A segment in GStreamer denotes a set of media samples that must be processed. A segment has a start time, a stop time and a processing rate.
A media stream has a start and a stop time. The start time is always 0 and the stop time is the total duration (or -1 if unknown, for example a live stream). We call this the complete media stream.
The segment of the complete media stream can be played by issuing a seek on the stream. The seek has a start time, a stop time and a processing rate.
complete stream +------------------------------------------------+ 0 duration segment |--------------------------| start stop
The playback of a segment starts with a source or demuxer element
SEGMENT event containing the start time, stop time and rate of
the segment. The purpose of this event is to inform downstream
elements of the requested segment positions. Some elements might produce
buffers that fall outside of the segment and that might therefore be
discarded or clipped.
filesrc ! avidemux ! videodecoder ! videosink
When doing a seek in this pipeline for a segment 1 to 5 seconds, avidemux will perform the seek.
Avidemux starts by sending a
FLUSH_START event downstream and upstream. This
will cause its streaming task to
_pad_push() will return
FLUSHING. It then waits for the
which will be unlocked when the streaming task pauses. At this point no
streaming is happening anymore in the pipeline and a
FLUSH_STOP is sent
upstream and downstream.
When avidemux starts playback of the segment from second 1 to 5, it pushes
out a segment with 1 and 5 as start and stop times. The
the segment is also 1 as this is the position we seek to.
The video decoder stores these values internally and forwards them to the next downstream element (videosink, which also stores the values)
Since second 1 does not contain a keyframe, the avi demuxer starts sending data from the previous keyframe which is at timestamp 0.
The video decoder decodes the keyframe but knows it should not push the video frame yet as it falls outside of the configured segment.
When the video decoder receives the frame with timestamp 1, it is able to decode this frame as it received and decoded the data up to the previous keyframe. It then continues to decode and push frames with timestamps >= 1. When it reaches timestamp 5, it does not decode and push frames anymore.
The video sink receives a frame of timestamp 1. It takes the start value of the previous segment and applies the following (simplified) formula:
render_time = BUFFER_TIMESTAMP - segment_start + element->base_time
It then syncs against the clock with this
render_time. Note that
BUFFER_TIMESTAMP is always >=
segment_start or else it would fall outside
of the configured segment.
Videosink reports its current position as (simplified):
current_position = clock_time - element->base_time + segment_time
See synchronisation for a more detailed and accurate explanation of synchronisation and position reporting.
Since after a flushing seek the
stream_time is reset to 0, the new buffer
will be rendered immediately after the seek and the
current_position will be
stream_time of the seek that was performed.
The stop time is important when the video format contains B frames. The video decoder receives a P frame first, which it can decode but not push yet. When it receives a B frame, it can decode the B frame and push the B frame followed by the previously decoded P frame. If the P frame is outside of the segment, the decoder knows it should not send the P frame.
Avidemux stops sending data after pushing a frame with timestamp 5 and
GST_FLOW_EOS from the chain function to make the upstream
elements perform the EOS logic.
Consider the case of a wav file with raw audio.
filesrc ! wavparse ! alsasink
The results of the search are