[Flac-dev] FLAC codec in OS X Leopard

Brian Willoughby brianw at sounds.wa.com
Wed Nov 14 15:27:23 PST 2007

Thanks for the news, Stephen.  While I am excited to see Apple  
recognize FLAC in their sample code, I do not really see this as a  
benefit to FLAC users.  Currently, native FLAC is the most popular  
format for distribution and legal music downloads.  OggFLAC does not  
seem to have gained any popularity, despite there seemingly being  
more support.  I really don't see CAF-FLAC gaining popularity,  
either, especially not on WIndows.

CAF is a great format, and I would like to see it replace Broadcast  
WAVE.  Meanwhile, I will probably compile and installed the FLAC  
extensions for CAF.  But I'm sure that I'll be stuck with native FLAC  
files for my existing and future online music purchases.

What I would really like to see - and this is not a new request in  
our community by any means - is Quicktime and iTunes support for  
native FLAC.  I believe that there is an existing solution out there  
which converts the entire file in memory - but that is useless for me  
when many of my FLAC files are 1 to 3 hours in length.

Brian Willoughby
Sound Consulting

P.S.  I do not want to discourage you, Stephen.  I am merely stating  
my opinion that we need native FLAC support in Mac OS X much more  
than we need CAF-FLAC support.

On Nov 14, 2007, at 08:55, Stephen F. Booth wrote:

I upgraded to Leopard (version 10.5 of OS X) a few weeks ago.   
Although I was a bit disappointed, but not surprised, to see that  
FLAC support isn't built natively into the OS, I was very happy to  
notice recently that Apple ships source code for a FLAC encoder and  
decoder codec component in /Developer/Examples/CoreAudio/AudioCodecs/ 

All that is necessary to build the codec is to download the latest  
FLAC source code, copy it into the project tree, #define VERSION  
appropriately, and build it.  Once installed this allows Core Audio  
aware applications to encode and decode FLAC in a CAF container.  I  
think this is superior to the XiphQT components because it doesn't  
require any external frameworks to be installed, and it allows  
encoding.  I've posted a screenshot of QuickTime's standard audio  
configuration dialog at http://img49.imageshack.us/img49/5231/ 
picture1uz9.png showing the available FLAC encoding options.

I think a great next step would be to write an AudioFileComponent to  
add native FLAC file support.  An AudioFile component coupled with  
the FLAC codec component would automatically bring native FLAC  
support to any Core Audio-enabled application!

Apple's license for the sample code allows it to be distributed in  
source or binary form- it would be trivial to package up the compiled  
codec for redistribution, if people feel that's something worth doing.


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