Python ctypes wrapper for FLAC

Posted: March 15, 2014 at 5:11 PM

As many people know, I’ve a fan of Python and I have been using it for over 15 years now.

One of the recent improvements that Python has made is the inclusion of ctypes, which allows you to write a wrapper around shared libraries in Python making it much easier to integrate libraries. Previously you’d have to know the C Python API to get a module. There was SWIG, but if the library was complicated, it’d often not produce working code and even if it did, you’d have to hand tweak the output to get it to work the way you think it should.

One of the projects I’ve worked on is a UPnP media server. One of the features it has is the ability to decode a flac file and support seeking with in the file.

I have now released a package of the code: ctflac-1.0.tar.gz.

The one issue w/ ctypes is that some code can be very slow in Python. The FLAC library presents the sample data as arrays for each channel, though most libraries interleave the channel data. I have written a very small library (that is optional) interleave.c that does this interleaving in faster C code. In my tests, using the C code results in about a third of the CPU usage.

Hope this is useful for others!

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