Supporting Dynamic Parameters

Warning, this part describes 0.10 and is outdated.

Sometimes object properties are not powerful enough to control the parameters that affect the behaviour of your element. When this is the case you can mark these parameters as being Controllable. Aware applications can use the controller subsystem to dynamically adjust the property values over time.

Getting Started

The controller subsystem is contained within the gstcontroller library. You need to include the header in your element's source file:

#include <gst/gst.h>
#include <gst/controller/gstcontroller.h>

Even though the gstcontroller library may be linked into the host application, you should make sure it is initialized in your plugin_init function:

  static gboolean
  plugin_init (GstPlugin *plugin)
    /* initialize library */
    gst_controller_init (NULL, NULL);

It makes no sense for all GObject parameter to be real-time controlled. Therefore the next step is to mark controllable parameters. This is done by using the special flag GST_PARAM_CONTROLLABLE. when setting up GObject params in the _class_init method.

  g_object_class_install_property (gobject_class, PROP_FREQ,
      g_param_spec_double ("freq", "Frequency", "Frequency of test signal",
          0.0, 20000.0, 440.0,

The Data Processing Loop

In the last section we learned how to mark GObject params as controllable. Application developers can then queue parameter changes for these parameters. The approach the controller subsystem takes is to make plugins responsible for pulling the changes in. This requires just one action:


This call makes all parameter-changes for the given timestamp active by adjusting the GObject properties of the element. Its up to the element to determine the synchronisation rate.

The Data Processing Loop for Video Elements

For video processing elements it is the best to synchronise for every frame. That means one would add the gst_object_sync_values() call described in the previous section to the data processing function of the element.

The Data Processing Loop for Audio Elements

For audio processing elements the case is not as easy as for video processing elements. The problem here is that audio has a much higher rate. For PAL video one will e.g. process 25 full frames per second, but for standard audio it will be 44100 samples. It is rarely useful to synchronise controllable parameters that often. The easiest solution is also to have just one synchronisation call per buffer processing. This makes the control-rate depend on the buffer size.

Elements that need a specific control-rate need to break their data processing loop to synchronise every n-samples.

The results of the search are