libfishsound provides a simple programming interface for decoding and encoding audio data using codecs from Xiph.Org.

libfishsound by itself is designed to handle raw codec streams from a lower level layer such as UDP datagrams. When these codecs are used in files, they are commonly encapsulated in Ogg to produce Ogg FLAC, Speex and Ogg Vorbis files. Example C programs using liboggz to read and write these files are provided in the libfishsound sources.

libfishsound is implemented as a wrapper around the existing codec libraries and provides a consistent, higher-level programming interface. The motivation for this is twofold: to simplify the task of developing application software that supports these codecs, and to ensure that valid codec streams are generated.


libfishsound was designed and developed by Conrad Parker on the weekend of October 18-19 2003. Previously the author had implemented Vorbis and Speex support in the following software:

The implementation of libfishsound draws heavily on these sources, and in turn the original example sources of libvorbis and libvorbisenc by Monty, and libspeex by Jean-Marc Valin.

The naming of libfishsound reflects both the Xiph.Org logo and the author's reputation as a dirty, smelly old fish.


libfishsound has been designed to accomodate the various decoding and encoding styles required by a wide variety of software. However, as it is an abstraction of the underlying libvorbis, libvorbisenc and libspeex libraries, it may not be possible to implement some low-level techniques that these libraries enable, such as parallelization of Vorbis sub-block decoding. Nevertheless it is expected that libfishsound is a useful API for most software requiring Vorbis or Speex support, including most applications the author has encountered.


Much of the API design follows the style of libsndfile. The author would like to thank Erik de Castro Lopo for feedback on the design of libfishsound.