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 http://flac.sourceforge.net/ is an Open Source lossless audio codec developed by Josh Coalson.
FLAC is comprised of
The libraries (libFLAC, libFLAC++) are licensed under Xiph.Org'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).
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 below.
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 configure.in and src/libFLAC/Makefile.am; the following dependency graph shows which modules may be pruned without breaking things further down:
metadata.h stream_decoder.h format.h
stream_encoder.h stream_decoder.h format.h
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 binaries.
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.
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 `configure':
--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).
--with-ogg= --with-xmms-prefix= --with-libiconv-prefix= 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 configure.in and Makefile.am) you should be able to just run 'autogen.sh' but make sure and read the comments in that file first.
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.
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 later.
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.
MSVC6: 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. objreleaseliblibFLAC_static.lib) and as DLLs (e.g. objreleaseliblibFLAC.dll), and it will build all binaries, statically linked (e.g. objreleasebinflac.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
By default the code is configured with Ogg support. Before building FLAC you will need to get the Ogg source distribution (see http://xiph.org/ogg/vorbis/download/), build ogg_static.lib (load and build win32ogg_static.dsp), copy ogg_static.lib into FLAC's 'objreleaselib' directory, and copy the entire includeogg 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".
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.