[gst-devel] General questions about GStreamer

David Schleef ds at schleef.org
Fri Jan 7 13:50:25 CET 2005

On Fri, Jan 07, 2005 at 07:22:10PM +0100, Hynek Hanke wrote:
> Hi everyone,
> I'm an accessibility developer from Czech Republic working on the
> http://www.freebsoft.org project. I'm trying to understand why there
> is still no good common multimedia framework on GNU/Linux (we need one)
> and I'd like to ask a few questions about GStreamer and your developement
> effort.
> 1) How is it with GStreamer and network transparency. I understand this
> is not a key design point. Is it possible to fully and without any
> restrictions and timing problems (as long as the network permits) run
> media applications over the network?

There is some support for a protocol unique to GStreamer that
allows you to pass streams directly from a GStreamer pipeline
on one machine to a pipeline on another machine.  And it wouldn't
be too difficult to write a library that handles network-transparent
distribution and control of GStreamer pipelines.  The fact that
nobody has done this, IMO, shows how non-useful this feature is.

In my several years of working with multimedia, I have yet to find
an application that _requires_ network transparency of the media
framework itself.  Sure, there are lots of media applications that
use the network, but they all use standard protocols to talk to
servers and/or clients, which are typically using a different media

> 2) Which sound server do you recommend to use with GStreamer?

Just don't use one that sucks (like esd).  The least sucky these
days seems to be polypaudio.  I tend to use OSS directly.

> 3) Have you talked to the people from MAS and NMM? Why are there
> three projects doing mostly the same?

They're not.  MAS is primarily focused on moving audio from an
application to a sound device, perhaps moving the audio over the
network.  It contains some components you might be able to use
internal to an application, but you could not write an application
like rhythmbox with it.  MAS is also not actively developed anymore.
(This could change in the future, though.)

NMM is much like GStreamer, except that they have network
transparency as a primary objective.


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