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XML Binary Format

It is possible to describe bit sequences when importing XML data. This applies to:

  • NHML: some elements in the format may or must have child bitstream constructors

  • Encryption: a DRMInfo element may have child bitstream constructors

  • Data loading in filter properties using bxml@ syntax

  • ISOBMFF box patches

  • Blob generation using MP4Box

The XML syntax used is a sequence of one or more BS elements specifying a value and a number of bits to use. If a non BS element is found, its content is recursively parsed for BS elements.


<BS  bits="..." value="..." mediaOffset="..." mediaFile="..." dataLength="..." text="..." fcc="..."/>


  • bits : number of bits used to write the value
  • value : integer value to write
  • float : float value to write, (32 bits)
  • double : double value to write (64 bits)
  • mediaFile or dataFile: file to get data from
  • mediaOffset or dataOffset: offset in the file
  • dataLength: number of bytes to copy from the file
  • text or string: writes text without trailing 0. If bits is set, first writes the size of the text string using bits bits
  • textmode: if set to yes, opens the indicate file in text mode
  • fcc: writes a four character code on 32 bits
  • ID128: writes a 128 bit value given in hexadecimal
  • data64: writes data given encoded in base64. If bits is set, first writes the size of the data using bits bits.
  • data: writes data given in hexadecimal. If bits is set, first writes the size of the data using bits bits.
  • endian: if set to little, writes integers in little endian formats (for 16 and 32 bits only), otherwise in big endian format.
  • base64: writes tag as base64 encoded date. Possible values are:
  • true, yes: the given tag is written as base64, except if base64 context is active (see below)
  • start: starts base64 context or ignored if base64 context is already started : all following elements are written in a secondary bitstream
  • end: closes base64 context or ignored if no base64 context is started: the separate bitstream content is written as base 64 encoded data
  • base64Prefix: when closing base64 context, prepend base64 string length on given number of bits. If 16, 32 or 64 bits are used, use endian to indicate endianness. Default value is 0 (no prefix).

Note: When recursive parsing is used, a new base64 encoding context is created for each child parsed.

NHML Example

This example was used to generate files conforming to ISO/IEC 14496-18 AMD1. It shows how the bitstream constructor is used to create a custom font sample description fntC in the stsd entry called fnt1. The duration on the last sample is used to extend the duration of the track.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<NHNTStream version="1.0" timeScale="1000" trackID="1" mediaType="fdsm" mediaSubType="fnt1">
      <BS id="size" bits="32" value="24" />
      <!-- box size is 4+4+3+strlen(TriodPostnaja)-->
      <BS id="type" fcc="fntC" />
      <BS id="fontFormat" bits="7" value="1" />
      <BS id="storeFont" bits="1" value="0" />
      <BS id="fontName" bits="8" text="TriodPostnaja" />
      <BS id="fontSubsetID" bits="7" value="1" />
      <BS id="reserved" bits="1" value="1" />
   <NHNTSample DTS="0" isRAP="yes" mediaFile="TriodPostnaja\_subsets/TriodPostnaja\_CyrillicCaps.ttf" />
   <NHNTSample DTS="2000" isRAP="yes" mediaFile="TriodPostnaja\_subsets/TriodPostnaja\_CyrillicSmall.ttf" />
   <NHNTSample DTS="4000" isRAP="yes" mediaFile="TriodPostnaja\_subsets/TriodPostnaja\_LatinCaps.ttf" />
   <NHNTSample DTS="6000" isRAP="yes" mediaFile="TriodPostnaja\_subsets/TriodPostnaja\_LatinSmall.ttf" />
   <NHNTSample DTS="8000" duration="4000" isRAP="yes" mediaFile="TriodPostnaja\_subsets/TriodPostnaja\_symbols+numerals.ttf" />

When used in an NHML sample, if a BS element describes file data (dataLength and/or mediaOffset are set) but no file is given, the source file is:

  • the mediaFile indicated at the sample level, if present
  • otherwise the baseMediaFile indicated at the NHML stream level, if present
  • otherwise the media file associated with the NHML, e.g. for track.nhml

MP4Box XML binary generation

As of revision 5601, it is possible to convert an XML file with BS syntax element to a binary file directly using MP4Box -bin source.xml . The source file can be any XML file. BS element can furthermore be located in children nodes if needed.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
  <BS id="size" bits="32" value="100" />
  <BS id="size" bits="32" value="20000" endian="little"/>

This example source.xml will generate a binary file containing 2 32-bits integers (first big endian, second little endian).

Common Encryption binary generation

See [[Common Encryption]]

Filter property specification using binary XML

gpac -i somesource:#MyProp=bxml@blob.xml ...

This example loads PID(s) from somesource and assigns them a property with name MyProp of type data with the property content set to the binarized XML in blob.xml.

ISOBMFF blob patching using binary XML

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" />

<Box path="moov-">
<BS fcc="GPAC"/>
<BS value="2" bits="32"/>
<BS value="1" bits="32"/>


This box patch inserts at the beginning of the moov box a new box of type GPAC with a payload of 8 bytes 0x0000000100000002.

Base64 binary XML

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" />
  <BS bits="32" value="100" />
  <BS bits="32" value="1000" base64="start"/>
  <BS bits="32" value="10000"/>
  <BS bits="32" value="100000" base64="end"/>

This will write the value 100 in a 32 bit field big-endian, followed by the base64 data resulting of the encoding of the three values 1000, 10000 and 100000 (all coded here as 32 bits big endian values).