general: How does gstreamer handle conflicting plugins?

Sebastian Dröge slomo at
Wed Feb 18 13:28:14 UTC 2009

Am Mittwoch, den 18.02.2009, 13:12 +0100 schrieb Fabian Greffrath:
> Hi there,
> I've got a general question concerning gstreamer: If two (or more) 
> plugins are installed that serve the same purpose, what plugin is chosen?
> * For example, which plugin is chosen to play back MP3 if both
>   gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly (including the mad plugin) and
>   gstreamer0.10-fluendo-mp3 are installed?
> * As another example, recent snaphots of ffmpeg are able to play AAC
>   encoded files. Which plugin ist chosen to play back AAC if both
>   gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg and gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad (including the
>   faad plugin) are installed?
> In my understanding these plugins will confllict against each other. 
> How is this conflict handled in gstreamer? Is there some kind of 
> hierarchy among the plugins (maybe based on the package they come from 
> or on their license)?

As long as those plugins have a) different shared library files and b)
have different plugin and element names (you can have one GstPlugin per
shared library file and n GstElements per plugin, elements are the
things that are doing all the work ;)) they don't conflict.

When GStreamer tries to find an element for decoding it chooses that
one, that provides the required feature (decoding of MP3 for example)
and has the highest rank (fluendo-mp3 has a higher rank than mad for
example). If there's more than one with the same rank the alphabetically
first one will be used.
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