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Full Version: Audio channel infolabels not precise
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Like mentioned here, it's been bugging me a while already that the audio channel infolabels available to skinners only return a fixed set of values not representing whether there's a LFE channel e.g. (5.1, 7.1) - you only get the total number of channels which isn't very helpful. Some layouts even seem to be missing altogether: 3.0 e.g. which is a rare, but an existing channel layout for jazz releases.

Currently, skinners can only either use labels like Mono, Stereo and Surround or guess which layouts are the most common. This is not precise in any way or even misleading - e.g. if 5 channels are interpreted as 4.1 although the file has a 5.0 layout. On the other hand, Kodi seems to have these information at its disposal e.g. in the OSD audio settings dialog where the currently played audio codec with the correct audio channel layout is shown. I'm aware that these information are only available during playback atm. But not even the player infolabels for audio channels return precise audio channel layout information.

Can this information be made available via the DB as a more precise infolabel outside the audio/video player? It would be great to be able to show more precise audio channel layout information to users with Kodi v19. Shy
Nobody from the team got an idea whether this could be fixed?
It can be fixed but it obviously needs someone interested enough to spend the time changing how we use the channel layout info Kodi gets from ffmpeg.

Currently Kodi converts the channel layout to channel numbers which is why the layouts 5.0 and 4.1 end up having the same channel numbers used in the info label ListItem.AudioChannels (5 in this case) and it's up to the skinner to decide how he/she wants to display it.

So it's not only a case of a Kodi change but also a skin change.
(2020-07-17, 10:20)Hitcher Wrote: [ -> ]It can be fixed but it obviously needs someone interested enough to spend the time changing how we use the channel layout info Kodi gets from ffmpeg.

Obviously... It is my interest to point at this issue and hopefully someone has the time and knowledge to fix this. Angel
 
(2020-07-17, 10:20)Hitcher Wrote: [ -> ]it's up to the skinner to decide how he/she wants to display it.

So it's not only a case of a Kodi change but also a skin change.

Well, not so much a "choice" for skinners as we can never know whether it actually means 4.0 or 5.1. It's just a compromise - what skinner can do with the somewhat limited information will always be a compromise atm.
So, I'd say it's not just a change, but basically a fix.
It's not really a fix though because ListItem.AudioChannels works as intended and skins should, I suppose, just show the number of channels without the .1 for LFE.
(2020-07-17, 15:41)Hitcher Wrote: [ -> ]It's not really a fix though because ListItem.AudioChannels works as intended and skins should, I suppose, just show the number of channels without the .1 for LFE.

Then I'd definitely question the intention of providing the audio channels in a format that doesn't allow the distinction between audio channel layouts used all over the entertainment industry. There's honestly no real use for the information whether there are e.g. 5 or 6 channels, if the source formats all use channels+LFE channel formats. I haven't seen any skin out there which doesn't either only show stereo or surround tags (for the lack of more precise information on the audio layout) or which guess which of the formats including an LFE channel is more likely to be referred to by the Kodi channel count. Both aren't precise and often misleading - therefore I can see how it's "done as it's supposed to", if basically no skin just shows the amount of channels without any further interpretation. Besides the fact that the pure channel count is not really helpful to users in the first place. Wink

I hope, my thinking is reasonable to you, @Hitcher - which I guess it is as you've referred to this issue needing a fix quite a while back as well (Bug - Dolby Digital 5.0 .mkv shows as 4.1 in default skin). Really hoping for a fix here to be able to provide more useful information to users.
(2020-07-17, 15:58)Chillbo Wrote: [ -> ]
(2020-07-17, 15:41)Hitcher Wrote: [ -> ]It's not really a fix though because ListItem.AudioChannels works as intended and skins should, I suppose, just show the number of channels without the .1 for LFE.

Then I'd definitely question the intention of providing the audio channels in a format that doesn't allow the distinction between audio channel layouts used all over the entertainment industry. There's honestly no real use for the information whether there are e.g. 5 or 6 channels, if the source formats all use channels+LFE channel formats. I haven't seen any skin out there which doesn't either only show stereo or surround tags (for the lack of more precise information on the audio layout) or which guess which of the formats including an LFE channel is more likely to be referred to by the Kodi channel count. Both aren't precise and often misleading - therefore I can see how it's "done as it's supposed to", if basically no skin just shows the amount of channels without any further interpretation. Besides the fact that the pure channel count is not really helpful to users in the first place. Wink

I hope, my thinking is reasonable to you, @Hitcher - which I guess it is as you've referred to this issue needing a fix quite a while back as well (Bug - Dolby Digital 5.0 .mkv shows as 4.1 in default skin). Really hoping for a fix here to be able to provide more useful information to users.

With a small dev team aiming for release goals, its hard for someone to take time for something trivial. Best results happen with pull requests @ github (submit code to fix it)
(2020-07-17, 19:09)ohhwee Wrote: [ -> ]With a small dev team aiming for release goals, its hard for someone to take time for something trivial. Best results happen with pull requests @ github (submit code to fix it)

I'll see what I can do regarding this. My first goal was to get a common understanding of this issue and whether it is not only seen by me this way. Blush
Would there be interest for infolabels that provide additional information for channel layout, horizontal resolution, HDR/SDR as well as audio and video bit-depth, if a PR was to be made for this, @Hitcher?

AFAICT, these are all information currently not available to skins, but available from ffmpeg. It should be possible to make those available to the database and therefore to infolabels outside and inside the video/audio player.
PR improvements are always welcome.
(2020-07-18, 19:18)Hitcher Wrote: [ -> ]PR improvements are always welcome.

Will see what can be done then. Additions like these won't make it to v18 as a backport, will they - let's say, if a seperate v18 compatible PR would be made?
No, 18.8 will the last Leia build and that's only for fixes.
ISTM this would require a change to the video database streamdetails to add strChannelLayout so not so trivial.

scott s.
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