Commit 34cc68f2 authored by Josh Coalson's avatar Josh Coalson

reorganize to be more novice-friendly, add more docs

parent 83b37dbf
......@@ -26,15 +26,22 @@ doc_DATA = \
comparison.html \
developers.html \
documentation.html \
documentation_bugs.html \
documentation_format_overview.html \
documentation_tasks.html \
documentation_tools.html \
documentation_tools_flac.html \
documentation_tools_metaflac.html \
documentation_tools_plugins.html \
download.html \
faq.html \
favicon.ico \
features.html \
flac.css \
format.html \
goals.html \
id.html \
index.html \
itunes.html \
license.html \
links.html \
news.html \
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......@@ -29,12 +29,8 @@
&nbsp;<a href="faq.html">faq</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;|
&nbsp;<a href="news.html">news</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;|
&nbsp;<a href="download.html">download</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;|
&nbsp;<a href="features.html">features</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;|
&nbsp;<a href="goals.html">goals</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;|
&nbsp;<a href="format.html">format</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;|
&nbsp;<a href="id.html">id</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;|
&nbsp;comparison&nbsp;&nbsp;|
&nbsp;<a href="documentation.html">documentation</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;|
&nbsp;comparison&nbsp;&nbsp;|
&nbsp;<a href="changelog.html">changelog</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;|
&nbsp;<a href="links.html">links</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;|
&nbsp;<a href="developers.html">developers</a>&nbsp;
......@@ -67,6 +63,7 @@
Note: the comparison tables are getting a little stale for some of the other encoders; for some alternate comparisons and other lossless information see these links:
<ul>
<li><a href="http://web.inter.nl.net/users/hvdh/lossless/lossless.htm">Hans Heijden's</a> lossless comparison</li>
<li><a href="http://www.synthetic-soul.co.uk/comparison/lossless/">Synthetic Soul</a> lossless comparison</li>
<li><a href="http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Lossless_comparison">Roberto Amorim's</a> lossless comparison on Hydrogenaudio</li>
<li><a href="http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=33226">"Which is the best lossless codec?"</a> thread on Hydrogenaudio</li>
<li><a href="http://www.losslessaudioblog.com/">Lossless Audio Blog</a></li>
......
......@@ -29,12 +29,8 @@
&nbsp;<a href="faq.html">faq</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;|
&nbsp;<a href="news.html">news</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;|
&nbsp;<a href="download.html">download</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;|
&nbsp;<a href="features.html">features</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;|
&nbsp;<a href="goals.html">goals</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;|
&nbsp;<a href="format.html">format</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;|
&nbsp;<a href="id.html">id</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;|
&nbsp;<a href="comparison.html">comparison</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;|
&nbsp;<a href="documentation.html">documentation</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;|
&nbsp;<a href="comparison.html">comparison</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;|
&nbsp;<a href="changelog.html">changelog</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;|
&nbsp;<a href="links.html">links</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;|
&nbsp;developers&nbsp;
......@@ -49,31 +45,27 @@
<div class="box">
<div class="box_title">
FLAC developers
developers
</div>
<div class="box_header"></div>
<div class="box_body">
FLAC is an open source project and we are happy to enlist the help of anyone who wants to contribute. The preferred method for transmitting improvements is patch files (in "diff -c" format) sent to the <a href="http://lists.xiph.org/mailman/listinfo/flac-dev">developer mailing list</a>, but zipped up sources are OK. Make sure to read the <a href="goals.html">FLAC goals</a> first; there are some thing the we <b>don't</b> want added to FLAC, like copy protection and lossy compression.<br />
FLAC is an open source project and we are happy to enlist the help of anyone who wants to contribute, or to help with FLAC support in other programs and devices. The preferred method of communication is the <a href="http://lists.xiph.org/mailman/listinfo/flac-dev">developer mailing list</a>.<br />
<br />
High priority items are:
<ul>
<li>
Support in the plugins for using the CUESHEET metadata block. The plugin should be able to see a CUESHEET in a FLAC file and present the individual tracks in the player, and fetch metadata from CDDB or CDindex by computing the hash from the CUESHEET and looking up either in a local database or over the net.
</li>
</ul>
Some other "nice-to-haves":
FLAC is open to third-party developers who want to add support for FLAC into their programs. All the necessary functionality is contained the libFLAC libraries which are licensed under <a href="license.html">Xiph.org's BSD license</a>.<br />
<br />
Some pointers to developer documentation and code:<br />
<ul>
<li>
FLAC module for <a href="http://www.68k.org/~michael/audiofile/">Audiofile</a>.
</li>
<li>
<a href="http://java.sun.com/products/java-media/jmf/">JMF</a> plugin.
</li>
<li>
Streaming support in the Winamp plugin.
</li>
<li><a href="license.html">License</a> - The license under which the official tools are distributed.</li>
<li><a href="api/index.html">libFLAC and libFLAC++ APIs</a> - Complete library documentation.</li>
<li><a href="format.html">FLAC Format Specification</a> - The formal specification.</li>
<li><a href="ogg_mapping.html">Ogg FLAC Mapping</a> - How FLAC should be embedded in an Ogg container.</li>
<li><a href="id.html">ID Registration</a> - Register an ID if you need to write custom metadata.</li>
<li><a href="http://sourceforge.net/cvs/?group_id=13478">CVS Access</a> - instructions for checking out the source code.</li>
<li><a href="http://flac.cvs.sourceforge.net/flac">Browse the CVS repository</a> from your web browser.</li>
</ul>
See also the <a href="http://sourceforge.net/projects/flac">FLAC project page</a> on Sourceforge.net.
There also are several examples in the FLAC code base of API usage that may also be helpful. Visit the <a href="download.html">download page</a> for instructions on how to get the source code.
<br />
Finally, more resources are available on the <a href="http://sourceforge.net/projects/flac">FLAC project page</a> on Sourceforge.net.
</div>
<div class="box_footer"></div>
</div>
......@@ -82,19 +74,45 @@
<div class="box">
<div class="box_title">
third-party developers
goals
</div>
<div class="box_header"></div>
<div class="box_body">
FLAC is open to third-party developers who want to add support for FLAC into their programs. All the necessary functionality is contained the lib*FLAC libraries which are licensed under Xiph.org's BSD license. The relevant documentation here is:
Since FLAC is an open-source project, it's important to have a set of goals that everyone works to. They may change slightly from time to time but they're a good guideline. Changes should be in line with the goals and should not attempt to embrace any of the anti-goals.<br />
<br />
<b>Goals</b>
<ul>
<li>The <a href="license.html">license page</a>.</li>
<li>The <a href="api/index.html">API documentation</a>.</li>
<li>The <a href="format.html">formal description</a> of the FLAC format.</li>
<li>The <a href="ogg_mapping.html">Ogg FLAC mapping</a> document.</li>
<li>The <a href="id.html">ID registration page</a> for registering an ID if you need to write custom metadata.</li>
<li>
FLAC should be and stay an open format with an open-source reference implementation.
</li>
<li>
FLAC should be lossless. This seems obvious but lossy compression seems to creep into every audio codec. This goal also means that <span class="commandname">flac</span> should stay archival quality and be truly lossless for all input. Testing of releases should be thorough.
</li>
<li>
FLAC should yield respectable compression, on par or better than other lossless codecs.
</li>
<li>
FLAC should allow at least realtime decoding on even modest hardware.
</li>
<li>
FLAC should support fast sample-accurate seeking.
</li>
<li>
FLAC should allow gapless playback of consecutive streams. This follows from the lossless goal.
</li>
<li>
The FLAC project owes a lot to the many people who have advanced the audio compression field so freely, and aims also to contribute through the open-source development of new ideas.
</li>
</ul>
<b>Anti-goals</b><br />
<ul>
<li>
Lossy compression. There are already many suitable lossy formats (<a href="http://www.xiph.org/ogg/vorbis/index.html">Ogg Vorbis</a>, <a href="http://www.mp3-tech.org/">MP3</a>, etc.).
</li>
<li>
Copy prevention, DRM, etc. There is no intention to add any copy prevention methods. Of course, we can't stop someone from encrypting a FLAC stream in another container (e.g. the way Apple encrypts AAC in MP4 with FairPlay), that is the choice of the user.
</li>
</ul>
There also are several examples in the FLAC code base of API usage that may also be helpful. Visit the <a href="download.html">download page</a> for instructions on how to get the source.
</div>
<div class="box_footer"></div>
</div>
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<!-- Copyright (c) 2000,2001,2002,2003,2004,2005,2006 Josh Coalson -->
<!-- Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document -->
<!-- under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 -->
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<link rel="shortcut icon" type="image/x-icon" href="favicon.ico" />
<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="flac.css" />
<title>FLAC - documentation</title>
</head>
<body>
<div class="logo">
<a href="http://flac.sourceforge.net/"><img src="images/logo130.gif" alt="FLAC Logo" align="middle" border="0" hspace="0" /></a>
</div>
<div class="above_nav"></div>
<div class="navbar">
&nbsp;<a href="index.html">home</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;|
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&nbsp;<a href="news.html">news</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;|
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&nbsp;<a href="ru/documentation.html">russian</a>&nbsp;
</div>
<div class="below_nav"></div>
<div class="box">
<div class="box_title">
<a name="bugs">known bugs</a>
</div>
<div class="box_header"></div>
<div class="box_body">
The following are major known bugs in the current (1.1.3) release:
<ul>
<li>
If your locale does not use "." for the decimal point, there is a bug that causes the default compression settings to be sub-optimal. You should add <span class="argument">-A "tukey(0,5)"</span> to your <span class="command">flac</span> command string (or however "0.5" should be formatted for your locale).
</li>
<li>
If a corrupted FLAC file is used as input in FLAC-to-FLAC encoding, the transcoded FLAC file will have the audio data truncated after the first error.
</li>
<li>
When encoding to Ogg FLAC, if there are too many seek points (&gt;240), the seek table will not have the offsets written back properly after encoding.
</li>
</ul>
</div>
<div class="box_footer"></div>
</div>
<br />
<div class="box">
<div class="box_title">
<a name="bug_reporting">reporting bugs</a>
</div>
<div class="box_header"></div>
<div class="box_body">
To report a bug, please go to the <a href="http://sourceforge.net/tracker/?group_id=13478&amp;atid=113478">FLAC bug tracker</a> (or appropriately the <a href="http://sourceforge.net/tracker/?group_id=13478&amp;atid=363478">feature request tracker</a>, <a href="http://sourceforge.net/tracker/?group_id=13478&amp;atid=313478">patch page</a>, or <a href="http://sourceforge.net/tracker/?group_id=13478&amp;atid=213478">support page</a>).<br />
<br />
First check that there is not already an existing request. If you do submit a new request, make sure and provide an email contact <b>and</b> use the Monitor feature.<br />
<br />
Note that we get many false bug reports from people with faulty hardware or who overclock their machines that FLAC is not working. Please do due diligence if you are getting FLAC encoding or decoding errors that it is not the fault of the hardware. FLAC encoding tends to highlight problems with bad RAM, corrupted files, and excessive overclocking.
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<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
<!-- Copyright (c) 2000,2001,2002,2003,2004,2005,2006 Josh Coalson -->
<!-- Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document -->
<!-- under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 -->
<!-- or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; -->
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<!-- A copy of the license can be found at http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html -->
<html>
<head>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1" />
<meta name="author" content="Josh Coalson" />
<meta name="description" content="A free, open source codec for lossless audio compression and decompression" />
<meta name="keywords" content="free,lossless,audio,codec,encoder,decoder,compression,compressor,archival,archive,archiving,backup,music" />
<link rel="shortcut icon" type="image/x-icon" href="favicon.ico" />
<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="flac.css" />
<title>FLAC - documentation</title>
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<a href="http://flac.sourceforge.net/"><img src="images/logo130.gif" alt="FLAC Logo" align="middle" border="0" hspace="0" /></a>
</div>
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<div class="box">
<div class="box_title">
tools
</div>
<div class="box_header"></div>
<div class="box_body">
FLAC is a general purpose audio format supported by many programs, but in this section we are concentrating on just the official tools provided by the FLAC project:
<ul>
<li><a href="documentation_tools_flac.html">flac</a> - The command-line encoder and decoder.</li>
<li><a href="documentation_tools_metaflac.html">metaflac</a> - The command-line metadata editor.</li>
<li><a href="documentation_tools_plugins.html">plugins</a> - Setting up the Winamp and XMMS plugins.</li>
</ul>
Other resources:
<ul>
<li><a href="documentation_bugs.html">Bugs</a> - How to report bugs and request features, and a list of known bugs in the FLAC tools.</li>
<li><a href="http://sourceforge.net/tracker/?group_id=13478&amp;atid=213478">Request Support</a> - Support for the official FLAC tools. For other programs, use <a href="http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/">hydrogenaudio.org</a>
<li><a href="http://lists.xiph.org/mailman/listinfo/flac">FLAC Mailing List</a> - General discussion about FLAC, tools, releases, etc.</li>
</ul>
<br />
See <a href="download.html">Getting FLAC</a> for instructions on downloading and installing the official FLAC tools, or <a href="documentation_tasks.html">Using FLAC</a> for instructions and guides on playing FLAC files, ripping CDs to FLAC, etc.
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<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
<!-- Copyright (c) 2000,2001,2002,2003,2004,2005,2006 Josh Coalson -->
<!-- Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document -->
<!-- under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 -->
<!-- or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; -->
<!-- with no invariant sections. -->
<!-- A copy of the license can be found at http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html -->
<html>
<head>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1" />
<meta name="author" content="Josh Coalson" />
<meta name="description" content="A free, open source codec for lossless audio compression and decompression" />
<meta name="keywords" content="free,lossless,audio,codec,encoder,decoder,compression,compressor,archival,archive,archiving,backup,music" />
<link rel="shortcut icon" type="image/x-icon" href="favicon.ico" />
<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="flac.css" />
<title>FLAC - documentation</title>
</head>
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<div class="logo">
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<div class="navbar">
&nbsp;<a href="index.html">home</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;|
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&nbsp;<a href="download.html">download</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;|
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<div class="box_title">
<a name="plugins"></a><a name="xmms_plugin">xmms plugin</a>
</div>
<div class="box_header"></div>
<div class="box_body">
Normally the FLAC plugin for XMMS is installed with a package, but some of the <a href="download.html">binary builds</a> have a compiled plugin. All that is necessary is to copy <span class="code">libxmms-flac.so</span> to the directory where XMMS looks for input plugins (usually <span class="code">/usr/lib/xmms/Input</span> or <span class="code">$HOME/.xmms/Input</span>). There is nothing else to configure. Make sure to restart XMMS before trying to play any <span class="code">.flac</span> files.
</div>
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</div>
<br />
<div class="box">
<div class="box_title">
<a name="winamp_plugin">winamp plugin</a>
</div>
<div class="box_header"></div>
<div class="box_body">
Since Winamp 5.31, Nullsoft has supplied a FLAC plugin with their Full install; nothing else is needed to get FLAC to play in Wnamp.<br />
<br />
Before Winamp 5.31 it was necessary to use our FLAC plugin. If you have an older version of Winamp, our plugin is still available in the <a href="http://cyberial.com/flacinstaller.asp">FLAC Installer for Windows</a>. The Winamp plugin should work for both Winamp2 and Winamp5. All that is necessary is to copy <span class="code">in_flac.dll</span> to the <span class="code">Plugins/</span> directory of your Winamp installation. There is nothing else to configure. Make sure to restart Winamp before trying to play any <span class="code">.flac</span> files.
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......@@ -29,12 +29,8 @@
&nbsp;faq&nbsp;&nbsp;|
&nbsp;<a href="news.html">news</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;|
&nbsp;<a href="download.html">download</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;|
&nbsp;<a href="features.html">features</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;|
&nbsp;<a href="goals.html">goals</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;|
&nbsp;<a href="format.html">format</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;|
&nbsp;<a href="id.html">id</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;|
&nbsp;<a href="comparison.html">comparison</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;|
&nbsp;<a href="documentation.html">documentation</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;|
&nbsp;<a href="comparison.html">comparison</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;|
&nbsp;<a href="changelog.html">changelog</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;|
&nbsp;<a href="links.html">links</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;|
&nbsp;<a href="developers.html">developers</a>&nbsp;
......@@ -55,6 +51,15 @@
<div class="box_body">
<b>General</b>
<ul>
<li>
<a href="#general__what_is"><b>What is FLAC?</b></a>
</li>
<li>
<a href="#general__how_to"><b>I have a FLAC file, how do I play it?</b></a>
</li>
<li>
<a href="#general__how_to"><b>How can I create FLAC files?</b></a>
</li>
<li>
<a href="#general__license"><b>What licensing applies to the FLAC format and software?</b></a>
</li>
......@@ -169,6 +174,17 @@
<b>General</b>
</h2>
<a name="general__what_is"><b>What is FLAC?</b></a><br />
<br />
FLAC stands for Free Lossless Audio Codec, an audio format similar to MP3, but lossless, meaning that audio is compressed in FLAC without any loss in quality. This is similar to how Zip works, except with FLAC you will get much better compression because it is designed specifically for audio, and you can play back compressed FLAC files in your favorite player (or your car or home stereo, see <a href="links.html#hardware">supported devices</a>) just like you would an MP3 file.<br />
<br />
For more details, see <a href="features.html">What is FLAC?</a><br />
<br />
<a name="general__how_to"><b>I have a FLAC file, how do I play it?</b></a><br />
<b>How can I create FLAC files?</b></a><br />
<br />
See <a href="documentation_tasks.html">Using FLAC</a>.<br />
<br />
<a name="general__license"><b>What licensing applies to the FLAC format and software?</b></a><br />
<br />
See the <a href="license.html">license page</a>.<br />
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<a name="tools__eac_and_flac"><b>How do I set up EAC to rip directly to FLAC?</b></a><br />
<br />
See Case's excellent <a href="http://www.saunalahti.fi/cse/EAC/index.html">EAC configuration page</a>. Or use <a href="http://mareo.netfirms.com/">MAREO</a> to rip to multiple formats at once.<br />
See Case's excellent <a href="http://www.saunalahti.fi/cse/EAC/index.html">EAC configuration page</a>. Or use <a href="http://www.legroom.net/modules.php?op=modload&name=Open_Source&file=index&page=software&app=autoflac">AutoFLAC</a>, <a href="http://omniencoder.autobotcity.net/">Omni Encoder</a>, or <a href="http://mareo.netfirms.com/">MAREO</a> to rip to FLAC or multiple formats at once.<br />
<br />
<a name="tools__option_blocking"><b>How do I encode a file that starts with a dash?</b></a><br />
<br />
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features
<a name="introduction">introduction</a>
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<div class="box_body">
FLAC stands for Free Lossless Audio Codec. Grossly oversimplified, FLAC is similar to MP3, but lossless, meaning that audio is compressed in FLAC without any loss in quality. This is similar to how Zip works, except with FLAC you will get much better compression because it is designed specifically for audio, and you can play back compressed FLAC files in your favorite player (or your car or home stereo, see <a href="links.html#hardware">supported devices</a>) just like you would an MP3 file.<br />
FLAC stands for Free Lossless Audio Codec, an audio format similar to MP3, but lossless, meaning that audio is compressed in FLAC without any loss in quality. This is similar to how Zip works, except with FLAC you will get much better compression because it is designed specifically for audio, and you can play back compressed FLAC files in your favorite player (or your car or home stereo, see <a href="links.html#hardware">supported devices</a>) just like you would an MP3 file.<br />
<br />
FLAC is freely available and supported on most operating systems, including Windows, "unix" (Linux, *BSD, Solaris, OS X, IRIX), BeOS, OS/2, and Amiga. There are build systems for autotools, MSVC, Watcom C, and Project Builder.<br />
FLAC supports tagging, cover art, and fast seeking. FLAC is freely available and supported on most operating systems, including Windows, "unix" (Linux, *BSD, Solaris, OS X, IRIX), BeOS, OS/2, and Amiga.<br />
<br />
There are <a href="links.html">many programs and devices that support FLAC</a>, but the core FLAC project here maintains the format and provides <a href="documentation_tools.html">programs</a> and <a href="developers.html">libraries</a> for working with FLAC files. See <a href="download.html">Getting FLAC</a> for instructions on downloading and installing the official FLAC tools, or <a href="documentation_tasks.html">Using FLAC</a> for instructions and guides on playing FLAC files, ripping CDs to FLAC, etc.<br />
<br />
The FLAC project consists of:
<ul>
<li>the stream format</li>
<li>reference encoders and decoders in library form</li>
<li><span class="commandname">flac</span>, a command-line program to encode and decode FLAC files</li>
<li><span class="commandname">metaflac</span>, a command-line metadata editor for FLAC files</li>
<li>input plugins for various music players</li>
</ul>
When we say that FLAC is "Free" it means more than just that it is available at no cost. It means that the specification of the format is fully open to the public to be used for any purpose (the FLAC project reserves the right to set the FLAC specification and certify compliance), and that neither the FLAC format nor any of the implemented encoding/decoding methods are covered by any known patent. It also means that all the source code is available under open-source licenses. It is the first truly open and free lossless audio format. (For more information, see the <a href="license.html">license page</a>.)<br />
<br />
Notable features of FLAC:
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<b>Fast</b>: FLAC is asymmetric in favor of decode speed. Decoding requires only integer arithmetic, and is much less compute-intensive than for most perceptual codecs. Real-time decode performance is easily achievable on even modest hardware.
</li>
<li>
<b>Hardware support</b>: Because of FLAC's free reference implementation and low decoding complexity, FLAC is currently the only lossless codec that has any kind of hardware support.
<b>Hardware support</b>: FLAC is supported by <a href="links.html#hardware">dozens of consumer electronic devices</a>, from portable players, to home stereo equipment, to car stereo.
</li>
<li>
<b>Streamable</b>: Each FLAC frame contains enough data to decode that frame. FLAC does not even rely on previous or following frames. FLAC uses sync codes and CRCs (similar to MPEG and other formats), which, along with framing, allow decoders to pick up in the middle of a stream with a minimum of delay.
<b>Flexible metadata</b>: FLAC's metadata system supports tags, cover art, seek tables, and cue sheets. Applications can write their own <a href="format.html#def_APPLICATION">APPLICATION</a> metadata once they <a href="id.html">register an ID</a>. New metadata blocks can be defined and implemented in future versions of FLAC without breaking older streams or decoders.
</li>
<li>
<b>Seekable</b>: FLAC supports fast sample-accurate seeking. Not only is this useful for playback, it makes FLAC files suitable for use in editing applications.
</li>
<li>
<b>Flexible metadata</b>: New metadata blocks can be defined and implemented in future versions of FLAC without breaking older streams or decoders. Currently there are metadata types for tags, cue sheets, and seek tables. Applications can write their own <a href="format.html#def_APPLICATION">APPLICATION</a> metadata once they <a href="id.html">register an ID</a>
<b>Streamable</b>: Each FLAC frame contains enough data to decode that frame. FLAC does not even rely on previous or following frames. FLAC uses sync codes and CRCs (similar to MPEG and other formats), which, along with framing, allow decoders to pick up in the middle of a stream with a minimum of delay.
</li>
<li>
<b>Suitable for archiving</b>: FLAC is an open format, and there is no generation loss if you need to convert your data to another format in the future. In addition to the frame CRCs and MD5 signature, <span class="commandname">flac</span> has a verify option that decodes the encoded stream in parallel with the encoding process and compares the result to the original, aborting with an error if there is a mismatch.
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What FLAC is <b>not</b>:
<ul>
<li>
Lossy. FLAC is intended for lossless compression only, as there are many good lossy formats already, such as <a href="http://www.xiph.org/ogg/vorbis/index.html">Vorbis</a>, <!-- a href="http://musepack.org/" -->MPC<!-- /a -->, and <a href="http://www.mp3-tech.org/">MP3</a> (see <a href="http://www.mp3dev.org/mp3/">LAME</a> for an excellent open-source implementation).
Lossy. FLAC is intended for lossless compression only, as there are many good lossy formats already, such as <a href="http://www.xiph.org/ogg/vorbis/index.html">Vorbis</a>, <a href="http://www.musepack.net/">MPC</a>, and <a href="http://www.mp3-tech.org/">MP3</a> (see <a href="http://www.mp3dev.org/mp3/">LAME</a> for an excellent open-source implementation).
</li>
<li>
SDMI compliant, et cetera. There is no intention to support any methods of copy protection, which are, for all practical purposes, a complete waste of bits. (Another way to look at it is that since copy protection is futile, it really carries no information, so you might say FLAC already losslessly compresses all possible copy protection information down to zero bits!) Of course, we can't stop what some misguided person does with proprietary metadata blocks, but then again, non-proprietary decoders will skip them anyway.
DRM. There is no intention to add any copy prevention methods. Of course, we can't stop someone from encrypting a FLAC stream in another container (e.g. the way Apple encrypts AAC in MP4 with FairPlay), that is the choice of the user.
</li>
</ul>
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<div class="box_body">
This is a detailed description of the FLAC format. There is also a companion document that describes <a href="ogg_mapping.html">FLAC-to-Ogg mapping</a>.<br />
<br />
For a user-oriented overview, see <a href="documentation_format_overview.html">About the FLAC Format</a>.<br />
<br />
<a name="toc"><font size="+1"><b><u>Table of Contents</u></b></font></a>
<ul>
<li><a href="#acknowledgments">Acknowledgments</a></li>
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<meta name="keywords" content="free,lossless,audio,codec,encoder,decoder,compression,compressor,archival,archive,archiving,backup,music" />
<link rel="shortcut icon" type="image/x-icon" href="favicon.ico" />
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<title>FLAC - id</title>
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