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<chapter id="chapter-dparams">
<title>Dynamic Controllable Parameters</title>
<sect1 id="section-dparams-getting-started">
<title>Getting Started</title>
The controller subsystem offers a lightweight way to adjust gobject
properties over stream-time. Normally these properties are changed using
<function>g_object_set()</function>. Timing those calls reliably so that
the changes affect certain stream times is close to impossible. The
controller takes time into account. It works by attaching control-sources
to properties using control-bindings. Control-sources provide values for a
given time-stamp that are usually in the range of 0.0 to 1.0.
Control-bindings map the control-value to a gobject property they are bound to
- converting the type and scaling to the target property value range.
At run-time the elements continuously pull values changes for the current
stream-time to update the gobject properties. GStreamer includes a few
different control-sources and control-bindings already, but applications can
define their own by sub-classing from the respective base classes.
Most parts of the controller mechanism is implemented in GstObject. Also the
base classes for control-sources and control-bindings are included in the core
library. The existing implementations are contained within the
<filename>gstcontroller</filename> library.
You need to include the header in your application's source file:
#include &lt;gst/gst.h&gt;
#include &lt;gst/controller/gstinterpolationcontrolsource.h&gt;
#include &lt;gst/controller/gstdirectcontrolbinding.h&gt;
Your application should link to the shared library
<filename>gstreamer-controller</filename>. One can get the required flag for
compiler and linker by using pkg-config for gstreamer-controller-1.0.
<sect1 id="section-dparams-parameters">
<title>Setting up parameter control</title>
If we have our pipeline set up and want to control some parameters, we first
need to create a control-source. Lets use an interpolation control-source:
csource = gst_interpolation_control_source_new ();
g_object_set (csource, "mode", GST_INTERPOLATION_MODE_LINEAR, NULL);
Now we need to attach the control-source to the gobject property. This is done
with a control-binding. One control source can be attached to several object
properties (even in different objects) using separate control-bindings.
gst_object_add_control_binding (object, gst_direct_control_binding_new (object, "prop1", csource));
This type control-source takes new property values from a list of time-stamped
parameter changes. The source can e.g. fill gaps by smoothing parameter changes
This behavior can be configured by setting the mode property of the
control-source. Other control sources e.g. produce a stream of values by
calling <function>sin()</function> function. They have parameters to control
e.g. the frequency. As control-sources are GstObjects too, one can attach
control-sources to these properties too.
Now we can set some control points. These are time-stamped gdouble values and
are usually in the range of 0.0 to 1.0. A value of 1.0 is later mapped to the
maximum value in the target properties value range.
The values become active when the timestamp is reached. They still stay
in the list. If e.g. the pipeline runs a loop (using a segmented seek),
the control-curve gets repeated as well.
GstTimedValueControlSource *tv_csource = (GstTimedValueControlSource *)csource;
gst_timed_value_control_source_set (tv_csource, 0 * GST_SECOND, 0.0);
gst_timed_value_control_source_set (tv_csource, 1 * GST_SECOND, 1.0);
Now everything is ready to play. If the control-source is e.g. bound to a
volume property, we will head a fade-in over 1 second. One word of caution,
the volume element that comes with gstreamer has a value range of 0.0 to 4.0
on its volume property. If the above control-source is attached to the property
the volume will ramp up to 400%!
One final note - the controller subsystem has a built-in live-mode. Even though
a property has a control-source assigned one can change the GObject property
through the <function>g_object_set()</function>.
This is highly useful when binding the GObject properties to GUI widgets.
When the user adjusts the value with the widget, one can set the GObject
property and this remains active until the next programmed control-source
value overrides it. This also works with smoothed parameters. It does not
work for control-sources that constantly update the property (e.g. the