[SDL] Sound and Music

Elden Armbrust earmbrust at xero-soft.com
Tue Sep 27 21:40:54 PDT 2005

I've heard similar things from other people.  Just recently I wrote a 
c++ class which abstracts much of openal and adds streaming from ogg 
vorbis files, urls (ogg), and icecast streams.  While FMOD may claim to 
be the fastest audio API (which I've yet to see any real data to back 
up), the implementation I've built is nearly as stable, more compatible 
across Windows/Linux (from my and others experiences) and didn't cost a 
penny to implement.  I don't plan on adding mp3 support to the library 
for a few reasons: 1) mp3 licensing is expensive 2) mp3s have a stigma 
associated with them now as being the pirates chosen audio format 3) 
most listener tests confirm ogg as having better audio clarity at higher 
bitrates and better compression at lower bitrates (this isn't MY 
opinion, but that by many people including the hydrogenaudio guys)  I 
have been communicating with the icecast guys to make sure the class is 
fully compatible with icecast.  I've noticed no speed differences 
between OpenAL (using my library) and FMOD EX. (Not that is noticable 
without extensive testing with specialized equipment)
I plan on adding speex and FLAC support as well (without using a library 
such as fishsound).  Where am I going with this?  Why pay for Fmod (5000 
copies of a game or application is exceeded QUITE easily, especially 
when you distribute via the internet.) when there are viable 
alternatives which have actually proven themselves in commercial 
games/applications?  Like Ryan, I'm not trying to start a debate.  I 
just want to point out that the majority of the benefits that you pay 
for in FMOD are available in OpenAL.

Ryan C. Gordon wrote:

>>FMOD is a really nice x-platform sound API, and Ex has added a C++
>>interface that is pretty darn nice. Certainly fits more nicely into my
>Not to refuel this debate, but I had to rip FMOD out of Lugaru right
>before shipping because it was having a bad time with ALSA users, and
>for a game that was only going to sell a handful of Linux copies, we
>weren't interested in paying for the source-access licensing (especially
>when we'd be paying to fix someone else's bugs at the last minute).
>We put OpenAL in there instead; complete replacement took less than a day.
>Frankly, there isn't much I like about FMOD after that experience. FMOD
>Ex sounds nicer, but I'm genuinely hoping that we'll soon be thinking
>about paying for audio libraries the way we think about paying for web
>SDL mailing list
>SDL at libsdl.org

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