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Best cross-platform sound API free for commercial and non-commercial usage

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#1 beecher   Members   

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 11:15 PM

I'm planning on making games for money
And I'm trying to figure out the best sound API that's free for commercial and non-commercial usage

#2 Cornstalks   Members   

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 11:29 PM

FMOD is free for non-commercial usage, and it's awesome. OpenAL has an LGPL license (so you can use it for free) if you use version before 1.1. irrKlang is free for non-commercial use.

Those are all the sound libraries I know, and OpenAL is the only free (for commercial) one I know of (so long as you use the older version).
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#3 swiftcoder   Senior Moderators   

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 12:23 AM

SFML has a very nice cross-platform sound API, and it's in theory fine for commercial use. However, I will warn that some people are dubious about the licenses of the audio dependencies - YMMV.

There's also always the option of rolling your high-level functionality, over a low-level abstraction like PortAudio.

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#4 mdwh   Members   

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 09:26 AM

There's also SDL_mixer if you're using SDL.

Wow, I hadn't realised that OpenAL had turned proprietary - this is also a problem with open source development (since even if you personally aren't trying to make money, commercial use is a requirement for anything to pass as open source), and for similar reasons, OpenAL was one of the popular libraries for doing sound on Linux. I wonder what is typically recommended for Linux programming these days?

Wikipedia mentions OpenAL Soft as an open source alternative, but I don't have any experience of that myself.

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#5 Nairou   Members   

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 12:08 AM

5 months later... has anything changed? Or are these (Fmod, OpenAL, SDL, PortAudio) still the only decent options available? All of them have downsides, there's no clear choice here...

#6 AgentC   Members   

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 04:01 PM

I'd say SDL and PortAudio are still the best non-viral open source alternatives, and I've had pleasant experiences from integrating them on Windows/Linux/OSX. Obviously SDL has a fairly heavy footprint so I can't recommend it if you're not using it also for input & video. Note that SDL 2.0 also supports iOS and Android.

Edited by AgentC, 12 August 2012 - 04:03 PM.

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