[FFmpeg-devel] [PATCH] avcodec: Add AVClass to AVCodecParameters

Michael Niedermayer michael at niedermayer.cc
Tue May 17 19:08:42 CEST 2016

On Tue, May 17, 2016 at 12:26:18PM -0400, Ronald S. Bultje wrote:
> Hi,
> On Tue, May 17, 2016 at 11:18 AM, Michael Niedermayer <
> michael at niedermayer.cc> wrote:
> > AVCodecContext contains all the fields that AVCodecParameters has.
> > Examples are width, height, bitrate, profile, sample_rate, channels
> >
> > In AVCodecContext these fields are accessible through AVOptions
> > in AVCodecParameters these fields are not accessible through AVOptions
> > and your code will crash mysteriously if you try to access them that
> > way
> >
> > This is a inconsistency that was not there before
> So, at the risk of going semi-offtopic, let me take a different angle at
> this problem.
> AVCodecParameter is supposed to be an intermediate layer that removes the
> need for lavf to access lavc structs like AVCodecContext, right?
> So, I worked (a long long time ago) on this software called GStreamer, and
> specifically, one of the plugins I worked on early on was gst-ffmpeg. I
> loved working on it because it practically added so many codecs to the
> player which were previously unsupported. Yay! Now, the API back then was
> horrible. You had an AVCodecContext (no AVOptions) and there were
> approximately 100 million fields that could be set. Most were undocumented,
> and it was totally unclear which needed to be set. For example, to play a
> WMA file, you might have to set block_align, but for other audio codecs,
> you do not [1].
> For video, sometimes you would have to set extradata (e.g. for SVQ3), but
> other times, you would not. Huffyuv required bits_per_sample, but h264 did
> not.
> So how do you write generic user-facing code where the demuxer and decoder
> actually are separate entities and merely interact over a serialized
> communication channel? You can't serialize AVCodecContext. I mean, you
> could, but that's a terrible idea. And nothing documented which fields were
> required to be set and which weren't.

> I was hoping that AVCodecParameters would solve this. Ideally, it would be
> a dictionary of fields that are to be shared between demuxer and decoder
> (or codec and muxer). But I think it has sort of strayed off of that intent
> and is just a flat minimized AVCodecContext as it existed in 2003.
> Can we fix this? I think AVOptions would be ideally suited to fix this.
> AVClass maybe helps also. But if introspection suggests I can set
> block_align on the h264 decoder, or width on an audio decoder, or who knows
> what. Then I don't think AVOptions or AVClass in AVCodecParameters helps at
> all. It just creates a minimized AVCodecContext from 2003 that will slowly
> become the current AVCodecContext, which is not all that useful for people
> that don't use ffmpeg.exe...

I hadnt thought about this but
AVOption can do this wth the current AVCodecParameters to a large
extend not 100% though currently
it has flags that allow options to be marked as for different things
like audio, video, encoders, decoders or anything else
so your example of block_align for h264 and width on an audio decoder
can be resolved by AVOption as long as it knows which flags apply
A full solution is possible
one could for example simply set a different AVClass&AVOption list on
the  AVCodecParameters struct depending on what codec it is so that
only the fields actually supported would be listed in the first place.
Something would need to generate that list though from some master
thats just one way of course, there are others ...


Michael     GnuPG fingerprint: 9FF2128B147EF6730BADF133611EC787040B0FAB

Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad
people will find a way around the laws. -- Plato
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: signature.asc
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 181 bytes
Desc: Digital signature
URL: <http://ffmpeg.org/pipermail/ffmpeg-devel/attachments/20160517/b298bb9d/attachment.sig>

More information about the ffmpeg-devel mailing list