blob: d1e5393017ac567882a8a55292d944bcf27e688f [file] [log] [blame]
<chapter id="chapter-advanced-tagging">
<title>Tagging (Metadata and Streaminfo)</title>
<sect1 id="section-tagging-overview" xreflabel="Overview">
Tags are pieces of information stored in a stream that are not the content
itself, but they rather <emphasis>describe</emphasis> the content. Most
media container formats support tagging in one way or another. Ogg uses
VorbisComment for this, MP3 uses ID3, AVI and WAV use RIFF's INFO list
chunk, etc. GStreamer provides a general way for elements to read tags from
the stream and expose this to the user. The tags (at least the metadata)
will be part of the stream inside the pipeline. The consequence of this is
that transcoding of files from one format to another will automatically
preserve tags, as long as the input and output format elements both support
Tags are separated in two categories in GStreamer, even though applications
won't notice anything of this. The first are called <emphasis>metadata</emphasis>,
the second are called <emphasis>streaminfo</emphasis>. Metadata are tags
that describe the non-technical parts of stream content. They can be
changed without needing to re-encode the stream completely. Examples are
<quote>author</quote>, <quote>title</quote> or <quote>album</quote>. The
container format might still need to be re-written for the tags to fit in,
though. Streaminfo, on the other hand, are tags that describe the stream
contents technically. To change them, the stream needs to be re-encoded.
Examples are <quote>codec</quote> or <quote>bitrate</quote>. Note that some
container formats (like ID3) store various streaminfo tags as metadata in
the file container, which means that they can be changed so that they don't
match the content in the file any more. Still, they are called metadata
because <emphasis>technically</emphasis>, they can be changed without
re-encoding the whole stream, even though that makes them invalid. Files
with such metadata tags will have the same tag twice: once as metadata,
once as streaminfo.
There is no special name for tag reading elements in &GStreamer;. There are
specialised elements (e.g. id3demux) that do nothing besides tag reading,
but any &GStreamer; element may extract tags while processing data, and
most decoders, demuxers and parsers do.
A tag writer is called <ulink type="http"
An element supporting both can be used in a tag editor for quick tag
changing (note: in-place tag editing is still poorly supported at the time
of writing and usually requires tag extraction/stripping and remuxing of
the stream with new tags).
<sect1 id="section-tagging-read" xreflabel="Reading Tags from Streams">
<title>Reading Tags from Streams</title>
The basic object for tags is a <ulink type="http"
</classname></ulink>. An element that is reading tags from a stream should
create an empty taglist and fill this with individual tags. Empty tag
lists can be created with <function>gst_tag_list_new ()</function>. Then,
the element can fill the list using <function>gst_tag_list_add ()
</function> or <function>gst_tag_list_add_values ()</function>.
Note that elements often read metadata as strings, but the
values in the taglist might not necessarily be strings - they need to be
of the type the tag was registered as (the API documentation for each
predefined tag should contain the type). Be sure to use functions like
<function>gst_value_transform ()</function>
to make sure that your data is of the right type.
After data reading, you can send the tags downstream with the TAG event.
When the TAG event reaches the sink, it will post the TAG message on
the pipeline's GstBus for the application to pick up.
We currently require the core to know the GType of tags before they are
being used, so all tags must be registered first. You can add new tags
to the list of known tags using <function>gst_tag_register ()</function>.
If you think the tag will be useful in more cases than just your own
element, it might be a good idea to add it to <filename>gsttag.c</filename>
instead. That's up to you to decide. If you want to do it in your own
element, it's easiest to register the tag in one of your class init
functions, preferably <function>_class_init ()</function>.
static void
gst_my_filter_class_init (GstMyFilterClass *klass)
gst_tag_register ("my_tag_name", GST_TAG_FLAG_META,
_("my own tag"),
_("a tag that is specific to my own element"),
<sect1 id="section-tagging-write" xreflabel="Writing Tags to Streams">
<title>Writing Tags to Streams</title>
Tag writers are the opposite of tag readers. Tag writers only take
metadata tags into account, since that's the only type of tags that have
to be written into a stream. Tag writers can receive tags in three ways:
internal, application and pipeline. Internal tags are tags read by the
element itself, which means that the tag writer is - in that case - a tag
reader, too. Application tags are tags provided to the element via the
TagSetter interface (which is just a layer). Pipeline tags are tags
provided to the element from within the pipeline. The element receives
such tags via the <symbol>GST_EVENT_TAG</symbol> event, which means
that tags writers should implement an event handler. The tag writer is
responsible for combining all these three into one list and writing them
to the output stream.
The example below will receive tags from both application and pipeline,
combine them and write them to the output stream. It implements the tag
setter so applications can set tags, and retrieves pipeline tags from
incoming events.
Warning, this example is outdated and doesn't work with the 1.0 version
of &GStreamer; anymore.
gst_my_filter_get_type (void)
static const GInterfaceInfo tag_setter_info = {
g_type_add_interface_static (my_filter_type,
static void
gst_my_filter_init (GstMyFilter *filter)
* Write one tag.
static void
gst_my_filter_write_tag (const GstTagList *taglist,
const gchar *tagname,
gpointer data)
GstMyFilter *filter = GST_MY_FILTER (data);
GstBuffer *buffer;
guint num_values = gst_tag_list_get_tag_size (list, tag_name), n;
const GValue *from;
GValue to = { 0 };
g_value_init (&to, G_TYPE_STRING);
for (n = 0; n < num_values; n++) {
guint8 * data;
gsize size;
from = gst_tag_list_get_value_index (taglist, tagname, n);
g_value_transform (from, &to);
data = g_strdup_printf ("%s:%s", tagname,
g_value_get_string (&to));
size = strlen (data);
buf = gst_buffer_new_wrapped (data, size);
gst_pad_push (filter->srcpad, buf);
g_value_unset (&to);
static void
gst_my_filter_task_func (GstElement *element)
GstMyFilter *filter = GST_MY_FILTER (element);
GstTagSetter *tagsetter = GST_TAG_SETTER (element);
GstData *data;
GstEvent *event;
gboolean eos = FALSE;
GstTagList *taglist = gst_tag_list_new ();
while (!eos) {
data = gst_pad_pull (filter->sinkpad);
/* We're not very much interested in data right now */
if (GST_IS_BUFFER (data))
gst_buffer_unref (GST_BUFFER (data));
event = GST_EVENT (data);
switch (GST_EVENT_TYPE (event)) {
gst_tag_list_insert (taglist, gst_event_tag_get_list (event),
gst_event_unref (event);
eos = TRUE;
gst_event_unref (event);
gst_pad_event_default (filter->sinkpad, event);
/* merge tags with the ones retrieved from the application */
if ((gst_tag_setter_get_tag_list (tagsetter)) {
gst_tag_list_insert (taglist,
gst_tag_setter_get_tag_list (tagsetter),
gst_tag_setter_get_tag_merge_mode (tagsetter));
/* write tags */
gst_tag_list_foreach (taglist, gst_my_filter_write_tag, filter);
/* signal EOS */
gst_pad_push (filter->srcpad, gst_event_new (GST_EVENT_EOS));
Note that normally, elements would not read the full stream before
processing tags. Rather, they would read from each sinkpad until they've
received data (since tags usually come in before the first data buffer)
and process that.