Daala Quickstart

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Getting Started

This is a simple guide to getting the code and encoding a simple video.



  • Standard build tools (autoconf, automake v1.11 or later, libtool, and a C compiler)
  • git
  • libogg (v1.3 or later)
  • libpng
  • libjpeg
  • libcheck (v0.9.8 or later, can be skipped if you pass --disable-unit-tests to ./configure)
  • libsdl (can by skipped if you pass --disable-player to ./configure)

Instructions for installing these packages are OS-specific (feel free to contribute some here, especially if you tried installing these somewhere and ran into difficulties; you will likely save other people some pain). If you have a package manager that has separate -dev versions with the public headers, make sure you install those in addition to the actual libraries.

Installation Procedure

Just run these commands:

   git clone git@git.xiph.org:daala.git
   cd daala

And optionally

   make tools

Make sure you run the git clone operation on the same machine where you intend to use the code. Checking out a copy on Windows and then trying to use it on Linux will not work, as executable permissions and line-endings will not be set properly.

Encoding a Video

If you do not have one, get a sample video or two in .y4m format from media.xiph.org. We also maintain a set of still-image collections in .y4m format:

  • Subset 1 (50 images, small training set)
  • Subset 2 (1000 images, large training set)
  • Subset 3 (50 images, small testing set)
  • Subset 4 (1000 images, large testing set)

Encode the video:

   ./examples/encoder_example -v 30 -k 256 video.y4m -o video.ogv


  • video.y4m is the input video you want to encode,
  • video.ogv is the name of the encoded video file to output,
  • -v specifies the quality (currently from 0 to 511, where 0 is lossless), and
  • -k specifies the maximum keyframe interval (this is currently 1 by default, which makes every frame a keyframe).

Decoding a Video

Play the video:

   ./examples/player_example -p video.ogv

The -p option starts the player paused. Run

   ./examples/player_example --help

for information on the controls available while playing.

If you want to use a different player, you can decode the video back to .y4m with

   ./examples/dump_video video.ogv -o decoded_video.y4m

Many other players can play back these .y4m files, and other tools can convert them to various other formats.

Using PNG Images

To encode a series of images:

   make tools
   ./tools/png2y4m video%05d.png -o video.y4m

where %05d means your input images are named video00000.png, video00001.png, etc. You can leave out the %05d tag if you only want to convert a single image (which does not need to be numbered).

To convert a y4m back to PNGs:

   ./tools/y4m2png video.y4m -o video%05d.png

If you are converting a .y4m file that only contains a single frame (e.g., from one of the still-image subsets linked above), you can leave out the %05d tag. Conversion from PNG to Y4M uses the Rec 709 matrix with video levels, a box filter for chroma subsampling, and a triangular dither. Conversion back from Y4M to PNG uses the same matrix, levels, and box filter, but does not dither.