OpenAL (short for Open Audio Library – the word Open here does not mean open source) is the interface Application Programming Multi-platform audio API. OpenAL is designed to effectively display multi-channel 3-way positioning sound. In a way, its API style and convention are the same OpenGL.
OpenAL provides a library of 3D environmental sounds to add game realism with distance-based damping effects, Doppler effects – which change frequency with movement and material density.
Initially, Open AL was developed to replace the open source and open standards of proprietary (and often incompatible) 3D sound systems such as EAX and A3D.
OpenAL is a cross-platform 3D audio API, widely used in applications, game and many other types of audio applications. This library contains a collection of sound sources traveling in 3D that are heard by an individual from somewhere in space. The basic OpenAL objects include Listener, Source, and Buffer.
In OpenAL There is a large number of buffers available that hold audio data. Each buffer corresponds to 1 or more sources, representing points in 3D space that are emitting sound. There is always 1 listener object (per audio scene) representing the position where sources are heard – rendered from the listener’s perspective.
Outstanding features of Open AL
OpenAL displays 3D sound extremely fast. The buffer will be perfectly filled.
Have you written OpenGL code? Then the process of working with OpenAL will be similar.
Having trouble with EAX and A3D? Forget them. OpenAL would be the perfect alternative because of its neutrality.