[LAD] [EPAMP] an effect plugin API for media players: anyone interested?

Paul Davis paul at linuxaudiosystems.com
Mon Jun 2 01:45:03 UTC 2008

On Sun, 2008-06-01 at 21:29 +0200, Stefano D'Angelo wrote:
> Hello,
> First of all, I'm sorry for the worst cross-posting ever.
> My name's Stefano D'Angelo and I'm the author of NASPRO
> (http://naspro.atheme.org), a project whose main aim is to build up a
> system to make all sound processing APIs interoperable.
> Since my project was recently accepted to become part of the Atheme
> community (http://www.atheme.org) and began working close to the
> audacious (http://audacious-media-player.org) developers, I could see
> there actually were serious reasons behind the lack of standardization
> for sound processing in the arena of media players.
> Now, I wrote a first draft of a new sound processing API called EPAMP
> especially targetted at media players; you can find it here:
> http://naspro.atheme.org/content/epamp-draft-1
> With this mail, I'm trying to get some feedback (possibly in the Talk
> page on the NASPRO wiki) about it and possibly to involve anyone who
> is interested in its development.
> Anyway, notice that the user interface part of the API is still
> missing and that my project (NASPRO) will support this new API, giving
> applications using it the possibility to access non-EPAMP plugins
> without touching a single line of code (currently supported APIs are
> audacious' and LADSPA, while DSSI, LV2, GStreamer and possibly VST are
> more or less planned for the near future).
> In case you're not interested and want to start a flame, please just ignore me.

I'm not interested, and I do want to start a flame war, and I won't
ignore you.

One of the most irritating things in the open source community is not
when people come along and (constantly) reinvent the wheel. No, thats
actually probably a good thing if its done the right way. The irritating
thing is when people propose replacements for Foo without once
explaining what was actually wrong with Foo. It gets even worse when the
people responsible for Foo have themselves identified a lot of things
wrong with it, and have themselves offered up Bar as a result of
extensive discussions about Foo and its problems.

There is nothing in your draft document that offers up substantive
critique of LV2 (or even LADSPA). You make no reference to GStreamer, a
project which overlaps with many of your goals. You mumble about the
"user interface part is missing" almost as if its an afterthought, when
in reality, this has been the single most problematic part of any audio
processing API for Linux and other X11 based platforms. Its not just
some detail you can tack on, its an absolutely central part of the
problem. You also make grand, sweeping claims for NASPRO:

"Its main aim is to give audio application developers a full-featured,
yet scalable, high-performance and integrated tool to make use of
virtually any external sound processing component (including, but not
limited to, LADSPA/DSSI, LV2, VST, AudioUnits and DirectX plugins) via a
single, fully transparent and platform-independent API."

apparently unaware that this goal has (a) eluded almost all other
attempts to do the same and that (b) where such efforts have succeeded,
getting it right and making it work has been a full time *paid* job for
several reasonably well-paid and very smart software developers (e.g.
FXpansion's AU/DX/VST bridge systems). you also seem unaware that there
is already a working group of plugin developers from the VST, AudioUnits
and DX worlds attempting to do precisely what you describe, and that
whatever they come up (if they come up with anything), its likely to
carry a lot more weight among the world of plugin developers worldwide.

so please, go ahead and invent us a better wheel. but first, show us
that you understand what's wrong with the old one, that you've seen the
efforts to fix it, that you understand the problems with them too, and
then explain clearly how your proposals fix both sets of problems.

yeah, so i guess i'm a little grumpy.

> This message is being sent to the communities/developers behind the
> following projects:
>  - Amarok
>  - Aqualung
>  - Audio Overload
>  - BMPx
>  - Banshee
>  - cmus
>  - Decibel Audio Player
>  - Exaile
>  - FALF Player
>  - Freevo
>  - GStreamer
>  - Helix Player
>  - Herrie
>  - JaJuk
>  - JuK (KDE multimedia)
>  - Linux Audio Developers
>  - KPlayer
>  - Kaffeine
>  - lamip
>  - The LAMP
>  - MPlayer
>  - Miro
>  - mpg123
>  - mpg321
>  - Muine
>  - MPD
>  - music on console
>  - Noatun
>  - ogg123 (vorbis-tools)
>  - Ogle
>  - Quod Libet
>  - Rhythmbox
>  - Sipie
>  - SnackAmp
>  - Sonata
>  - Songbird
>  - UADE
>  - SMPlayer
>  - VLC
>  - wxMusik
>  - XMMS2
>  - Xfmedia
>  - Xine
>  - Zinf
> If you know someone else who could be interested, feel free to forward this.
> Best regards,
> Stefano D'Angelo
> zanga.mail at gmail.com
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