GStreamer bug hunting

October 25, 2008 in en, open source, software

While I was working on GSTFS (from my previous post) I also managed to stumble on a bug in GStreamer. Of course at the time I didn’t know it was a bug since I was GStreamer greenhorn (I actually still am :) ).

What was it about? Well when I was converting mp3 files with pipeline

[source ]! decodebin ! audioconvert ! lame  ! id3v2mux ! [output]

Id3tags were lost in conversion. This was a real bummer for me, since my player fully supports id3v2.4. When I read through the docs, man page and I could not find any solution I did what every self respecting geek would do. I fired up my IRC client and joined #gstreamer on freenode in search for help. After a few advices that didn’t work we closed the issue with me filing a bug caused by unknown reason. Originally the bug seemed to be part of demuxing problem with mp3s (ogg files didn’t have this problem).

After some time, I finally had a revelation. What made my mp3 files special? Nothing. Except that all of them had ReplayGain tags calculated with mp3gain. I removed the ReplayGain tags, tried the same gstreamer pipeline as before and….Voila! My converted files were not missing id3tags anymore. The bug filed in Bugzilla is not closed yet, but now the developers at least know where to look for it.

Now I have a request for all 2 people reading my blog (including me :) ). If you find a bug in opensource (or free, whatever you want to call it) software, pleeeeeaase report it. Ideally you first make damn sure you are actually not filing PEBKAC so that developers don’t waste their time. If you can help with the testing of the fix. If you are not skilled enough you can always go to the IRC channel or send and email and ask if maybe documentation needs clarification or other relatively easy chores need to be done. There’s always stuff to do. Just read the post 5 Ways to Contribute to Open Source Projects Without Coding.