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This blog is about hacking, Igalia and maybe some personal opinions

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I'm a Gnome Hacker working for Igalia and living in A Coruña, Galiza.

Seekability when streaming contents involves almost all layers of a multimedia player and it is not a trivial issue. First, your interface needs to have a seekbar or something to do that. Of course, the media you are streaming has to seekable, meaning container and codecs used. And we cannot forget the transport either, this is, HTTP, local access and so on.

Thank Gods, GStreamer does a wonderful job making easier everything related to transport, decoding, containers, etc. But in the case of UPnP-DLNA, there is a extension saying if the media you are playing is seekable or not.

We did not have support for that in MAFW and we needed it, I added the request for the metadata key MAFW_METADATA_KEY_IS_SEEKABLE when requesting data to play media, so now we have duration, uri and seekability. Our approach had to be consevative (otherwise, GStreamer seekability would have been enough), and then if MAFW source provides the metadata key and media is not seekable, se just say it is not seekable. Otherwise, we rely on GStreamer, that has the final responsibility (which is logical, if it cannot seek, seeking is impossible). Of course, seekability depends on duration, meaning, if there is no duration, we cannot seek as we would not know the seeking limits.

About how to implement that in the sources, the only one needing it was mafw-upnp-source. In the other ones we just want to rely on GStreamer, but for UPnP, if we want to honor DLNA specification, we had to do that. Specification is fun itself and of course, adding that every vendor/provider implements what it wants makes it more difficult. A proof is that a friend of mine bought a TV claiming to be DLNA certified and it only works with the crappy server provided by the vendor, closed of course, and with a lot of missing features, like subtitles support, IIRC (yes Zeenix, I told him to use Rygel and Philippe, it was before you joining Igalia :-p). Now with new gupnp this was reworked, but when I wrote it, we had to check the DLNA_OP fields to know if it was seekable or not and it was a pain in the ass to decide what the default was depending on the missing options and so on.

Fortunately, it is working fine now, I think.

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