[Matroska-devel] Haali parser: Suggestions for Audio Stream Switcher

Алексей Сурженко surzh at mail.ru
Mon Jan 3 12:29:22 CET 2005

Dear Matroska-developers, dear Mikhail Matsnev!

I've downloaded and tested the beta-version of the alternative MKV-parser. It works for me without any problems. I'd like nevertheless to make some suggestions about its functionality, namely, about the built-in audiostream switcher.

Although some people (including me) long awaited this feature, i was a bit disappointed by its realization. What do i mean? actually, i often mixed mkv-movies with several audio streams, for example,

Stream 1 - original audiotrack (ogg, 48KHz, stereo, avg. bitrate of appr. 120-130kbps)
Stream 2 - the dialog translation by a lector (voice only - ogg, 22KHz, mono, avg. bitrate of 10-20kbps)
Stream 3 - my own comments about the movie mistakes (ogg, 22KHz, mono, avg. bitrate of 10-20kbps)

Certainly, Speex would be more perfect choice for Streams 2 & 3, but mkvtoolnix still does not allow me to mux Speex-streams... Anyway, ogg is also quite good in the speech encoding.

Till now i've used the Gabest splitter and various players to switch on/off streams 2 and/or 3 (the main audiostream No.1 is always switched on). In other words, i could mux several audiostreams during playing movie back - so to say, "on-the-fly". At the moment, there are numerous mediaplayers which allow us to do it (BSPlayer, ViPlay, LightAlloy, and even the Gasbest' MPC /when the built-in audioswitcher is disabled/).

The alternative Haali's parser does, however, not let me to mux audiostreams, but only to switch between them. It works exactly like the outdated Morgan Stream Switcher... in other words, such a method kills the most attractive feature of Matroska - the flexibility.

So, my proprosition is either
1) to add an opportunity to disable the audioswitcher 
2) or, what is even better, to make the audio selection following the principle "any combination of the embedded streams", but not "only one of them".

What would be a profit? 
i) well, subtitles are good, but, please, let users to decide themselves whether they prefer to read subs (and deflect their attention from the video) or to hear the dictor's translation. 
ii) when the tracks are muxed in the manner i wrote, the original soundtrack remains untouched - it might be useful both for playing movie back without the lectors comments (for those who know English well or study this language) or for editing and/or replacing the lector voice by any other local language (Russian, German, French)...

Although the same feature could be achieved by muxing the lector voice as a separate track in DolbySurround-tracks, i do believe that changing a bit alternative MKV-parser could solve this problem in the most reasonable manner...
Aleksei Surzhenko 
(aka NuPogodi)

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