author Monty <> and the rest of the Xiph.Org Foundation, plus Chris Double <>
Tue, 29 Jul 2008 23:38:23 -0700
changeset 16296 beb6a98d95cb28d441c5e5f804f3742f70f4db0c
permissions -rw-r--r--
Bug 422538. Import libtheora

          The Foundation's libtheora 1.0beta1 release

*** What is Theora?

Theora is Xiph.Org's first publicly released video codec, intended
for use within the Foundation's Ogg multimedia streaming system.
Theora is derived directly from On2's VP3 codec; Currently the 
encoders are nearly identical, but Theora will make use of new
features supported by the decoder to improve over what is 
is possible with VP3.

*** Where is Theora?

Theora's main site is  Theora and related libraries
can be gotten from or the main Xiph.Org site at  Development source is kept in an open subversion 
repository, see for instructions.

*** What is the goal of this release?

This is the first beta release of the 1.0 reference implementation.
It is intended to completely support the decoder specification, and
gather feedback on the implementation before declaring it stable.

Getting started with the code

*** What do I need to build the source?

Requirements summary:

  For libtheora:  
      libogg 1.1 or newer.

  For example encoder:

      as above

      libvorbis and libvorbisenc 1.0.1 or newer.

  For the player only:

      as above, 

      SDL (Simple Direct media Layer) libraries and headers
      OSS audio driver and development headers

The provided build system is the GNU automake/autoconf system, and
the main library, libtheora, should already build smoothly on any
system.  Failure of libtheora to build on a GNU-enabled system is
considered a bug; please report problems to

Some windows build support is included in the win32 directory.

There is also an experimental scons build.

*** How do I use the sample encoder?

The sample encoder takes raw video in YUV4MPEG2 format, as used by
lavtools, mjpeg-tools and other packages. The encoder expects audio,
if any, in a separate wave WAV file. Try 'encoder_example -h' for a 
complete list of options.

An easy way to get raw video and audio files is to use MPlayer as an
export utility.  The options " -ao pcm -vo yuv4mpeg " will export a
wav file named audiodump.wav and a YUV video file in the correct
format for encoder_example as stream.yuv.  Be careful when exporting
video alone; MPlayer may drop frames to 'keep up' with the audio
timer.  The example encoder can't properly synchronize input audio and
video file that aren't in sync to begin with.  

The encoder will also take video or audio on stdin if '-' is specified
as the input file name.

There is also a 'png2theora' example which accepts a set of image
files in that format.

*** How do I use the sample player?

The sample player takes an Ogg file on standard in; the file may be
audio alone, video alone or video with audio.  

*** What other tools are available?

The programs in the examples directory are intended as tutorial source 
for developers using the library. As such they sacrifice features and 
robustness in the interests of comprehension and should not be 
considered serious applications.

If you're wanting to just use theora, consider the programs linked
from There is playback support in a number
of common free players, and plugins for major media frameworks.
Jan Gerber's ffmpeg2theora is an excellent encoding front end.

Troubleshooting the build process

*** Compile error, such as:

encoder_internal.h:664: parse error before `ogg_uint16_t'

This means you have version of libogg prior to 1.1. A *complete* new Ogg 
install, libs and headers is needed.

Also be sure that there aren't multiple copies of Ogg installed in
/usr and /usr/local; an older one might be first on the search path
for libs and headers.

*** Link error, such as:

undefined reference to `oggpackB_stream'

See above; you need libogg 1.1 or later.

*** Link error, such as:

undefined reference to `vorbis_granule_time'

You need libvorbis and libvorbisenc from the 1.0.1 release or later.

*** Link error, such as:

/usr/lib/libSDL.a(SDL_esdaudio.lo): In function `ESD_OpenAudio':
SDL_esdaudio.lo(.text+0x25d): undefined reference to `esd_play_stream'

Be sure to use an SDL that's built to work with OSS.  If you use an
SDL that is also built with ESD and/or ALSA support, it will try to
suck in all those extra libraries at link time too.  That will only
work if the extra libraries are also installed.

*** Link warning, such as:

libtool: link: warning: library `/usr/lib/' was moved.
libtool: link: warning: library `/usr/lib/' was moved.

Re-run theora/ after an Ogg or Vorbis rebuild/reinstall