[gst-devel] metadata handling

Thomas Vander Stichele thomas at urgent.rug.ac.be
Thu Oct 24 06:48:06 CEST 2002

Hi all,

I would like to restart the discussion on metadata ;)

There are some points i'd like to make and questions I want to ask.

First of all, my personal opinion is that it is highly critical that we 
handle metadata, and that we handle it well.  The number one reason for 
this is that GStreamer does a very good job of liberating any application 
that uses it from required dependencies on the underlying libraries.  If 
every application depends on GStreamer, and then on all of the underlying 
libraries for the metadata only, then that is stupid ;)

Also, we have always claimed that "it is trivial to create a pipeline and 
use it to get the metadata", so I think it's time we start to actually do 
that... I believe it should be indeed simple, but it would make sense for 
us to provide the mechanism to do that and at the least have a clear 
explanation of it.

Thirdly, if for some reason GStreamer isn't "mature" enough to do that 
currently (it's probably not ready for all formats yet), then I think we 
should take the easy way and use the underlying lib directly.  The plug-in 
uses the particular lib anyway, so let's virtualize the metadata handling 
functions in those libraries.

There is one point I think is important that we should look into.
I don't see how currently how we would do something as simple as "change 
the name in the metadata to ...".  It seems as though using GStreamer 
currently we would do a decode/re-encode with new metadata, which would be 
silly.  How, in GStreamer terms, would we handle this basic operation ?

Apart from that, we should probably not currently worry or be troubled by 
questions we used to have like "what happens to the metadata if we mix two 
files with metadata" ? I don't think the user expects us to make a good 
guess as to what the resulting metadata ought to be ;)

Jump in !



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