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A Guide Through the Linux Sound API Jungle

Sep 25, 2008, 12:18 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Lennart Poettering)

"At the Audio MC at the Linux Plumbers Conference one thing became very clear: it is very difficult for programmers to figure out which audio API to use for which purpose and which API not to use when doing audio programming on Linux. So here's my try to guide you through this jungle:

What do you want to do?

I want to write a media-player-like application!
Use GStreamer! (Unless your focus is only KDE in which cases Phonon might be an alternative.)

I want to add event sounds to my application!
Use libcanberra, install your sound files according to the XDG Sound Theming/Naming Specifications! (Unless your focus is only KDE in which case KNotify might be an alternative although it has a different focus.)

I want to do professional audio programming, hard-disk recording, music synthesizing, MIDI interfacing!
Use JACK and/or the full ALSA interface.

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