OpenAL Soft is an LGPL-licensed, cross-platform, software implementation of the OpenAL 3D audio API. It's forked from the open-sourced Windows version available originally from openal.org's SVN repository (now defunct).
OpenAL provides capabilities for playing audio in a virtual 3D environment. Distance attenuation, doppler shift, and directional sound emitters are among the features handled by the API. More advanced effects, including air absorption, occlusion, and environmental reverb, are available through the EFX extension. It also facilitates streaming audio, multi-channel buffers, and audio capture.
This library is a compatible update/replacement to the deprecated OpenAL Sample Implementation (the SI). The original idea was to fork the old Windows version to attempt an accelerated ALSA version. The accelerated ALSA idea quickly fell through, but the software mixing code ended up being modified to be cross-platform, with multiple output backends: ALSA, OSS, DirectSound, PulseAudio, MMDevAPI, CoreAudio, Solaris, SoundIO, OpenSL, WinMM, PortAudio, "Null" Output, and a .wav writer are currently implemented.
OpenAL Soft's code has been improved to support mono, stereo, 4-channel, 5.1, 6.1, 7.1, and HRTF output. OpenAL Soft does not support the Vorbis and MP3 extensions however, these are considered deprecated. It does, though, support some of the newer extensions like AL_EXT_FLOAT32 and AL_EXT_MCFORMATS for multi-channel and floating-point formats, as well as ALC_EXT_EFX for environmental audio effects, and others.
If you need support, feel free to send a message to the OpenAL mailing list:
You can also ask for help in IRC, #openal on irc.freenode.net
Building OpenAL Soft needs CMake version 2.6 or newer (older versions may possibly work as well, but are untested). Autotools is not supported. It should build on most compilers.
The latest release is 1.16, and is available in source form. Please try it out and let me know how it works. :-)
Win32 and Win64 binaries are also provided
A more up-to-date Git repository is available at repo.or.cz. You can get it by running:
git clone git://repo.or.cz/openal-soft.git
Note that you need to install Git to download it.
Older releases can be found here.
To install OpenAL Soft, first extract it. It will automatically extract itself into the openal-soft-1.16/ directory. Using your favorite shell, go into the build/ directory, and run:
Assuming configuration went well, you can then build it, typically using GNU Make (KDevelop, MSVC, and others are possible depending on your system setup and CMake configuration).
Examples are now provided in the source.
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