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1. Introduction

This is the Sound Playing HOWTO. It lists the many sound formats and the applications that can be used to play them. It also lists some hacks and advice on using these applications. There are also some other interesting applications related to sound not directly related to playback. However, this document does not describe how one can setup a Linux system for sound support. Refer to the Linux Sound HOWTO by Jeff Tranter for instructions on setting up a Linux system for sound support and the supported sound hardware.

This deals with normal user sound applications. That is, it is only concerned about what the average user needs to know on the application side of sound, not exotic stuff like speech synthesis, or hardware stuff which is dealt in the Sound HOWTO.

1.1 Copyright of this document

This document can be freely distributed and modified (I would appreciate it if I were notified of any modifications), as long as this copyright notice is preserved. However, it cannot be placed under any further restrictions, and a modified document must have the same copyright as this one. Also, credit must be given where due.

1.2 Copyright of the listed applications

If there is no mention of any copyright, then the application is under the GNU General Public License.

1.3 Where to get this document

The most recent official version of this document can be obtained from the Linux Documentation Project. The most recent unofficial version of this document can be obtained from

A Korean version of this document (very outdated) is available at

A Japanese version of this document is available at

1.4 Feedback

I am not omniscient, and I don't use all the applications in here (a few I can't even try), so there are bound to be mistakes. Also, programs usually continuously evolve, so documentation tends to get out of date. Therefore, if you find anything wrong, please send me any corrections. Suggestions or additions to this document are welcome, too.

1.5 Acknowledgments

All the authors of the applications in this HOWTO. Also, Hannu Savolainen for the great sound driver and Linus Torvalds for the great underlying OS.

I'd also like to thank Raymond Nijssen (, Jeroen Rutten (, Antonio Perez (, Ian Jackson (, and Peter Amstutz ( for their information and help.

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