[vlc-devel] [RFC] Requesting backport of audiotoolbox_midi to VLC 3.0

Marvin Scholz epirat07 at gmail.com
Mon Dec 4 22:50:52 CET 2017

On 4 Dec 2017, at 22:38, David Fuhrmann wrote:

> Hello Marvin, Hello all,
>> Am 04.12.2017 um 19:36 schrieb Marvin Scholz <epirat07 at gmail.com>:
>> Good evening fellow VLC devs,
>> I wanted to request an exception to the code freeze of 3.0 for the 
>> backport
>> of the recently added audiotoolbox_midi decoder module for macOS (and 
>> iOS).
> As already noted, 2.2 on macOS currently does not have midi support, 
> and fluidlight was added to 3.0 to support midi files again, some 
> months ago already. (AFAIK, midi playback was supported on macOS 
> already before, in 1.x versions).
> Question for me is, if the new module has enough benefits to replace 
> the fluidlight implementation on such a rather short notice before 3.0 
> release.
> Therefore, some questions regarding the new module:
> - Is the module well tested on all supported platforms already 
> (including iOS / tvOS), to avoid regressions, compared to fluidlight?

I was not aware we had working MIDI decoding on iOS. How to use this?

> - Is the module on par quality and feature wise, with the fluidsynth 
> module?

Feature wise, no. Fluid module has more settings.

> - Out of interest: Do you know how good the quality of the built in 
> default soundfont is? As audio quality heavily depends on the sound 
> font for midi files, I’m especially curious.

In my tests it was fine with all samples I tested with. Given that 
Fluidlite has none by default,
I do not think it matters much though. The user can still specify their 
own SoundFont with the
audiotoolbox_midi module.

>> This only affects macOS (and iOS), so the impact of backporting this 
>> should
>> be quite small and it allows us to drop the FluidLite library for 
>> midi decoding,
>> on macOS.
> I would say the change is not that small, if it affects macOS, iOS and 
> tvOS altogether. Therefore I find it important to thorougly test on 
> the other platforms as well.

As stated above, I was not aware we had working/usable MIDI decoding on 

>> The AudioToolbox midi decoder has the benefit that it can work 
>> without the user
>> specifying any SoundFont, as it will use a default soundbank that is 
>> shipped with
>> macOS.
> This is probably particularly interesting on iOS, as its is harder to 
> load a specific font file there.

Exactly, how is this possible? I am not aware of a way to play MIDI 
there, currently.

> In general, I’m not sure back port of this new module is acceptable 
> currently, in respect to our release plans. I think goal is to do more 
> and faster releases, also major ones. But in the past, major releases 
> were often delayed already because of late / intrusive „late“ 
> changes, afaik. So in general I believe we should strive for a mode 
> where we do faster and more releases, and then the time would be 
> smaller as well until new modules like this hits a release.

Then, we should fix Fluidlite or not ship it. I do not think it is a 
good idea to ship a version (if you can
even say that, given that it has no concept of versions, it seems…) 
that has at least one known crash bug.
Alternatively we can use Fluidsynth.

> BR. David
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