MiniSEED real time playback and simulation


msrtsimul simulates a real-time data acquisition by injecting miniSEED data from a file into the seedlink buffer via the mseedfifo plugin for seedlink. It can be used for simulating real-time conditions in playbacks for whole-system demonstrations, user training, etc.

The data is played back as if they were recorded at current time. Therefore, creation times and the actual data times including pick times, event times etc. will be obscured. Historic playbacks allow keeping the actual data times.


  • Playbacks on production systems are normally not recommended.

  • For real-time playbacks, the data must be sorted by end time. This requirement may be violated. Use scmssort for sorting the data by (end) time.

  • Stop slarchive before running msrtsimul for avoiding that data with wrong times are archived.

  • Normally, seedlink assumes that the data is provided in records of 512 bytes. msrtsimul issues a warning when detecting a record of other size.

  • Data available in other record sizes can be repacked to 512 bytes by external software such as msrepack available with libmseed - The miniSEED data format library [33].

  • Applications other than standard seedlink in SeisComP or seedlink compiled specifically may accept other record sizes. For accepting these records use msrtsimul with --unlimited.

Historic playbacks

You may use msrtsimul with the -m historic option to maintain the time of the records, thus the times of picks, amplitudes, origins, etc. but not the creation times. Applying -m historic will feed the data into the seedlink buffer at the time of the records. The time of the system is untouched. GUI, processing modules, logging, etc. will run with current system time. The historic mode allows to process waveforms with the stream inventory valid at the time when the data were recorded including streams closed at current time.


When repeating historic playbacks, the waveforms are fed multiple times to the seedlink buffer and the resulting picks are also repeated with the same pick times. This may confuse the real-time system. Therefore, seedlink and other modules creating or processing picks should be stopped, the seedlink buffer should be cleared and the processing modules should be restarted to clear the buffers before starting the historic playbacks. Make sure scautopick is configured or started with the --playback option. Example:

seiscomp stop
rm -rf $SEISCOMP_ROOT/var/lib/seedlink/buffer
seiscomp start
msrtsimul ...


  1. Playback miniSEED waveforms in real time with verbose output:

    $ msrtsimul -v miniSEED-file
  2. Playback miniSEED waveforms in historic mode. This may require scautopick to be started with the option playback:

    msrtsimul -v -m historic miniSEED-file
  3. Feed the data into the buffer of a specific seedlink instance, e.g. seedlink-test:

    msrtsimul -v --seedlink seedlink-test miniSEED-file

Module Configuration


msrtsimul inherits global options.

Command-Line Options

msrtsimul [OPTION] miniSEED-file


-h, --help

Display this help message.

-v, --verbose

Verbose mode.


-c, --stdout

Write on standard output. The output my be redirected to a specific mseedfifo path.

-d, --delays

Add artificial delays.

-j, --jump float

Minutes to skip at the beginning.

-m, --mode string

Playback mode: choose between ‘realtime’ and ‘historic’

The seedlink module name. Useful if a seedlink alias or non-standard names are used. Replaces ‘seedlink’ in the standard mseedfifo path.

-s, --speed float

Speed factor. 1 is normal speed.


Test mode.

-u, --unlimited

Allow miniSEED records which are not 512 bytes.