[flac-dev] Bug or strange behaviour or --output-prefix

Martijn van Beurden mvanb1 at gmail.com
Tue Dec 18 07:58:45 PST 2012

Hi all,

I was busy programming a tool to automatically run some tests to update 
the FLAC comparison page (http://xiph.org/flac/comparison.html) when I 
stumbled across some weird behaviour of the flac program. So I compiled 
from git and it seems that this bug still is there. As I don't have any 
experience on coding C and don't know which bug-report facility to use, 
this seemed the right spot.

Anyway, I wanted flac to decode some file to another directory than the 
current. The man page says I should use --output-prefix for that, but 
that doesn't seem to work correctly. For example

flac -d --output-prefix ../ somefile.flac

seems to work fine, just as expected. However, the next example

flac -d --output-prefix ../ somedir/somefile.flac

doesn't work as expected. the FLAC utility seems to try to decode to the 
directory ../somedir which doesn't exist. Even using absolute paths do 
not work. For example

flac -d --output-prefix /home/someuser/ /home/someuser/somedir/somefile.flac

it seems that it is trying to encode to 
/home/someuser/home/someuser/somedir/somefile.flac. This can't be the 
intended behaviour right? Now I think of it, what I expected was similar 
behaviour to something which I would call --output-directory. The way 
this is coded looks like a quick fix, but to me it seems this is only 
useful when one has to use a file in the current working directory or in 
some special cases where identical directory trees are used.

So the question is, is this intended behaviour or a bug? If it is 
intended, an --output-directory parameter would be useful for scripting.

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