The Dolby Bitstream Syntax Description Language (BSDL) is a generic, XML-based language for describing the syntactical structure of compressed audio-visual streams. This paper describes how the representation of a bitstream syntax in the BSDL is used to ease the development of serialization, deserialization, and editing tools. Additionally, the formal syntax description allows realizing a range of novel analysis methods including bitstream syntax coverage measurements, detailed bitrate profiles, and the automatic generation of rich specification documentation. The approach is exemplified using the AC-4 codec.
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