Jump to time when streaming.

Christopher Woods christopher at custommade.org.uk
Sun Jan 3 08:06:40 PST 2016

On 2016-01-02 11:31, MS wrote:
> Using: get_iplayer 2.94-ppa23, RTMPDump v2.4 (on Linux Mint).
> When streaming a BBC video jumping forwards or backwards or to a
> specific time position is ineffective.
> Doing so with mplayer causes it to either pause until you unpause, or
> it causes mplayer to stop responding (requiring the mplayer process 
> to
> be killed).
> VLC works only a little better: Using the jump forwards or backwards
> keys (e.g. 10 secs, 30 secs, 1 min) all do nothing, jumping backwards
> to a specific time also fails, while jumping forwards to a specific
> time does work but only by waiting until the 'download' reaches the
> time you've entered; fine for a minute or two but not to resume, say,
> one hour into a long video.
> On the other hand when using BBC iPlayer you can jump to any position 
> you like.
> I was wondering whether there is any way around this with get_iplayer
> (apart from downloading the whole video in the first place)?
> If not, then is this something the developers are considering taking
> a look at, or are there technical reasons why it wouldn't be 
> possible?

I suspect this is because mplayer is simply showing the raw input being 
piped to it by rtmpdump. It doesn't understand the skip request because 
it simply lives in the 'now' - it has no contextual understanding of the 
file's duration, it just plays whatever it gets until the pipe closes.

The iPlayer... player is doing the streaming, decoding and playing 
itself. You'd have to figure out how to issue a time seek directive to 
rtmpdump (which may be possible, I've not RTFM for a while) without 
killing the existing stream. IANA rtmpdump guru though, I read the docs 
every time I need to do something with it! :)


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