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Old 10-21-2010, 09:05 PM   #1
MS3FGX
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Using "aplay" to play notifications in C program


I am looking to play a simple sound effect as an event notification in a C program I am working on, but want to do it as simply and easily as possible. Portability is of no concern (this is a Linux-only application) nor is the format of the audio file (the file will be bundled with the application, so I can make the format whatever is necessary).

The simplest way seems to be just calling "aplay" from within my program, but I am not sure if this is really a safe approach or not. Is this is a reasonable enough solution for a simple task like this? Other than the program not existing on the host OS (which obviously I would check for on execution), are there any other pitfalls?
 
Old 10-21-2010, 11:32 PM   #2
Sergei Steshenko
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MS3FGX View Post
I am looking to play a simple sound effect as an event notification in a C program I am working on, but want to do it as simply and easily as possible. Portability is of no concern (this is a Linux-only application) nor is the format of the audio file (the file will be bundled with the application, so I can make the format whatever is necessary).

The simplest way seems to be just calling "aplay" from within my program, but I am not sure if this is really a safe approach or not. Is this is a reasonable enough solution for a simple task like this? Other than the program not existing on the host OS (which obviously I would check for on execution), are there any other pitfalls?
What do you think is unsafe ?
 
Old 10-22-2010, 10:57 AM   #3
sunnydrake
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first i must note that im not a linux programmer.
but from my win game bg.. i take that approach
if i need just play/wait for done
use system calls/outside program
if i need to get values, control position/state,effects
use lib!

google search revealed
http://www.ambiera.com/irrklang/

regarding using alsa in C prog
http://equalarea.com/paul/alsa-audio.html
APPENDIX A Minimal Playback Program
 
Old 10-22-2010, 05:28 PM   #4
MS3FGX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sergei Steshenko View Post
What do you think is unsafe ?
Well, "safe" probably shouldn't be taken literally. The issue is more along the lines of reliability, performance, and compatibility.

The biggest problem I already see is that by using system(), the application will pause while the notification is playing, which is obviously not great. I will have to see if I can fork the aplay process off into the background. But that is likely going to cause the sound to double or even triple up if events occur fast enough.

I also have some concerns about how well it will work on different distributions. I know some distros like Ubuntu modify ALSA and remove components like alsaconf, so can I be sure that all of the possible systems I will be running on will have an aplay binary that:

1. Accepts the exact same arguments
2. Plays back the sound effect exactly the same

On the other hand, if I actually use ALSA to play audio as intended, it is going to complicate my software considerably and add another dependency. Even the minimal playback application linked by sunnydrake is rather large compared to my program.
 
Old 10-22-2010, 08:22 PM   #5
Sergei Steshenko
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MS3FGX View Post
...
The biggest problem I already see is that by using system(), the application will pause while the notification is playing
...
Call 'system' from a separate thread.
 
Old 10-23-2010, 07:26 AM   #6
sunnydrake
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first regarding ubuntu pulseaudio have alsa emulation
second if you concerned about libraries/headers you can create static binary which will include all deps needed in one file.
regarding wait for return like sergei noted use threads!
look closely at minimal alsa sound play example it's not complex!

Last edited by sunnydrake; 10-23-2010 at 07:28 AM.
 
Old 10-23-2010, 04:38 PM   #7
Sergei Steshenko
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnydrake View Post
... you can create static binary ...
If the OP's program has compatible license.
 
  


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