[vlc-devel] [RFC]: Reworking the metadata listener API => writting a proper filter API

Thomas Guillem thomas at gllm.fr
Fri Mar 5 15:48:24 UTC 2021

Hello everyone,

I recently added a generic metadata listener API into the new player. It's only used to get loudness measurements for now, cf. https://code.videolan.org/tguillem/vlc/-/commit/e8f17308146f446bc46f6a3b787aed2406ce8d31
And I tried to port it to libvlc here: https://code.videolan.org/tguillem/vlc/-/commits/loudness-libvlc

I received few valid critics with these 2 API (Core + LibVKC) from developers, and LibVLC users:
- LibVLC users don't like using a new kind a listener API (that is not the classical event manager)
- New kind of metadata will likely come from a filter. 
- Other kind of metadata (like HDR) can come from es_format_t. We need to find a proper way to forward es_format_t change to LibVLC in that case.

So, maybe it is a good time to think about a proper filter API in LibVLC and Core. An API to manipulate filters of a given category (splitter, audio, meter, video, sub) from a specific output. This API will let users add, re-order, remove filters and also get notification from them (for the audio meter filter).

Note that aout and vout are not (yet?) exposed to libvlc, so the libVLC will only be able to handle filters by category on the media_player.

Here is my proposal for the Core API (in a form of a C header):

typedef struct vlc_filter_entry_t vlc_filter_entry_t;

/* All type of filters supported by VLC */
enum vlc_filter_type
    /* Such filters are only useful if the user listen to events via
     * vlc_filter_entry_NewAudioMeter() */

/* Listener, only used with audio_meter filters */
struct vlc_filter_audio_meter_listener
    union {
        /* Generic callback. For the loudness audio_meter, val1 will be a
         * int64_t date, val2 will be a pointer to the vlc_audio_loudness
         * struct */
        void (*on_values_changed)(vlc_value_t val1, val_value_t val2);
        /* Maybe add some other cb definition later depending on the need */

/* Create a new filter entry
* The filter entry hold necessary informations to start a filter on the aout
* or the vout.
VLC_API vlc_filter_entry_t *
vlc_filter_entry_New(enum vlc_filter_type type, const char *name, const char *option);

/* Create a new audio meter entry with a listener callback */
VLC_API vlc_filter_entry_t *
vlc_filter_entry_NewAudioMeter(const char *name,  const char *option, const struct vlc_filter_audio_meter_listener * cb, void *data);

/* Return the name of the filter entry */
VLC_API const char * vlc_filter_entry_GetName(vlc_filter_entry_t *fentry);

/* Return the option of the filter entry */
VLC_API const char * vlc_filter_entry_GetOption(vlc_filter_entry_t *fentry);

/* Release a filter entry. Filter entries are refcounted internally (by the filter_list and the filter entry creator */
VLC_API void vlc_filter_entry_Release(vlc_filter_entry_t *fentry);

/* Filter entry list, owned by vout and aout. There is one filter list per filter type */

typedef struct vlc_filter_list_t vlc_filter_list;

/* Lock the filter list, read and write operations need to be done locked */
void vlc_filter_list_Lock(vlc_filter_list_t *list);

/* Unlock the filter list, and commit the written changes if needed. To commit
* any changes, the list will change the corresponding filter option (like
* "video-splitter") on the corresponding vout/aout. */
void vlc_filter_list_Unlock(vlc_filter_list_t *list);

/* Return the number of filters */
size_t vlc_filter_list_GetCount(vlc_filter_list_t *list);

/* Get the filter entry at the specific index */
vlc_filter_entry_t * vlc_filter_list_GetFilterAt(vlc_filter_list_t *list, size_t index);

/* Add a new filter at a specific position or move a filter at the new
* position. */
vlc_filter_list_MoveFilterAt(vlc_filter_list_t *list, size_t index, vlc_filter_entry_t *filter);

/* Append a filter at the end of the list */
static inline void
vlc_filter_list_AppendFilter(vlc_filter_list_t *list, vlc_filter_entry_t *filter)
    vlc_filter_list_MoveFilterAt(list, vlc_filter_list_GetCount(list), filter);

/* Remove a filter from the list. */
void vlc_filter_list_RemoveFilter(vlc_filter_list_t *list, vlc_filter_entry_t *filter);

/* Get the filter list of the aout for the specific type */
vlc_filter_list_t *
aout_GetFilterList(aout_output_t *, enum vlc_filter_type type);

/* Get the filter list of the vout for the specific type */
vlc_filter_list_t *
vout_GetFilterList(vout_output_t *, enum vlc_filter_type type);

Comments are more than welcome!

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