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Re: Sound in Emacs

From: Tim Cross
Subject: Re: Sound in Emacs
Date: Wed, 5 Oct 2011 09:53:46 +1100

On Tue, Oct 4, 2011 at 6:01 PM, Jan D. <address@hidden> wrote:
> address@hidden skrev 2011-10-03 23:04:
>> 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 just are out to get a more fancy beep, starting a new external binary
> for every beep may not be so seamless.
>        Jan D.

As someone who makes use of sound from within emacs quite extensively
(emacspeak user), I can confirm that using exgternal binaries to play
sound works quite well. However, depending on what you need, it does
have some limitations. For example, if it is just for a 'new beep',
you can get lag or other issues when lots of beeps are requested at
the same time.

I think the main issue with extending support for sound within emacs
will centre around the amount of variation in sound architectures used
by the various platforms emacs runs on. While there are libraries like
portaudio, these can introduce their own problems. I've run into
significant problems with such compatibility libraries and have
frequently found they can adversely impact on

To answer the question whether to enhacne/extend sound support, we
probably need to define what we mean - do we mean better 'beeps' or do
we mean the ability to play mp3/ogg files form dired similar to how we
view images or do we mean something else.

One thing which I have thought about is whether there would be any
benefit from a dbus type interface to external binaries to render
sound files.


Tim Cross
Phone: 0428 212 217

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