The purpose of this element is to decode and render the media contained in a given generic uri. The element extends GstPipeline and is typically used in playback situations.

Required features:

  • accept and play any valid uri. This includes
  • rendering video/audio
  • overlaying subtitles on the video
  • optionally read external subtitle files
  • allow for hardware (non raw) sinks
  • selection of audio/video/subtitle streams based on language.
  • perform network buffering/incremental download
  • gapless playback
  • support for visualisations with configurable sizes
  • ability to reject files that are too big, or of a format that would require too much CPU/memory usage.
  • be very efficient with adding elements such as converters to reduce the amount of negotiation that has to happen.
  • handle chained oggs. This includes having support for dynamic pad add and remove from a demuxer.



  • performs the autoplugging of demuxers/decoders
  • emits signals when for steering the autoplugging
  • to decide if a non-raw media format is acceptable as output
  • to sort the possible decoders for a non-raw format
  • see also decodebin2 design doc


  • combination of a source to handle the given uri, an optional queueing element and one or more decodebin2 elements to decode the non-raw streams.


  • handles display of audio/video/text.
  • has request audio/video/text input pad. There is only one sinkpad per type. The requested pads define the configuration of the internal pipeline.
  • allows for setting audio/video sinks or does automatic sink selection.
  • allows for configuration of visualisation element.
  • allows for enable/disable of visualisation, audio and video.


  • combination of one or more uridecodebin elements to read the uri and subtitle uri.
  • support for queuing new media to support gapless playback.
  • handles stream selection.
  • uses playsink to display.
  • selection of sinks and configuration of uridecodebin with raw output formats.

Gapless playback feature

playbin has an about-to-finish signal. The application should configure a new uri (and optional suburi) in the callback. When the current media finishes, this new media will be played next.

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