W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > whatwg@whatwg.org > November 2009

[whatwg] What is the purpose of timeupdate?

From: Andrew Scherkus <scherkus@chromium.org>
Date: Thu, 5 Nov 2009 12:11:15 -0800
Message-ID: <eb35a2a80911051211n47e60418oc4c864e16238a27e@mail.gmail.com>
On Thu, Nov 5, 2009 at 6:10 AM, Brian Campbell <
brian.p.campbell at dartmouth.edu> wrote:

> On Nov 5, 2009, at 1:17 AM, Andrew Scherkus wrote:
>
>  On Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 10:18 PM, Brian Campbell <
>> Brian.P.Campbell at dartmouth.edu> wrote:
>> As a multimedia developer, I am wondering about the purpose of the
>> timeupdate event on media elements. On first glance, it would appear that
>> this event would be useful for synchronizing animations, bullets, captions,
>> UI, and the like. The spec specifies a rate of 4 to 66 Hz for these events.
>> The high end of this (30 or more Hz) is pretty reasonable for displaying
>> things in sync with the video. The low end, however, 4 Hz, is far too slow
>> for most types of synchronization; everything feels laggy at this frequency.
>> From my testing on a two year old MacBook Pro, Firefox is giving me about 25
>> timeupdate events per second, while Safari and Chrome are giving me the bare
>> minimum, of 4 timeupdate events per second.
>>
>> At 4 timeupdate events per second, it isn't all that useful. I can replace
>> it with setInterval, at whatever rate I want, query the time, and get the
>> synchronization I need, but that makes the timeupdate event seem to be
>> redundant. At 25 timeupdate events per second, it is reasonably useful, and
>> can be used to synchronize various things to the video.
>>
>> So, I'm wondering if there's a purpose for the timeupdate event that I'm
>> missing. If it is intended for any sort of synchronization with the video, I
>> think it should be improved to give better guarantees on the interval
>> between updates, or just dropped from the spec; it's not useful enough in
>> its current form. To improve it, the maximum interval between updates could
>> be reduced to about 40 ms, or perhaps the interval could be made settable so
>> the author could control how often they want to get the event.
>>
>> -- Brian
>>
>> I believe it's a convenience over using setTimeout/setInterval + polling
>> to determine whether playback has progressed ie., for rendering your own
>> playback progress bar.  I've also seen it been used as a signal to copy
>> frames into <canvas> on Firefox, however if timeupdate frequency != fps of
>> video you either miss frames or paint too much.
>>
>> I don't think timeupdate today is very useful for doing anything beyond a
>> progress bar or other simple synchronized animations.
>>
>
> Right. That's what I figured the point is; I just wanted to check to make
> sure I wasn't missing something.
>
> As implemented by Safari and Chrome (which is the minimum rate allowed by
> the spec), it's not really useful for that purpose, as 4 updates per second
> makes any sort of synchronization feel jerky and laggy. If it were done at
> the frame rate of the video, or perhaps with a minimum of 25 frames per
> second, it would be much more useful. Even at a minimum of 15 frames per
> second, you would still be able to get some sorts of useful synchronization,
> though animations synchronized wouldn't feel as smooth as they could.
>
>  Would something like <video> firing events for every frame rendered help
>> you out?  This would help also fix the <canvas> over/under painting issue
>> and improve synchronization.
>>
>
> Yes, this would be considerably better than what is currently specced.
>
> -- Brian
>

I'll see if we can do something for WebKit based browsers, because today it
literally is hardcoded to 250ms for all ports.
http://trac.webkit.org/browser/trunk/WebCore/html/HTMLMediaElement.cpp#L1254

Maybe we'll end up firing events based on frame updates for video, and
something arbitrary for audio (as it is today).

Brian, since Firefox is doing what you proposed -- can you think of any
other issues with its current implementation?  What about for audio files?

Thanks,
Andrew
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.whatwg.org/pipermail/whatwg-whatwg.org/attachments/20091105/ef76ca52/attachment.htm>
Received on Thursday, 5 November 2009 12:11:15 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Wednesday, 22 January 2020 16:59:18 UTC