PulseAudio  16.0
Simple API


The simple API is designed for applications with very basic sound playback or capture needs. It can only support a single stream per connection and has no support for handling of complex features like events, channel mappings and volume control. It is, however, very simple to use and quite sufficient for many programs.


The first step before using the sound system is to connect to the server. This is normally done this way:

ss.channels = 2;
ss.rate = 44100;
s = pa_simple_new(NULL, // Use the default server.
"Fooapp", // Our application's name.
NULL, // Use the default device.
"Music", // Description of our stream.
&ss, // Our sample format.
NULL, // Use default channel map
NULL, // Use default buffering attributes.
NULL, // Ignore error code.
Playback stream.
Definition: def.h:160
#define PA_SAMPLE_S16NE
Signed 16 Bit PCM, native endian.
Definition: sample.h:209
pa_simple * pa_simple_new(const char *server, const char *name, pa_stream_direction_t dir, const char *dev, const char *stream_name, const pa_sample_spec *ss, const pa_channel_map *map, const pa_buffer_attr *attr, int *error)
Create a new connection to the server.
A sample format and attribute specification.
Definition: sample.h:252
uint32_t rate
The sample rate.
Definition: sample.h:256
uint8_t channels
Audio channels.
Definition: sample.h:259
pa_sample_format_t format
The sample format.
Definition: sample.h:253
An opaque simple connection object.

At this point a connected object is returned, or NULL if there was a problem connecting.

Transferring data

Once the connection is established to the server, data can start flowing. Using the connection is very similar to the normal read() and write() system calls. The main difference is that they're called pa_simple_read() and pa_simple_write(). Note that these operations always block.


If a playback stream is used then the following operation is available:


Once playback or capture is complete, the connection should be closed and resources freed. This is done through:

void pa_simple_free(pa_simple *s)
Close and free the connection to the server.