Using the Sequencer Source

This topic describes how to use the Sequencer Source. It contains the following sections:

For a general overview of the sequencer source, see About the Sequencer Source.


The sequencer source exposes the following interfaces.

IMFMediaSource Exposes generic media source functionality.
IMFSequencerSource Enables the application to add or remove topologies.
IMFMediaSourceTopologyProvider Retrieves the next topology to queue on the Media Session.
IMFMediaSourcePresentationProvider Used by the Media Session to end segments. Applications do not use this interface.
IMFGetService Queries the sequencer source for Service Interfaces.


To play a sequence of media sources, perform the following steps:

  1. To create the sequencer source, call the MFCreateSequencerSource function.
  2. For each segment, create a playback topology, as described in Creating Playback Topologies. To add the topology to the presentation, call IMFSequencerSource::AppendTopology.
  3. Before starting playback, call IMFMediaSource::CreatePresentationDescriptor on the sequencer source. This method returns a pointer to a presentation descriptor for the first segment. To get the topology associated with this segment, call QueryInterface on the sequencer source for the IMFMediaSourceTopologyProvider interface. Pass the presentation descriptor to the IMFMediaSourceTopologyProvider::GetMediaSourceTopology method. This method returns a pointer to the topology.
  4. Pass the topology for the first segment to the Media Session, by calling the Media Session's IMFMediaSession::SetTopology method.
  5. Start playback by calling IMFMediaSession::Start.
  6. When the sequencer source is ready to preroll the next segment, it sends an MENewPresentation event whose event data is an IMFPresentationDescriptor interface pointer. Again, get the topology for the segment by calling GetMediaSourceTopology on the sequencer source, and set the topology on the Media Session by calling SetTopology. It is not necessary to re-start the media source; it will automatically play through to the next segment.
  7. Before the application quits, shut down the sequencer source by calling IMFMediaSource::Shutdown.

The following code shows how to get the topology and set it on the Media Session:

// Queues the next topology on the session.

HRESULT CPlaylist::QueueNextSegment(IMFPresentationDescriptor *pPD)
    IMFMediaSourceTopologyProvider *pTopoProvider = NULL;
    IMFTopology *pTopology = NULL;

    //Get the topology for the presentation descriptor
    HRESULT hr = m_pSequencerSource->QueryInterface(IID_PPV_ARGS(&pTopoProvider));
    if (FAILED(hr))
        goto done;

    hr = pTopoProvider->GetMediaSourceTopology(pPD, &pTopology);
    if (FAILED(hr))
        goto done;

    //Set the topology on the media session
    m_pSession->SetTopology(NULL, pTopology);

    return hr;

For a complete code example, see Sequencer Source Example Code.

Adding Topologies

The sequencer source maintains two lists of topologies: the input list and the preroll list.

The input list is a collection of topologies corresponding to playlist segments, in the order that they were added by the application by calling IMFSequencerSource::AppendTopology. This method assigns each topology a unique segment identifier of the type MFSequencerElementId. The segment identifier is set as an attribute for all source topology nodes. An application can get the segment identifier from a source node by using the MF_TOPONODE_SEQUENCE_ELEMENTID attribute. The input list can have duplicate topologies if the application called AppendTopology on the same topology more than once; however, they are identified by their unique segment identifiers.

The preroll list is a collection of input list topologies that have been initialized in preparation for playback. This enables the Media Session to transition to the next topology seamlessly when the active topology ends. The application cannot directly add or remove topologies from the preroll list; it is generated by the sequencer source when a topology from the input list is selected for playback. This causes the sequencer source to add the next topology from the input list to the preroll list. After doing so, the sequencer source asynchronously raises the MENewPresentation event and passes the presentation descriptor for the preroll topology as event data. The application must listen for this event by using the Media Session's IMFMediaEventGenerator interface and queue the preroll topology on the Media Session by calling IMFMediaSession::SetTopology. This must be done before the Media Session completes playback of the active topology. SetTopology informs the Media Session about the next topology that it must play after playback of the active topology has ended. To ensure a seamless treansition, the application must call SetTopology before the Media Session completes playing the previous topology. Otherwise, there will be a gap between the segments.

The MENewPresentation event is raised as long as there is a topology following the active topology. Consequently, if the input list contains only one topology, or if the active topology is the last one in the input list, this event is not raised.

The preroll list is synchronized with the input list and is refreshed each time a topology is added to or deleted from the input list.

Deleting Topologies

To remove a topology from the sequencer source, an application must call the IMFSequencerSource::DeleteTopology method and specify the segment identifier.

Before calling DeleteTopology, the application must make sure that Media Session is not using the topology that the application wants to delete. To do this, both of the following must occur before the application calls DeleteTopology:

  • MESessionTopologyStatus event with MF_TOPOSTATUS_ENDED is received for the topology to ensure that Media Session has completed playback.

  • MESessionTopologyStatus with MF_TOPOSTATUS_STARTED_SOURCE is received for the next topology to ensure that the Media Session has started playing the next topology, MESessionEnded event is received to ensure that Media Session is done with the last topology in the sequencer source.

If the segment being deleted is the active topology, playback is stopped and the sequencer source raises the MEEndOfPresentationSegment event. If the active topology is also the last topology, the MEEndOfPresentation event is raised.

Skipping to a Segment

An application can skip to a particular segment in the sequence by starting the Media Session with a segment offset, as follows:

  1. Call the MFCreateSequencerSegmentOffset function to create the segment offset. Specify the identifier of the segment in the dwId parameter. (The identifier was returned by the IMFSequencerSource::AppendTopology method when you first added the topology to the sequencer source.) The hnsOffset parameter specifies a time offset, relative to the start of the segment. Playback will start at this time. For the pvarSegmentOffset parameter, pass in the address of an empty PROPVARIANT. When the function returns, this PROPVARIANT contains the segment offset.

  2. Call the IMFMediaSession::Start method on the Media Session. For the pguidTimeFormat parameter, use the GUID value MF_TIME_FORMAT_SEGMENT_OFFSET. This value indicates seeking by segment offset. For the pvarStartPosition parameter, pass the address of the PROPVARIANT created in the previous step.

The following code example shows how to skip to the start of a specified segment in a sequence.

// Skips to the specified segment in the sequencer source

HRESULT CPlaylist::SkipTo(DWORD index)
    if (index >= m_count)
        return E_INVALIDARG;

    MFSequencerElementId ID = m_segments[index].SegmentID;


    HRESULT hr = MFCreateSequencerSegmentOffset(ID, NULL, &var);
    if (SUCCEEDED(hr))
        hr = m_pSession->Start(&MF_TIME_FORMAT_SEGMENT_OFFSET, &var);
    return hr;

When the application seeks across segments, the application receives several events as the sequencer source ends the current segment and prepares to play the new segment. Because these events are received asynchronously, it is difficult to predict the exact sequence of events. These events are as follows:

More details about the events sent by the sequencer source can be found in the topic Sequencer Source Events.

Related topics

How to Create a Playlist
Sequencer Source