A Guide Through the Linux Sound API Jungle

“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

Use GStreamer! (Unless your focus is only KDE in which cases Phonon
might be an alternative.)

I want to add event sounds to my

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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