Applications for Open Sound System

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[ Digital Audio ] [ MPEG Tools ] [ Multimedia Players ]
[ MIDI Tools ] [ Mixers ] [ Trackers ]
[ Network Audio ] [ Speech Tools ] [ Games ]
[ Miscellaneous ]

Digital Audio Editors

Audacity - Audacity is a free audio editor. You can record sounds, play sounds, import and export WAV, AIFF, and MP3 files, and more. Use it to edit your sounds using Cut, Copy and Paste (with unlimited Undo), mix tracks together, or apply effects to your recordings. It also has a built-in amplitude envelope editor, a customizable spectrogram mode and a frequency analysis window for audio analysis applications. Built-in effects include Bass Boost, Wahwah, and Noise Removal, and it also supports VST plug-in effects.

Slab - SLab Direct to Disk Recording Studio. Mixer 64-16-8-4-2 stereo/quadraphonic outputs. Includes WaveEditing, effects send busses, stereo bus groupings, dynamic digital filters (per track), TCL/TK based drag and drop user interface, stereo effects API, VU metering, DSP - echo, chorus, flange, phase, reverb, rotary, limitor, et al, Continuous controller recording (mixdown sessions). MultiProcessing/shared memory mix engine.

MiXViews - MiXViews is a powerful Unix digital audio editing/processing program.

Snd - Snd can accomodate any number of sounds at once, each with any number of channels. Each channel of each sound is displayed in its own window, with its own cursor, edit history, and marks; each sound has a 'control panel' to try out various changes quickly, and an expression parser, used mainly during searches; there is an overall stack of 'regions' that can be browsed and edited; channels and sounds can be grouped together during editing; edits can be undone and redone without restriction ('unlimited undo'); Snd can be customized using an Emacs-lisp-like syntax; it can also be extended with user-supplied editing or display functions loaded at run time.

ecasound - Ecasound is a sound processing application designed for basic effect processing, mixing, multitrack recording and signal recycling. It supports OSS and ALSA sound drivers, wav, mp3, aiff, cdda, au, snd, raw and standard file streams (all can be used both as inputs and outputs). Effects can be combined both in series and in parallel, while effect parameters can be controlled in realtime with oscillators and MIDI controllers. The ecasound package currently consists of ecasound, a versatile console mode interface, qtecasound, a Qt-based X-interface, and various command-line utils suitable for batch processing.

SoX: Sound eXchange - SoX is a sound file format converter for Unix. It also does sample rate conversion and some sound effects. It's the swiss army knife of sound tools.

Broadcast - A multi-tracking digital audio editing program that supports:

  • transparent, non destructive editing, unlimited tracks, full duplex recording
  • automated fade, pan, polarity reverse, and mute
  • 3 band parametric EQ with variable level,
  • center frequency, and bandwidth console module grouping with unlimited groups possible
  • fast wave displays cue point labeling during record, playback, and editing
  • variable playback buffer for near realtime console adjustments variable output channels
  • playback looping, hard muting, crossfade, normalize, balance, and concert hall reverb
  • playback to an audio device or disk vertical zoom, horizontal zoom, track zoom, and selection zoom

SndObj Library" - Sound synthesis /processing C++ object-oriented library.

Aglaophone - Real time processing and analysis of audio signals

XMCD - xmcd is a full-featured CD Player software package, supporting standard play mode as well as CDDA extraction and real-time playback via the sound card DSP.

MPEG Tools

MpegTV - Real-time software MPEG Player with audio support for platforms where OSS is available, it supports Linux, Solaris, SCO, BSD/OS and FreeBSD! With the MpegTV Player, your computer becomes a real multimedia system!

Alsaplayer - This is a new PCM player which is heavily multithreaded. It is plugin based and supports MP2, MP3, WAV, CDDA and socket based input types already. It supports output to OSS. Features include speed/pitch control (positive and negative), multiple active scopes, playlist support and real-time effects.

MpegEdit - mpgedit is an MPEG 1 layer 1/2/3, MPEG 2, and MPEG 2.5 audio file editor that is capable of processing both Constant Bit Rate (CBR) and Variable Bit Rate (VBR) encoded files. mpgedit can cut an input MPEG file into one or more output files, as well as join one or more input MPEG files into a single output file. Since no file decoding / encoding occurs during editing, there is no audio quality loss when editing with mpgedit. When editing VBR files that have a XING header, mpgedit updates the output file's XING header information to reflect the new file size and average bit rate.

XMMS - X Multimedia System (XMMS) is an MPEG-3 audio player with a cool spectrum analyzer. It's based on the Windows winamp MPEG-3 audio player (only the GUI).

mpg123 It is a fast, free and portable MPEG audio player for Unix. It supports MPEG 1.0/2.0 layers 1, 2 and 3 (those famous "mp3" files), and it has been tested on a wide variety of platforms, including Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, i SunOS, Solaris, IRIX, HP-UX and others. For full CD quality playback i (44 kHz, 16 bit, stereo) a Pentium, SPARCstation10, DEC Alpha or similar i CPU is required. Mono and/or reduced quality playback (22 kHz or 11 kHz) i is even possible on 486 CPUs.

Video/DVD Players

XAnim - XAnim is a program for playing a wide variety of animation, video and audio formats under X11. It was written mainly for machines running Unix(or a Unix derivative)

MPlayer - MPlayer is a movie player which runs on many systems (see the documentation). It plays most MPEG/VOB, AVI, Ogg/OGM, VIVO, ASF/WMA/WMV, QT/MOV/MP4, RealMedia, Matroska, NUT, NuppelVideo, FLI, YUV4MPEG, FILM, RoQ, PVA files, supported by many native, XAnim, and Win32 DLL codecs. You can watch VideoCD, SVCD, DVD, 3ivx, DivX 3/4/5 and even WMV movies.

Xine - xine is a free multimedia player. It plays back CDs, DVDs, and VCDs. It also decodes multimedia files like AVI, MOV, WMV, and MP3 from local disk drives, and displays multimedia streamed over the Internet. It interprets many of the most common multimedia formats available - and some of the most uncommon formats, too.

Ogle DVD - The first opensource DVD player to support DVD menus, bookmarks, time skipping, multichannel audio, SPDIF output, crop & zoom video.

VLC - VLC media player is a highly portable multimedia player for various audio and video formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, mp3, ogg, ...) as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. It can also be used as a server to stream in unicast or multicast in IPv4 or IPv6 on a high-bandwidth network.

MIDI Tools and Players

KMid - KMid is a midi/karaoke player designed for X11/KDE capable of playing MIDI files with karaoke lyrics. It has a powerful MIDI mapper. It supports drag & drop interface, customizable fonts for Karaoke text and full KDE desktop integration.

STK - STK is a set of audio signal processing C++ classes and instruments for music synthesis. You can use these classes to create programs which make cool sounds using a variety of synthesis techniques. This is not a terribly novel concept, except that STK is very portable and completely user-extensible.

TiMidity - TiMidity is a MIDI to WAVE converter (MIDI renderer) that uses Gravis Ultrasound compatible patch files to generate digital audio data from General MIDI files. The audio data can be played through an audio device or stored on disk. On a fast machine, music can be played in real time.

Rosegarden Suite - The Rosegarden suite is a free musical notation editing and sequencing system for a variety of machines running Unix and X, in particular SGI IRIX workstations and PCs running Linux.

Tclmidi - Tclmidi is language designed for creating and editing standard MIDI files. With the proper device interface it will also play and record MIDI files. Since tclmidi is a language supporting function calls, recursion and conditionals, you can use these features for editing, sequencing and writing complex scripts.

CSound - Csound is a sound and music synthesis system, providing facilities for composition and performance over a wide range of platforms. It is not restricted to any style of music, having been used for many years in the creation of classical, pop, techno, ambient, experimental, and (of course) computer music, as well as music for film and television.

CMIX - CMIX is a computer music "language" designed to create and manipulate soundfiles, or files containing raw binary data which can be converted into sound on a computer equipped with a soundcard. It is somewhat similar to Csound.

Keykit - It is a programming language and graphical user interface for MIDI, useful for both algorithmic and realtime musical experimentation.

Direct Music - applications for the Direct Music API. Includes: midi player, MIDI sequencer and editor, virtual keyboard synthesizer, CMF file format player and FM patch editor.

UNIX MIDI Plugin for Netscape - UMP is a Netscape plugin for playing MIDI via Timidity.

aRTs - aRts simulates a complete "modular analog synthesizer". You can create sounds & music using small modules like oscillators for creating waveforms, various filters, modules for playing data on your speakers, mixers, faders,... aRts can process realtime midi input. A KDE GUI is provided where you can connect the modules - generators, effects, filters and output - to each other.

Bristol - Synthesiser emulation package emulating a couple of Moogs, a couple of Hammonds, a Prophet-5, Juno-6, DX-7, others. Uses a realistic emulated interface based on native X11 bitmap manipulation.

Mixer Applets

Smix -

  • auto detects supported channels (devices)
  • active real time updating
  • balance sliders for all stereo channels
  • overall balance slider
  • rec, mute, lock and solo buttons
  • widely configurable
  • save all settings in configuration file
  • command line sound control

aumix - This is an audio mixer which can be used from the command line or scripts, or interactively at the console with an ncurses-based interface.

Xmmix - Xmmix is an audio mixer utility for the X window system using the Motif graphical user interface. It operates the input and output mixer section on many PC sound cards.

KMix - kmix is an OSS compliant, full-featured mixer. It displays all supported channels as sliders (one for mono channels, one or two for stereo channels), can mute channels and set the record source. Channels can be hidden. Additionaly it features an overall balancing slider, which affects all channels. Several options may be configured in an user friendly options menu. All these options can be stored in mixer profiles. These can be quickly accesed via a single key press. kmix is based on the Qt and KDE libraries and is available as part of the KDE multimedia package.

Mix2000 - Controls MASTER, BASS, TREBLE, LINE, DSP, FM, CD, MIC, Simultaneous Inputs, up to 4 channels. Fine adjustment via cursor keys, command line arguments. Works with Broadcast 2.1

Trackers/MOD Players

Funktraker -

SoundTracker - SoundTracker is a pattern-oriented music editor just like the DOS program 'FastTracker'. Samples are lined up on tracks and patterns which are then arranged to a song. SoundTracker reads and writes the standard XM format and provides a nice GTK+ interface. A rudimentary sample recorder and editor is also included.

XMP - XMP is a module player. It was designed to play Fasttracker II Extended Modules plus a few other formats. In the current incarnation xmp is able to play standard Amiga MOD files, Scream Tracker 3 S3M files and, of course, Fasttracker II XM files.

XGMOD - Xgmod is a module player with an X interface for the GUS. A non-X version is also included in the distribution.

NSPmod -

MikMod - MikMod is a cross-platform mod player for Linux, SUN/Solaris and other OSes that supports the following file formats: MOD, MTM, M15, XM, S3M, STM, ULT, UNI

Streaming Audio

The RealAudio System - RealAudio allows you to listen to and deliver live and on-demand audio-based multimedia over Internet connections of 14.4 Kbps and faster. UNIX versions of the Player, Server, Personal Server and Encoder are available.

Macromedia Flash - Plays Macromedia Flash media with audio in your Netscape Web browser.

IceCast - Icecast is a client/server system for mp3 streams. It's licenced under GPL, and should work under all unix systems. Have you ever wanted your friends to hear your mp3 files? Ever had a dream of being a radio DJ? Icecast makes it easy, and it's extremely low cpu and memory usage makes it the primary choice for network audio streaming.

Netscape Java Audio - Libmoss is a replacement for Netscape's implementation of (the Java class) some JRI native C code) which enables the Netscape Java VM to play sound.

NetStreamer - NetStreamer consists of a program to "receive" audio, and a program to "transmit" audio over Intranet/ISDN at 48Kbps. The NetStreamer sound-quality is 16 bit mono at 16 kHz. Both programs connect to a NetStreamer Server, a kind of reflector that takes care of the distribution of audio. Every transmitter contacts a Server at startup and claims a certain frequency somewhere between 88.0 and 108.0 MHz, and receivers can tune in on one of these transmitter frequencies.

Skype - Skype is a peer-to-peer based Internet Phone that provides PC-to-PC, Phone-to-PC and PC-to-Phone audio commnications. It also provides video conferencing as well.

VAT - Vat is an audio conferencing application which runs over MBONE and is developed by the Network Research Group of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

RAT - The Robust-Audio Tool (RAT) is a tool designed to allow multiple users to talk to each other over the Multicast Backbone (Mbone) of the Internet. RAT is designed to be adaptive to network and host conditions.

NetAudio - NetAudio is a network based audio system designed like X-Windows. The audio server sits on the local workstation and clients can remotely execute and send audio data to and from the local audio server.

SpeakFreely - Speak Freely is a application for a variety of Unix workstations that allows you to talk (actually send voice, not typed characters) over a network.

FreePhone - Free Phone is an audio tool for the Internet developed by members of the High-Speed Networking group at INRIA. It supports MBONE and RTP protocols.

EsoundD- This program mixes multiple digitized audio streams and samples together for playback by a single audio device. Also allows monitoring of mixed output, and recording. Network connections to the daemon are supported.

Speech Tools

Festival - Festival offers a general framework for building speech synthesis systems as well as including examples of various modules. As a whole it offers full text to speech through a number APIs: from shell level, though a Scheme command interpreter, as a C++ library, and an Emacs interface. Festival is multi-lingual (currently English, Spanish and Welsh) though English is the most advanced. Festival runs on FreeBSD, Linux and Solaris.

Emacspeak - Emacspeak is the first full-fledged speech output system that will allow someone who cannot see to work directly on a Unix system. It is built on top of Emacs. Once you start Emacs with emacspeak loaded, you get spoken feedback for everything you do.

Speech Codecs - Codecs for PCM, G721, G723, G728, GSM and DoD CELP speech compression

MBROLA - A speech synthesizer based on the concatenation of diphones. It takes a list of phonemes as input, together with prosodic information (duration of phonemes and a piecewise linear description of pitch), and produces speech samples on 16 bits (linear), at the sampling frequency of the diphone database used (it is therefore NOT a Text-To-Speech (TTS)synthesizer, since it does not accept raw text as input).

Wavesurfer- WaveSurfer is an Open Source tool for sound visualization and manipulation. It has been designed to suit both novice and advanced users. WaveSurfer has a simple and logical user interface that provides functionality in an intuitive way and which can be adapted to different tasks. It can be used as a stand-alone tool suited for a wide range of tasks in speech research and education. Typical applications are speech/sound analysis and sound annotation/transcription. WaveSurfer can also serve as a platform for more advanced/specialized applications. WaveSurfer can be extended through plug-ins or be embedded in other applications. Another option is to control it remotely.


DOOM - the best selling "shoot-em-up" game with 3D, animation and music

Abuse - Yet another action adventure game from the authors of Doom.

Quake - The next game from the authors of DOOM to watch out for!. Again, music and effects are available under the OSS API.

Maelstrom - Linux (UNIX) port of the Macintosh asteroids-like game.

Xmame - X-Mame is the Un*x version of the Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator, a very cool arcade (coin-op) video game emulator. This latest release is capable of playing 629 games (including duplicates and bootlegs). Sound support is also provided via the OSS drivers.

XGalaga - Remember Galaga? Sequel to the world's first color video game, Galaxian, Galaga and it's ancestor have been staples of the computer gamer's diet for more than 15 years.


LinRad: Linrad is a software radio application for doing "ham radio" on Linux. Linrad receives a signal in digital form by reading a device. Currently Linrad operates with a wide range of audio boards for which Linux device drivers are available and in the future boards sampling directly at RF frequencies will be available.

Snack- The Snack Sound Toolkit is designed to be used with a scripting language such as Tcl/Tk or Python. Using Snack you can create powerful multi-platform audio applications with just a few lines of code. Snack has commands for basic sound handling, e.g. sound card and disk I/O. Snack also has primitives for sound visualization, e.g. waveforms and spectrograms. It was developed mainly to handle digital recordings of speech, but is just as useful for general audio. Snack has also successfully been applied to other one-dimensional signals.

Executor - Executor 2 is a MacOS emulator that runs on Linux and supports audio. It runs either on SVGA or X-Windows.

Virtual 2600 - An Atari 2600 Emulator. Supports Linux/UN*X, SVGAlib, X11 and DOS

XPortShot RT - XPortShot RT is as GTK based real time oscilloscope simulator, capable of displaying multiple channels of data.

GSI - GSI gives applications, through a very simple API, sample playing with stereo, 3D, doppler effects, music playing (MIDI, HMP, MUS), cd playing.

XSR - xsr is a lithe program based solely on Xlib (so its fast and small) that reads in audio data from the soundcard and displays it on the root window in an entertaining and neat fashion. it also does fourier analysis and looks really cool. it is fast enough to run in the background without interfering with anything.

Dynamic - Dynamic - Dumps your audio cd's to /dev/dsp or file. Audio data is read digitally and passes the cpu on its way to sound card and file. Allows forward, reverse and reverse squared play. Pitch control is available. Further more cd samples of arbitrary length (1 frame to the whole cd) are selectable via a time code gui. Dynamic records exactly as it sounds - real time editing is recorded.

SGI AudioFile Library - This Audio File Library is an implementation of SGI's Audio File Library (AL), which provides an elegant API for accessing a variety of audio file formats, such as AIFF/AIFF-C, WAVE, and NeXT/Sun .snd/.au. This version implements most of the calls in SGI's version.

Sunsite Linux audio apps - various other audio applications for Linux archived at SunSite's web server.

Linux MIDI & Sound Applications - A very comprehensive site of Linux (and UNIX) audio applications mantained by Mr. David Phillips. This is perhaps the "best" site for audio enthusiasts on UNIX.