I'm carrying this over to multimedia, where it's really appropriate and
the experts who work on this stuff live :)
On Thu, 28 Nov 1996, Jim Durham wrote:
By the way. Is there a good, succinct explanation of how the
various audio devices in /dev are supposed to be used? I've
looked though the handbook, FAQs, and searched the Web, but
to no avail. In particular, there are some strangenesses
involving the Voxware driver, like that RealAudio says it
uses the Voxware driver. When you try to run RA, it says
"audio device in use". Took me a while to realize that it
was talking about /dev/audio, which was in use, all right,
but by Voxware! I killed auserver and RA worked just fine.
I discoverd that /dev/au plays .au files. But
/dev/midi0 does not play midi files. Playmidi,
I believe, claims to use the Voxware driver, but
only works in FM mode in reality.
To play .au, just cat to /dev/audio:
cat file.au > /dev/audio
To get anything else, check out the 'sox' program. To play .wav's with
sox file.wav -t au /dev/audio
The midi driver connects to the midi port on your sound card, or the
emulation thereof. Unless you have a wavetable-like card, fm is all
you'll get. If you have a GUS or (in current) a SoundBlaster AWE32,
you'll get real instruments.