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Membrane is a versatile multimedia streaming & processing framework. You can use it to build a media server of your need, that can:

  • stream via WebRTC, RTSP, RTMP, HLS, HTTP and other protocols,
  • transcode, mix and apply custom processing of video & audio,
  • accept and generate / record to MP4, MKV, FLV and other containers,
  • handle dynamically connecting and disconnecting streams,
  • seamlessly scale and recover from errors,
  • do whatever you imagine if you implement it yourself :D Membrane makes it easy to plug in your code at almost any point of processing.

The abbreviations above don't ring any bells? Visit and let Membrane introduce you to the multimedia world!

Want a generic media server, instead of building a custom one? Try Jellyfish - it's built on top of Membrane and provides many of its features via simple, WebSocket API. We'll soon provide it as a SAAS too.

If you have questions or need consulting, we're for you at our Discord, forum, GitHub discussions, X (Twitter) and via e-mail.

You can also follow Membrane on X (Twitter) or join our Discord to be up to date and get involved in the community.

Membrane is maintained by Software Mansion.

Quick start


defmodule MyPipeline do
  use Membrane.Pipeline

  @impl true
  def handle_init(_ctx, mp3_url) do
    spec =
        location: mp3_url, hackney_opts: [follow_redirect: true]
      |> child(Membrane.MP3.MAD.Decoder)
      |> child(Membrane.PortAudio.Sink)

    {[spec: spec], %{}}

mp3_url = ""

Membrane.Pipeline.start_link(MyPipeline, mp3_url)

This is an Elixir snippet, that streams an mp3 via HTTP and plays it on your speaker. Here's how to run it:

  • Option 1: Click the button below:

    Run in Livebook

    It will install Livebook, an interactive notebook similar to Jupyter, and it'll open the snippet in there for you. Then just click the 'run' button in there.

  • Option 2: If you don't want to use Livebook, you can install Elixir, type iex to run the interactive shell and paste the snippet there.

After that, you should hear music playing on your speaker :tada:

To learn step-by-step what exactly happens here, follow this tutorial.


The best place to learn Membrane is the website and the membrane_demo repository. Try them out, then hack something exciting!

Structure of the framework

The most basic media processing entities of Membrane are Elements. An element might be able, for example, to mux incoming audio and video streams into MP4, or play raw audio using your sound card. You can create elements yourself, or choose from the ones provided by the framework.

Elements can be organized into a pipeline - a sequence of linked elements that perform a specific task. For example, a pipeline might receive an incoming RTSP stream from a webcam and convert it to an HLS stream, or act as a selective forwarding unit (SFU) to implement your own videoconferencing room. The Quick start section above shows how to create a simple pipeline.

Membrane packages

To embrace modularity, Membrane is delivered to you in multiple packages, including plugins, formats, core and standalone libraries. The complete list of all the Membrane packages maintained by the Membrane team is available here.


Plugins provide elements that you can use in your pipeline. Each plugin lives in a membrane_X_plugin repository, where X can be a protocol, codec, container or functionality, for example mebrane_opus_plugin. Plugins wrapping a tool or library are named membrane_X_LIBRARYNAME_plugin or just membrane_LIBRARYNAME_plugin, like membrane_mp3_mad_plugin. Plugins are published on, for example and docs are at hexdocs, like Some plugins require native libraries installed in your OS. Those requirements, along with usage examples are outlined in each plugin's readme.


Apart from plugins, Membrane has stream formats, which live in membrane_X_format repositories, where X is usually a codec or container, for example mebrane_opus_format. Stream formats are published the same way as packages and are used by elements to define what kind of stream can be sent or received. They also provide utility functions to deal with a given codec/container.


The API for creating pipelines (and custom elements too) is provided by membrane_core. To install it, add the following line to your deps in mix.exs and run mix deps.get

{:membrane_core, "~> 1.1"}

Standalone libraries

Last but not least, Membrane provides tools and libraries that can be used standalone and don't depend on the membrane_core, for example video_compositor, ex_sdp or unifex.


The main goals of Membrane are:

  • To make work with multimedia a more pleasant experience than it is now.
  • To provide a welcoming ecosystem for learning multimedia development.
  • To power resilient, maintainable and scalable systems.

Elixir language

We chose Elixir for Membrane because it's a modern, high-level, easy-to-learn language, that lets us rapidly develop media solutions. Elixir's main selling points are built-in parallelism and fault-tolerance features, so we can build scalable systems that are self-healing. It also runs on the battle-tested BEAM VM, that's been widely used and actively developed since the '80s. When we need the performance of a low-level language, we delegate to Rust or C.

If you don't know Elixir, try this tutorial - it shouldn't take long and you'll know more than enough to get started with Membrane.


We welcome everyone to contribute to Membrane. Here are some ways to contribute:

  • Spread the word about Membrane! Even though multimedia are present everywhere today, media dev is still quite niche. Let it be no longer!
  • Create learning materials. We try our best but can cover only a limited number of Membrane use cases.
  • Improve docs. We know it's not the most exciting part, but if you had a hard time understanding the docs, you're the best person to fix them ;)
  • Contribute code - plugins, features and bug fixes. It's best to contact us before, so we can provide our help & assistance, and agree on important matters. For details see the contribution guide.

Support and questions

If you have any questions regarding Membrane Framework or need consulting, feel free to contact us via Discord, forum, GitHub discussions, X (Twitter) or e-mail.

All packages


membrane_sdkFull power of Membrane in a single Docs
membrane_coreThe core of the Membrane Framework, advanced multimedia processing Docs
membrane_rtc_engine[Maintainer: jellyfish-dev] Customizable Real-time Communication Engine/SFU library focused on Docs
kino_membraneUtilities for introspecting Membrane pipelines in Docs
docker_membrane[Labs] A docker image based on Ubuntu, with Erlang, Elixir and libraries necessary to test and run the Membrane Framework.
membrane_demoExamples of using the Membrane Framework
membrane_tutorialsRepository which contains text and assets used in Membrane Framework tutorials.


General purpose

membrane_file_pluginMembrane plugin for reading and writing to Docs
membrane_hackney_pluginHTTP sink and source based on Docs
membrane_scissors_pluginElement for cutting off parts of the Docs
membrane_tee_pluginMembrane plugin for splitting data from a single input to multiple Docs
membrane_funnel_pluginMembrane plugin for merging multiple input streams into a single Docs
membrane_realtimer_pluginMembrane element limiting playback speed to realtime, according to buffers' Docs
membrane_stream_pluginPlugin for recording the entire stream sent through Membrane pads into a binary format and replaying Docs
membrane_fake_pluginFake Membrane sinks that drop incoming Docs
membrane_pcap_plugin[Labs] Membrane PCAP source, capable of reading captured packets in pcap format
membrane_live_framerate_converter_plugin[Maintainer: kim-company] Membrane.Filter that drops or duplicates frames to match a target framerate. Designed for realtime applications
membrane_template_pluginTemplate for Membrane Elements

Streaming protocols

membrane_webrtc_plugin[Maintainer: jellyfish-dev] Membrane plugin for sending and receiving media with Docs
membrane_rtmp_pluginRTMP server & Docs
membrane_http_adaptive_stream_pluginPlugin generating manifests for HLS (DASH support planned) Docs
membrane_ice_plugin[Maintainer: jellyfish-dev] Membrane plugin for ICE Docs
membrane_udp_pluginMembrane plugin for sending and receiving UDP Docs
membrane_rtp_pluginMembrane bins and elements for sending and receiving RTP/SRTP and RTCP/SRTCP Docs
membrane_rtp_h264_pluginMembrane RTP payloader and depayloader for Docs
membrane_rtp_vp8_pluginMembrane elements for payloading and depayloading VP8 into Docs
membrane_rtp_vp9_plugin[Labs] Membrane elements for payloading and depayloading VP9 into RTP
membrane_rtp_mpegaudio_pluginMembrane RTP MPEG Audio Docs
membrane_rtp_opus_pluginMembrane RTP payloader and depayloader for OPUS Docs
membrane_rtp_g711_plugin[Maintainer: jellyfish-dev] Membrane RTP payloader and depayloader for G711 Docs
membrane_quic_plugin[Maintainer: mickel8]
membrane_mpeg_ts_plugin[Maintainer: kim-company] Membrane.Filter that demuxes MPEG-TS streams
membrane_hls_plugin[Maintainer: kim-company] Plugin providing a Membrane.HLS.Source element for HTTP Live Streaming (HLS).


membrane_mp4_pluginUtilities for MP4 container parsing and serialization and elements for muxing the stream to Docs
membrane_matroska_pluginMatroska muxer and Docs
membrane_flv_pluginMuxer and demuxer elements for FLV Docs
membrane_ivf_pluginPlugin for converting video stream into IVF Docs
membrane_ogg_pluginPlugin for depayloading an Ogg file into an Opus Docs

Audio codecs

membrane_aac_pluginAAC parser and complementary elements for AAC Docs
membrane_aac_fdk_pluginMembrane AAC decoder and encoder based on FDK Docs
membrane_flac_pluginParser for files in FLAC bitstream Docs
membrane_mp3_lame_pluginMembrane MP3 encoder based on Docs
membrane_mp3_mad_pluginMembrane MP3 decoder based on Docs
membrane_opus_pluginMembrane Opus encoder and Docs
membrane_wav_pluginPlugin providing elements handling audio in WAV file Docs
membrane_g711_plugin[Maintainer: jellyfish-dev] Membrane G.711 decoder, encoder and Docs

Video codecs

membrane_h26x_pluginMembrane h264 and h265 Docs
membrane_h264_ffmpeg_pluginMembrane H264 decoder and encoder based on FFmpeg and Docs Docs
membrane_h265_ffmpeg_plugin[Maintainer: gBillal] Membrane H265 decoder and encoder based on FFmpeg and Docs
elixir-turbojpeg[Maintainer: BinaryNoggin] libjpeg-turbo bindings for Elixir
membrane_subtitle_mixer_plugin[Maintainer: kim-company] Membrane.Filter that uses CEA708 to merge subtitles directly in H264 packets.

Raw audio & video

membrane_generator_pluginVideo and audio samples Docs

Raw audio | Package | Description | Links | | --- | --- | --- | | membrane_raw_audio_parser_plugin | Membrane element for parsing raw audio | Docs | | membrane_portaudio_plugin | Raw audio retriever and player based on PortAudio | Docs | | membrane_audio_mix_plugin | Plugin providing an element mixing raw audio frames. | Docs | | membrane_audio_filler_plugin | Element for filling missing buffers in audio stream | Docs | | membrane_ffmpeg_swresample_plugin | Plugin performing audio conversion, resampling and channel mixing, using SWResample module of FFmpeg library | Docs | | membrane_audiometer_plugin | Elements for measuring the level of the audio stream | Docs |

Raw video | Package | Description | Links | | --- | --- | --- | | membrane_raw_video_parser_plugin | Membrane plugin for parsing raw video streams | Docs | | membrane_video_merger_plugin | Membrane raw video cutter, merger and cut & merge bin | Docs | | membrane_video_compositor_plugin | Membrane plugin for video and audio mixing/composing | Docs | | membrane_camera_capture_plugin | A set of elements allowing for capturing local media such as camera or microphone | Docs | | membrane_rpicam_plugin | Membrane rpicam plugin | Docs | | membrane_framerate_converter_plugin | Element for converting frame rate of raw video stream | Docs | | membrane_sdl_plugin | Membrane video player based on SDL | Docs | | membrane_overlay_plugin | Filter for applying overlay image or text on top of video | Docs | | membrane_ffmpeg_swscale_plugin | Plugin providing an element scaling raw video frames, using SWScale module of FFmpeg library. | Docs | | membrane_ffmpeg_video_filter_plugin | FFmpeg-based video filters | Docs | | membrane_video_mixer_plugin | [Maintainer: kim-company] Membrane.Filter that mixes a variable number of input videos into one output using ffmpeg filters | |

External APIs

membrane_aws_plugin[Maintainer: jellyfish-dev]
membrane_agora_pluginMembrane Sink for Agora Server Docs
membrane_element_gcloud_speech_to_textMembrane plugin providing speech recognition via Google Cloud Speech-to-Text Docs
membrane_element_ibm_speech_to_textMembrane plugin providing speech recognition via IBM Cloud Speech-to-Text Docs
membrane_s3_plugin[Maintainer: YuzuTen] Membrane framework plugin to support S3 sources/ Docs
membrane_transcription[Maintainer: lawik] Prototype transcription for Membrane


membrane_rtp_formatReal-time Transport Protocol format for Membrane Docs
membrane_cmaf_formatMembrane description for Common Media Application Docs
membrane_matroska_formatMatroska Membrane Docs
membrane_mp4_formatMPEG-4 container Membrane Docs
membrane_raw_audio_formatRaw audio format definition for the Membrane Multimedia Docs
membrane_raw_video_formatMembrane Multimedia Framework: Raw video format Docs
membrane_aac_formatAdvanced Audio Codec Membrane Docs
membrane_opus_formatOpus audio format definition for Membrane Docs
membrane_flac_formatFLAC audio format description for Membrane Docs
membrane_mpegaudio_formatMPEG audio format definition for Membrane Docs
membrane_h264_formatMembrane Multimedia Framework: H264 video format Docs
membrane_vp8_formatVP8 Membrane Docs
membrane_vp9_formatVP9 Membrane Docs
membrane_g711_format[Maintainer: jellyfish-dev] Membrane Multimedia Framework: G711 audio format Docs

Standalone media libs

video_compositorMedia server for low-latency live video and audio mixing/composing
ex_sdpParser and serializer for Session Description Docs
ex_libniceLibnice-based Interactive Connectivity Establishment (ICE) protocol support for Docs
ex_libsrtpElixir bindings for Docs
ex_m3u8Elixir package for serializing and deserializing M3U8 Docs
membrane_rtspRTSP client for Docs
membrane_ffmpeg_generator[Labs] FFmpeg video and audio generator for tests, benchmarks and Docs


unifexTool for generating interfaces between native C code and Docs
bundlexMultiplatform app bundler tool for Docs
beamchmarkElixir tool for benchmarking EVM Docs
bunchA bunch of helper functions, intended to make life Docs
bunch_nativeNative part of the Bunch Docs
shmexElixir bindings for shared Docs
membrane_common_cMembrane Multimedia Framework: Common C Docs
membrane_telemetry_metricsMembrane tool for generating Docs
membrane_opentelemetry[Labs] Utilities for using OpenTelemetry with Docs Docs

Copyright 2018, Software Mansion

Software Mansion

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0