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/* FLAC - Free Lossless Audio Codec
* Copyright (C) 2001,2002,2003,2004,2005,2006,2007 Josh Coalson
* This file is part the FLAC project. FLAC is comprised of several
* components distributed under difference licenses. The codec libraries
* are distributed under Xiph.Org's BSD-like license (see the file
* COPYING.Xiph in this distribution). All other programs, libraries, and
* plugins are distributed under the LGPL or GPL (see COPYING.LGPL and
* COPYING.GPL). The documentation is distributed under the Gnu FDL (see
* COPYING.FDL). Each file in the FLAC distribution contains at the top the
* terms under which it may be distributed.
* Since this particular file is relevant to all components of FLAC,
* it may be distributed under the Xiph.Org license, which is the least
* restrictive of those mentioned above. See the file COPYING.Xiph in this
* distribution.
FLAC ( is an Open Source lossless audio
codec developed by Josh Coalson.
FLAC is comprised of
* `libFLAC', a library which implements reference encoders and
decoders for native FLAC and Ogg FLAC, and a metadata interface
* `libFLAC++', a C++ object wrapper library around libFLAC
* `flac', a command-line program for encoding and decoding files
* `metaflac', a command-line program for viewing and editing FLAC
* player plugins for XMMS and Winamp
* user and API documentation
The libraries (libFLAC, libFLAC++) are
licensed under's BSD-like license (see COPYING.Xiph). All other
programs and plugins are licensed under the GNU General Public License
(see COPYING.GPL). The documentation is licensed under the GNU Free
Documentation License (see COPYING.FDL).
FLAC - 1.2.1 - Contents
- Introduction
- Prerequisites
- Note to embedded developers
- Building in a GNU environment
- Building with Makefile.lite
- Building with MSVC
- Building on Mac OS X
This is the source release for the FLAC project. See
for full documentation.
A brief description of the directory tree:
doc/ the HTML documentation
include/ public include files for libFLAC and libFLAC++
man/ the man page for `flac'
src/ the source code and private headers
test/ the test scripts
To build FLAC with support for Ogg FLAC you must have built and installed
libogg according to the specific instructions below. You must have
libogg 1.1.2 or greater, or there will be seeking problems with Ogg FLAC.
If you are building on x86 and want the assembly optimizations, you will
need to have NASM >= 0.98.30 installed according to the specific instructions
Note to embedded developers
libFLAC has grown larger over time as more functionality has been
included, but much of it may be unnecessary for a particular embedded
implementation. Unused parts may be pruned by some simple editing of and src/libFLAC/; the following dependency
graph shows which modules may be pruned without breaking things
further down:
In other words, for pure decoding applications, both the stream encoder
and metadata editing interfaces can be safely removed.
There is a section dedicated to embedded use in the libFLAC API
HTML documentation (see doc/html/api/index.html).
Also, there are several places in the libFLAC code with comments marked
with "OPT:" where a #define can be changed to enable code that might be
faster on a specific platform. Experimenting with these can yield faster
Building in a GNU environment
FLAC uses autoconf and libtool for configuring and building.
Better documentation for these will be forthcoming, but in
general, this should work:
./configure && make && make check && make install
The 'make check' step is optional; omit it to skip all the tests,
which can take several hours and use around 70-80 megs of disk space.
Even though it will stop with an explicit message on any failure, it
does print out a lot of stuff so you might want to capture the output
to a file if you're having a problem. Also, don't run 'make check'
as root because it confuses some of the tests.
NOTE: Despite our best efforts it's entirely possible to have
problems when using older versions of autoconf, automake, or
libtool. If you have the latest versions and still can't get it
to work, see the next section on Makefile.lite.
There are a few FLAC-specific arguments you can give to
--enable-debug : Builds everything with debug symbols and some
extra (and more verbose) error checking.
--disable-asm-optimizations : Disables the compilation of the
assembly routines. Many routines have assembly versions for
speed and `configure' is pretty good about knowing what is
supported, but you can use this option to build only from the
C sources. May be necessary for building on OS X (Intel)
--enable-sse : If you are building for an x86 CPU that supports
SSE instructions, you can enable some of the faster routines
if your operating system also supports SSE instructions. flac
can tell if the CPU supports the instructions but currently has
no way to test if the OS does, so if it does, you must pass
this argument to configure to use the SSE routines. If flac
crashes when built with this option you will have to go back and
configure without --enable-sse. Note that
--disable-asm-optimizations implies --disable-sse.
--enable-local-xmms-plugin : Installs the FLAC XMMS plugin in
$HOME/.xmms/Plugins, instead of the global XMMS plugin area
(usually /usr/lib/xmms/Input).
Use these if you have these packages but configure can't find them.
If you want to build completely from scratch (i.e. starting with just and you should be able to just run ''
but make sure and read the comments in that file first.
Building with Makefile.lite
There is a more lightweight build system for do-it-yourself-ers.
It is also useful if configure isn't working, which may be the
case since lately we've had some problems with different versions
of automake and libtool. The Makefile.lite system should work
on GNU systems with few or no adjustments.
From the top level just 'make -f Makefile.lite'. You can
specify zero or one optional target from 'release', 'debug',
'test', or 'clean'. The default is 'release'. There is no
'install' target but everything you need will end up in the
obj/ directory.
If you are not on an x86 system or you don't have nasm, you
may have to change the DEFINES in src/libFLAC/Makefile.lite. If
you don't have nasm, remove -DFLAC__HAS_NASM. If your target is
not an x86, change -DFLAC__CPU_IA32 to -DFLAC__CPU_UNKNOWN.
Building with MSVC
There are .dsp projects and a master FLAC.dsw workspace to build all
the libraries and executables with MSVC6. There are also .vcproj
projects and a master FLAC.sln solution to build all the libraries and
executables with VC++ 2005.
Prerequisite: you must have the Ogg libraries installed as described
Prerequisite: you must have nasm installed, and nasmw.exe must be in
your PATH, or the path to nasmw.exe must be added to the list of
directories for executable files in the MSVC global options.
To build everything, run Developer Studio, do File|Open Workspace,
and open FLAC.dsw. Select "Build | Set active configuration..."
from the menu, then in the dialog, select "All - Win32 Release" (or
Debug if you prefer). Click "Ok" then hit F7 to build.
VC++ 2005:
To build everything, run Visual Studio, do File|Open and open FLAC.sln.
From the dropdown in the toolbar, select "Release" instead of "Debug",
then hit F7 to build.
Either way, this will build all libraries both statically (e.g.
obj\release\lib\libFLAC_static.lib) and as DLLs (e.g.
obj\release\lib\libFLAC.dll), and it will build all binaries, statically
linked (e.g. obj\release\bin\flac.exe).
Everything will end up in the "obj" directory. DLLs and .exe files
are all that are needed and can be copied to an installation area and
added to the PATH. The plugins have to be copied to their appropriate
place in the player area. For Winamp2 this is <winamp2-dir>\Plugins.
By default the code is configured with Ogg support. Before building FLAC
you will need to get the Ogg source distribution
(see, build ogg_static.lib (load and
build win32\ogg_static.dsp), copy ogg_static.lib into FLAC's
'obj\release\lib' directory, and copy the entire include\ogg tree into
FLAC's 'include' directory (so that there is an 'ogg' directory in FLAC's
'include' directory with the files ogg.h, os_types.h and config_types.h).
If you want to build without Ogg support, instead edit all .dsp or
.vcproj files and remove any occurrences of "/D FLAC__HAS_OGG".
Building on Mac OS X
If you have Fink or a recent version of OS X with the proper autotooles,
the GNU flow above should work. The Project Builder project has been
deprecated but we are working on replacing it with an Xcode equivalent.