This concludes our first example. As you see, setting up a pipeline is very low-level but powerful. You will see later in this manual how you can create a more powerful media player with even less effort using higher-level interfaces. We will discuss all that in Part IV, “Higher-level interfaces for GStreamer applications”. We will first, however, go more in-depth into more advanced GStreamer internals.

It should be clear from the example that we can very easily replace the filesrc element with some other element that reads data from a network, or some other data source element that is better integrated with your desktop environment. Also, you can use other decoders and parsers/demuxers to support other media types. You can use another audio sink if you're not running Linux, but Mac OS X, Windows or FreeBSD, or you can instead use a filesink to write audio files to disk instead of playing them back. By using an audio card source, you can even do audio capture instead of playback. All this shows the reusability of GStreamer elements, which is its greatest advantage.