Manifest Parser Plugins

Overview

This tutorial shows how to make a basic manifest parser plugin. This allows an app to define a custom manifest format and still use Shaka Player to handle the streaming and track switching.

The function of a manifest parser is to take a URL that was passed to load() and give us back a manifest object. The parser should fetch the URL, parse the manifest, and convert it to our format.

function MyManifestParser() {
  this.curId_ = 0;
  this.config_ = null;
}

MyManifestParser.prototype.configure = function(config) {
  this.config_ = config;
};

MyManifestParser.prototype.start = function(uri, playerInterface) {
  var type = shaka.net.NetworkingEngine.RequestType.MANIFEST;
  var request = {
    uris: [uri],
    method: 'GET',
    retryParameters: this.config_.retryParameters
  };
  return playerInterface.networkingEngine.request(type, request).promise
      .then(function(response) {
        return this.loadManifest_(response.data);
      });
};

MyManifestParser.prototype.stop = function() {
  return Promise.resolve();
};


shaka.media.ManifestParser.registerParserByExtension('json', MyManifestParser);
shaka.media.ManifestParser.registerParserByMime(
    'application/json', MyManifestParser);

First, this defines a constructor called MyManifestParser. This is called by the Player to create new parser instances. A new instance is created for each load. This should setup any initial state that is needed.

configure

This method is called right after creating the object and when the configuration changes. This is passed a shaka.extern.ManifestConfiguration object from the Player.

start

This method is called to load the manifest. This is called with a string URI that is passed to load() and a shaka.extern.ManifestParser.PlayerInterface object. The interface object contains a number of fields that are used to interact with the Player. This includes the NetworkingEngine instance to make network requests. This also includes callback methods that allow the parser to raise Player events and filter Periods. This method should return a Promise that will resolve with the parsed manifest.

stop

This method is called as part of player.unload(). This method should stop any background timers and free any state. It is invalid to use the config object or anything from the Player interface given to start after this is called. We don't reuse parser instances, so we will not call start() again after this is called. This should return a Promise that resolves when this object is destroyed.

registration

At the end of the file, you should register the parser with the library. This will allow it to be used by the Player. There are two methods: registerParserByExtension and registerParserByMime. They both add parsers to a registry of manifest parsers. When the Player gets a URI, it will determine which parser to use. It will first try based on the file extension, then it will make a HEAD request to the URI to get back a MIME type.

Periods

A Period represents a distinct set of streams that are played over a set time. Each Period is considered independent. This allows you to combine multiple assets together seamlessly with little effort.

All media times in the manifest are relative to the Period start time. This means that you can insert the same content (unmodified) multiple times and we will adjust the times for you.

Note: Because of browser requirements regarding MSE, we don't support changing MIME types or codecs after starting. This means that all Periods must provide the same formats (MIME types and codecs).

Variants and Streams

A Period is composed of an array of Variants. A Variant represents an audio+video pair. The array holds all possible pairs the Player can choose from. While playing, we will give these to the app (through getVariantTracks) and will switch between them (if ABR is enabled).

A stream represents a collection of media data segments. The segments are all the same type (audio/video/text) and all from the same version of the media (e.g. English vs Spanish or 720p vs 1080p). A Stream object holds metadata that describes what the stream contains as well as how to get the segments. Only one stream of each type will be playing at once.

Multiple Variants can hold the same streams. For example, both the 720p and the 1080p variant can refer to the same audio stream. In this case, both Variant objects must refer to the same object. It is not enough to use the same stream ID; it must be the same object.

PresentationTimeline

shaka.media.PresentationTimeline

The segment index doesn't need to handle segment availability for live content. All the segment index needs to do is return the segment references. The presentationTimeline in the manifest will be used to handle availability. All times in the timeline are in seconds; 0 represents when the live stream started.

An availability window defines a moving time window in which a segment can be downloaded. This is defined by a segment availability duration that indicates the number of seconds that a segment will remain available. So if the availability duration is 60 seconds, then the last 60 seconds of content is available.

The same timeline class handles on-demand content, too. The availability window starts at 0 and ends at the duration of the media.

Media Segments

A Stream contains a number of segment references. This is usually referred to as a segment index. A segment reference contains important metadata about the segment: the start and end times, the URL, and optionally a byte range into that URL. A segment reference is created using the shaka.media.SegmentReference constructor.

Rather than storing the references in an array, the manifest parser provides callbacks to get them. This allows a manifest parser to turn abstract segment descriptions (such as DASH's SegmentTemplate) into concrete ones on demand.

First we ask for the index that corresponds with a start time. Then on update, we increment the index and ask for segments in order. The value of the index doesn't matter, but indices must be sequential integers.

createSegmentIndex():Promise

This is called first before any other method. This allows an index to be fetched over the network, if needed. This method should return a Promise that will resolve when the segment index is ready. This is only ever called once.

findSegmentPosition(time:number):(number|null)

This is passed in a time (in seconds) relative to the start of this Period and should return the position of the segment that contains that time, or null if it is not found.

NB: This is independent of segment availability for live streams.

getSegmentReference(position:number):(shaka.media.SegmentReference|null)

This is passed the position (number) of the segment and should return a shaka.media.SegmentReference that is at that index, or null if not found.

NB: This is independent of segment availability for live streams.

initSegmentReference

This is not a function, but a shaka.media.InitSegmentReference that contains info about how to fetch the initialization segment. This can be null if the stream is self-initializing.

shaka.media.SegmentIndex

To help in handling segment references, there is a shaka.media.SegmentIndex type. This is given an array of references, handles merging new segments, and has the required segment functions. All you need to do is create an array of references and pass it to the constructor. For updates, simply create a new array of segments and call merge. Any existing segments will be updated and new segments will be added. You can also call evict to remove old references to reduce the memory footprint.

var references = refs.map(function(r, i) {
  // Should return an array of possible URI choices; this is used for failover
  // in the event of network error.  This is a function to defer calculations.
  var getUris = function() { return [r.uri]; };

  return new shaka.media.SegmentReference(i, r.start, r.end, getUris, 0, null);
});

var index = new shaka.media.SegmentIndex(references);
var streamFunctions = {
  createSegmentIndex: function() { return Promise.resolve(); },
  findSegmentPosition: index.find.bind(index),
  getSegmentReference: index.get.bind(index)
};

Manifest Updates

In order to support Live content, the manifest may need to be updated. In the start() method, the manifest parser should start its own timers (e.g. setInterval) to update the manifest. Then it should re-parse the manifest periodically. To add new segments to the streams, simply add them to the segment index. Because the original manifest object is modified in-place, adding them to the index will allow the Player to use them. You cannot add new Variants or text streams to an existing Period.

To add a new Period, you must first call filterNewPeriod. This will filter out any streams that can't be played by the platform or those that are incompatible with the currently playing streams. Then you can just add them to the manifest object. Because the original manifest is modified in-place, the Player will immediately see the new Period. You MUST add to the periods array (e.g using array.push); you cannot create a new array object.

NB: You cannot remove Periods.

Full Manifest Parser Example

MyManifestParser.prototype.loadManifest_ = function(data) {
  // |data| is the response data from load(); but in this example, we ignore it.

  // The arguments are only used for live.
  var timeline = new shaka.media.PresentationTimeline(null, 0);
  timeline.setDuration(3600);  // seconds

  return {
    presentationTimeline: timeline,
    minBufferTime: 5,  // seconds
    offlineSessionIds: [],
    periods: [
      this.loadPeriod_(0),
      this.loadPeriod_(1800)
    ]
  };
};

MyManifestParser.prototype.loadPeriod_ = function(start) {
  return {
    startTime: start,  // seconds, relative to presentation
    variants: [
      this.loadVariant_(true, true),
      this.loadVariant_(true, false)
    ],
    textStreams: [
      this.loadStream_('text'),
      this.loadStream_('text')
    ]
  };
};

MyManifestParser.prototype.loadVariant_ = function(hasVideo, hasAudio) {
  console.assert(hasVideo || hasAudio);

  return {
    id:        this.curId_++,  // globally unique ID
    language:  'en',
    primary:   false,
    audio:     hasAudio ? this.loadStream_('audio') : null,
    video:     hasVideo ? this.loadStream_('video') : null,
    bandwidth: 8000,  // bits/sec, audio+video combined
    drmInfos:  [],
    allowedByApplication: true,  // always initially true
    allowedByKeySystem:   true   // always initially true
  };
};

MyManifestParser.prototype.loadStream_ = function(type) {
  var getUris = function() { return ['https://example.com/init']; };
  var init = new shaka.media.InitSegmentReference(getUris, 0, null);

  var index = new shaka.media.SegmentIndex([
    // Times are in seconds, relative to the Period
    this.loadReference_(0, 0, 10),
    this.loadReference_(1, 10, 20),
    this.loadReference_(2, 20, 30),
  ]);

  return {
    id: this.curId_++,  // globally unique ID
    createSegmentIndex:     function() { return Promise.resolve(); },
    findSegmentPosition:    index.find.bind(index),
    getSegmentReference:    index.get.bind(index),
    initSegmentReference:   init,
    presentationTimeOffset: 0,  // seconds
    mimeType: type == 'video' ?
        'video/webm' : (type == 'audio' ? 'audio/webm' : 'text/vtt'),
    codecs:    type == 'video' ? 'vp9' : (type == 'audio' ? 'vorbis' : ''),
    frameRate: type == 'video' ? 24 : undefined,
    bandwidth: 4000,  // bits/sec
    width:     type == 'video' ? 640 : undefined,
    height:    type == 'video' ? 480 : undefined,
    kind:      type == 'text' ? 'subtitles' : undefined,
    channelsCount: type == 'audio' ? 2 : undefined,
    encrypted: false,
    keyId:     null,
    language:  'en',
    label:     'my_stream',
    type:      type,
    primary:   false,
    trickModeVideo: null,
    containsEmsgBoxes: false,
    roles:     []
  };
};

MyManifestParser.prototype.loadReference_ = function(i, start, end) {
  var getUris = function() { return ['https://example.com/ref_' + i]; };
  return new shaka.media.SegmentReference(i, start, end, getUris, 0, null);
};

Encrypted Content

If your content is encrypted, there are a few changes to the manifest you need to do. First, for each Variant that contains encrypted content, you need to set variant.drmInfos to an array of shaka.extern.DrmInfo objects. All the fields (except the key-system name) can be set to the default and will be replaced by settings from the Player configuration. If the drmInfos array is empty, the content is expected to be clear.

In each stream that is encrypted, set stream.encrypted to true and optionally set stream.keyId to the key ID that the stream is encrypted with. The keyId field is optional, but it allows the player to choose streams more intelligently based on which keys are available. If keyId is omitted, missing keys may cause playback to stall.

If you set drmInfo.initData to a non-empty array, we will use that to initialize EME. We will override any encryption info in the media (e.g. pssh boxes in MP4). If you don't set this field (and it isn't set in the app config), then we will initialize EME based on the encryption info in the media.