This is about GStreamer on Linux.
Playing video the simple way
To play a video from command line, we can use gst-launch-1.0.
gst-launch-1.0 is a tool that builds and runs basic GStreamer pipelines.
In its simplest form, a PIPELINE-DESCRIPTION is a list of elements separated by exclamation marks (!). Properties may be appended to elements in the form property=value.
Please note that gst-launch-1.0 is primarily a debugging tool. You should not build applications on top of it. For applications, use the gst_parse_launch() function of the GStreamer API as an easy way to construct pipelines from pipeline descriptions.
A pipeline consists of elements and links. Elements can be put into bins of different sorts. Elements, links, and bins can be specified in a pipeline description in any order.
Please read this to understand more about GStreamer pipeline.
Let’s start with the most easy way to play video by using
Playbin provides a stand-alone everything-in-one abstraction for an audio and/or video player.
Learn more about playbin.
For example, I have a video located at /home/user/Videos/trailer_1080p_h264_mp3.avi (video can be downloaded from http://linode.boundarydevices.com/videos/trailer_1080p_h264_mp3.avi):
$ gst-launch-1.0 playbin uri=file:///home/user/Videos/trailer_1080p_h264_mp3.avi Setting pipeline to PAUSED ... Pipeline is PREROLLING ... Redistribute latency... Redistribute latency... Redistribute latency... Pipeline is PREROLLED ... Setting pipeline to PLAYING ... New clock: GstPulseSinkClock Got EOS from element "playbin0". Execution ended after 0:00:33.057856101 Setting pipeline to NULL ... Freeing pipeline ...
Try other video sink:
$ gst-launch-1.0 playbin uri=file:///home/user/Videos/trailer_1080p_h264_mp3.avi \ video-sink=glimagesink
As we know,
playbin select elements automatically. Let’s see which elements are really used in the above pipeline.
Note: These element selections depend on hardware, driver, graphic environment, …, so they may be different in your system.
One simple and intuitive way to check this is using pipeline graphs.
.dotfiles, readable with free programs like GraphViz, that describe the topology of your pipeline, along with the caps negotiated in each link.
.dotfiles, simply set the
GST_DEBUG_DUMP_DOT_DIRenvironment variable to point to the folder where you want the files to be placed.
gst-launch-1.0will create a
.dotfile at each state change, so you can see the evolution of the caps negotiation.
$ export GST_DEBUG_DUMP_DOT_DIR=/tmp/pipe_graph $ mkdir -p $GST_DEBUG_DUMP_DOT_DIR $ gst-launch-1.0 playbin uri=file:///home/user/Videos/trailer_1080p_h264_mp3.avi
There will be several
.dot files created, let’s check one of them. You can convert
.dot file to image by command
$ ls $GST_DEBUG_DUMP_DOT_DIR 0.00.00.013971195-gst-launch.NULL_READY.dot 0.00.00.209734072-gst-launch.PAUSED_PLAYING.dot 0.00.33.329271430-gst-launch.PAUSED_READY.dot 0.00.00.205720496-gst-launch.READY_PAUSED.dot 0.00.33.266401422-gst-launch.PLAYING_PAUSED.dot $ dot -Tpng $GST_DEBUG_DUMP_DOT_DIR/0.00.33.266401422-gst-launch.PLAYING_PAUSED.dot > /tmp/pipeline.png
We can play a video easily with
playbin, but what if we want to specify each element by our own? Here is another
example for playing video:
$ gst-launch-1.0 filesrc location=/home/user/Videos/trailer_1080p_h264_mp3.avi \ ! avidemux ! h264parse \ ! avdec_h264 ! videoconvert \ ! xvimagesink
filesrc: Read from arbitrary point in a file. Path of video file is set through its property
avidemux: Demultiplex an avi file into audio and video.
h264parse: Parses H.264 streams.
avdec_h264: libav h264 decoder.
xvimagesink: A Xv based videosink.
GStreamer Plugin/Element info can be checked by command gst-inspect-1.0. For example:
$ gst-inspect-1.0 filesrc Factory Details: Rank primary (256) Long-name File Source Klass Source/File Description Read from arbitrary point in a file Author Erik Walthinsen <[email protected]> Plugin Details: Name coreelements Description GStreamer core elements Filename /usr/lib64/gstreamer-1.0/libgstcoreelements.so Version 1.18.4 License LGPL Source module gstreamer Source release date 2021-03-15 Binary package Fedora GStreamer package Origin URL http://download.fedoraproject.org GObject +----GInitiallyUnowned +----GstObject +----GstElement +----GstBaseSrc +----GstFileSrc Implemented Interfaces: GstURIHandler Pad Templates: SRC template: 'src' Availability: Always Capabilities: ANY Element has no clocking capabilities. URI handling capabilities: Element can act as source. Supported URI protocols: file Pads: SRC: 'src' Pad Template: 'src' Element Properties: blocksize : Size in bytes to read per buffer (-1 = default) flags: readable, writable Unsigned Integer. Range: 0 - 4294967295 Default: 4096 do-timestamp : Apply current stream time to buffers flags: readable, writable Boolean. Default: false location : Location of the file to read flags: readable, writable, changeable only in NULL or READY state String. Default: null name : The name of the object flags: readable, writable, 0x2000 String. Default: "filesrc0" num-buffers : Number of buffers to output before sending EOS (-1 = unlimited) flags: readable, writable Integer. Range: -1 - 2147483647 Default: -1 parent : The parent of the object flags: readable, writable, 0x2000 Object of type "GstObject" typefind : Run typefind before negotiating (deprecated, non-functional) flags: readable, writable, deprecated Boolean. Default: false
filesrc info is not much, you should try checking other elements’ info too.
Element Properties are what you can set from command line. Other things like
Element Signals are often used
in code implementation.
The above custom pipeline only play video. In able to process both video and audio at the same time, we will need an
See the detail here.
The queue will create a new thread on the source pad to decouple the processing on sink and source pad.
Here is how to use it:
$ gst-launch-1.0 filesrc location=/home/user/Videos/trailer_1080p_h264_mp3.avi \ ! avidemux name=dm \ dm. ! queue ! mpegaudioparse ! avdec_mp3 \ ! audioconvert ! audioresample ! pulsesink \ dm. ! queue ! h264parse ! avdec_h264 ! videoconvert ! xvimagesink