Currently looking at the gstream, mplayer or ffmpeg-clones (I think xine and others also are prone to this) it is very hard to tell what flag is for encoding, what flag is for decoding, what flag is for changing between external and internal dependencies, and so on.
So may I suggest introducing MEDIA_ENCODE and MEDIA_DECODE as expanded use flags?
It would be easy to understand what they are for, they would always mean the same (i.e. best, or current upstream recommended for that package), and you would not not have to look for support for something and enabling a use-flag just to find out that use-flag was for encoding instead of decoding while your problem was in another place.
A good example of a flag is aac.
$ quse -D aac
global:aac: Enables support for MPEG-4 AAC Audio
local:aac:media-sound/squeezeboxserver: Enable playback support for AAC (.m4a) encoded files
local:aac:media-video/libav: Use external vo-aacenc library for AAC encoding
In reality this flag seems to mean a dosen of things, and has also the same function for media-video/ffmpeg and media-video/libav. You can argue that ffmpeg needs a better description of the flag, however it feels like it would still be cleaner to separate them from the rest of the flags.
I guess you want to start attaching patches? When you do so, I'll CC maintainers, or you can do it yourself, perhaps. :)
I've been looking at this for weeks, now. Since it cannot be simply assigned to a team of maintainers, and bug-wranglers surely isn't a project management type of alias, I suggest you rally support for this sweeping change among sound@ and media-*@ maintainers through the gentoo-dev@ mailing list, and work on it from there. Also, patches welcome. :)
no reply from xake -> back to bug-wranglers
Probably this could be suggested in gentoo-dev mailing list :/