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Re: Sound in Emacs

From: joakim
Subject: Re: Sound in Emacs
Date: Mon, 03 Oct 2011 23:04:34 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.0.90 (gnu/linux)

Lars Magne Ingebrigtsen <address@hidden> writes:

> Emacs has rudimentary support for playing sound -- .wav and .au files,
> if I read the code correctly.
> Has anybody considered adding support for modern sound formats via a
> library like SDL?  
> http://icculus.org/SDL_sound/
> It seems like it has support for all the common formats -- .flac and
> .ogg and .mp3 and .etc.
> There's probably no extremely compelling reasons to add built-in support
> for a real sound player in Emacs, but it might be kinda neat.  If you're
> in a dired buffer, you can hit RET to see images, but sound files aren't
> as available.  Wouldn't it be nice if you hit RET on an .mp3 file, and
> Emacs pops up a waveform buffer and starts playing the file?  And you
> can skip around in the song/podcast...
> Has anybody done any work in that direction?  And if not, would Emacs
> (after 24.1, or course) be open to adding such functionality if somebody
> (ahem) were to find the time to implement it?

I'm interested in using Emacs for controlling various media. The Emacs
Xwidget branch was for instance originally conceived to implement
sliders in Emacs to control sound servers over OSC.

There are pretty big Emacs user groups that use Emacs a lot for this,
using the CSound and the Supercollider tools for instance. Snd is an
audio editor that is influenced by Emacs.

And we also of course have EMMS. The thing, though, is that it is pretty
seamless to just use an external binary to play the sound, unlike having
to start an external binary to watch an image. So my vote would be on
improving EMMS.

If you still feel a compelling need to implement audio directly in Emacs
that's cool also. Then I'd vote for implementing the Emacs buffer model
on audio files and use some nice simple portable audio api such as
Portaudio. It should be more than enough for Emacs and is, ahem, portable.

Joakim Verona

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