erik trying to get them on board the gstreamer project but they really just wanted a DVD app at the time.

    >1. The ability to load a platform-independant
    >module that provides any arbitrary codec, and all
    >your movie or sound players will make use of the >module.

    Write a plug in for x in gstreamer and you can use it in all gstreamer apps. ("Platform-independant"? Not sure what this is supposed to mean. )

    >2. Something that can take advantage of hardware
    >acceleration (MJPEG or MPEG accelerators, and
    >capture cards)

    In gstreamer this is up to the plug in to be know about these things.

    >3. Is network transparent like X, for remote
    >displaying over a high-speed network (none of
    >them do this right, yet) Really look at

    One of the demo Erik was working on orignally was using Internet2 to do something much like this.

  • by mindstrm ( 20013 ) on Monday February 26, 2001 @03:25AM (#403800)
    PC manufacturers? they make computers that could be used to copy copyrighted files..... therefore, by your logic, they should exercise moer caution?

    Obeying the law is up to PEOPLE.

    For example, the law here says I cannot carry my giant bowie knife around town. However, I can purchase as many giant bowie knives as I want in the store. Is the store negligent? No. I am responsible.

    I have a CD burner. I could be pirating CD's all the time and selling them to people. Do I? No. I'm responsible. It's not the CD burner manufacturer who's at fault if it's used for illegal purposes.

    I can purchase all kinds of flammable liquids and matches at any store, but I don't go aroudn burning down things for fun, because it's illegal..

    Get the picture?

    And.. if *everyone* doesnt' want to follow a law, like some copyright things with regards to music, then maybe that law should CHANGE or GO AWAY.

    People have the right to persue profits, not the guarantee of profits.

This screen intentionally left blank.