Windows 95/98

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Direct X


DirectSound is the audio component of the DirectX. DirectSound provides low-latency mixing, hardware acceleration, and direct access to the sound device. It provides this functionality while maintaining compatibility with existing device drivers.

New in Version 5 of DirectSound are capabilities for audio capture. Also new is support for property sets, which enable application developers to take advantage of extended services offered by sound cards and their associated drivers.

This interaction between multimedia application, DirectSound, and the audio adapter is summarized in the following table:

  1. The DirectSound HAL (hardware abstraction layer) reports the capabilities of the underlying audio adapter to DSOUND.DLL. The DirectSound HAL is usually internal to a DirectSound compliant audio driver, however for some drivers it may exist as a separate file.
  2. DirectSound applications send audio requests to DSOUND.DLL.
  3. DirectSound application requests that the DirectSound HAL has determined can be accomplished in hardware by the audio adapter are passed directly through to the audio adapter.
  4. DirectSound application requests that are not supported in hardware by the audio adapter are instead processed in software by DSOUND.DLL which uses the standard WAVE APIs to output sound.