OpenAL or Open Audio Library is a free cross-platform 3D audio API for Windows. The main purpose of OpenAL is to realistically simulate sound in digital environments, particularly for use in game development. With minimal effort and setup, programmers can use the API to implement various audio effects based on the position of the audio source in 3D space; this is ideal for crafting an immersive user experience.
The main advantage of using OpenAL for Windows is that programmers don’t have to worry about simulating immersive audio from scratch: they can build upon the OpenAL framework. Some well-known games using OpenAL include Amnesia: The Dark Descent, BioShock, and Mass Effect. Similar apps are Direct X and GSnap.
Windows 10 and OpenAL for Windows
There are two parts to the OpenAL software: the SDK (software development kit) and the Windows installer. You will need the latter when running games developed with OpenAL, while only developers need the SDK. When not making use of the application, you can remove the program or reinstall it at your own discretion.
With that said, there is very little downside to keeping OpenAL installed as the impact on your system’s performance as a whole is minimal. It’s prudent to leave such valuable utilities on your hard drive so that it’s there when you need it. If you decide to delete OpenAL for Windows, you must re-download and configure it once again.
When to use OpenAL for Windows?
There are certain times OpenAL for Windows is an absolute must-have, specifically when developing software. As a developer, OpenAL will dramatically improve the audio quality in a three-dimensional app or game.
If you have high-end hardware or a good sound card, you can get the most out of OpenAL. However, OpenAL’s SDK release was over a decade ago, and as such, it runs on low specs and older hardware, too. As for any games using OpenAL, how well they run will depend on the hardware demands of that particular software.
Premium audio enhancing application
OpenAL for Windows really is a premium application. Its primary goal is to greatly enhance 3D audio. It also makes itself a must-have software when assisting programmers in terms of audio-related code and in the development of audio related software using three-dimensional space.