The BSoundPlayer class plays sound by directly filling audio buffers with data provided by a hook function you specify. A single BSoundPlayer can play multiple sounds at a time.

BSoundPlayer takes care of all the nitty-gritty details of instantiating the necessary sound player node and managing the time source. All you have to do is start up a BSoundPlayer and feed it sounds to play.

You need to implement a hook function that will be called for each audio buffer passed through the BSoundPlayer's playback node.

Using BSoundPlayer

Once you've instantiated a BSoundPlayer object, you need to start it up before you can actually play sounds with it. This instantiates the sound player node, attaches it to an appropriate time source, and makes sure the time source is running. This is done by calling the Start() function.

When you're done using the BSoundPlayer, you can delete it if you don't plan to use it again, or, if you want to keep it around for reuse, you can just Stop() it. This deletes the sound node and cleans up the sounds.

You can find out the current time of the time source to which sounds are being synchronized by calling the CurrentTime() function.

By default, the audio format used by a BSoundPlayer is BSoundPlayer::B_AUDIO_FLOAT, which is to say that the audio is in floating-point format, where each sample ranges from -1.0 to 1.0. The Media Kit uses floating-point audio internally, so using floating-point audio whenever you can will improve your application's performance by cutting down on format conversions. However, if you want to use another format, you may do so by specifying a media_raw_audio_format when you instantiate the BSoundPlayer object.

Sound streams may only contain 1 or 2 channels (either mono or stereo, in other words). There's no support yet for multichannel sound.


BSoundPlayer can only play sounds in the native byte order.

The audio mixer performs best if you don't specify a particular buffer size.

Playing Sound

When you specify a play buffer handler function, either when instantiating the BSoundPlayer object or by calling SetCallbacks() or SetBufferPlayer(), that function will be called once for each buffer that passes through the BSoundPlayer's sound playing node. Your play buffer handler can then fill the buffer with whatever data you wish.

The following code sets up a BSoundPlayer that will play a triangle wave.

typedef struct cookie_record {
   float value;
   float direction;
} cookie_record;

cookie_record cookie;

cookie.value = 0.0;
cookie.direction = 1.0;

BSoundPlayer player("wave_player", BufferProc, NULL, &cookie);

This code establishes a record, cookie, that contains information the play buffer function will need to track, and creates a BSoundPlayer named "wave_player" that will use a function called BufferProc() to play sound, and uses the cookie we've created.

Then the player is started, and SetHasData() is called to let the sound player node know that there's data to be played. This will cause the play buffer function to start being called.

Once playback is over, the Stop() function is called to stop playback.

The BufferProc() function looks like this:

void BufferProc(void *theCookie, void *buffer, size_t size,
            const media_raw_audio_format &format) {
   size_t i, j;
   float *buf = (float *) buffer;
   size_t float_size = size/4;
   uint32 channel_count = format.channel_count;
   cookie_record *cookie = (cookie_record *) theCookie;

   // We're going to be cheap and only work for floating-point audio

   if (format.format != media_raw_audio_format::B_AUDIO_FLOAT) {

   // Now fill the buffer with sound!

   for (i=0; i<float_size; i+=channel_count) {
      for (j=0; j<channel_count; j++) {
         buf[i+j] = cookie->value;
      if ((cookie->direction == 1.0) && (cookie->value >= 1.0)) {
         cookie->direction = -1.0;
      else if ((cookie->direction == -1.0) && (cookie->value <= -1.0)) {
         cookie->direction = 1.0;
      cookie->value += cookie->direction*(1.0/64.0);

This example play buffer function generates a triangle wave, ramping the wave up and down from 1.0 to -1.0 and back, over and over again, 1/64th at a time. The next value to store in the buffer and the direction in which the value is changing are kept in the cookie's fields.


The buffers your play buffer function receives are empty. Do with them as you please (or do nothing at all).

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