Category Archives: Audio/Video

Articles related to Audio and/or Video based programming tasks.

Readymade Options for Playback of Music/Audio Files in VB and VB.NET – 2 of 2

I finally got time to finish part two about options available to play audio or music files using Visual Basic 6.0 and Visual Basic .NET. This article will provide info on two 3rd Party libraries for audio playback with advanced features. They are both feature rich and provide many  advanced features. The first is the Bass.Dll Sound System and the second is the FMod.dll Sound System.

Both libraries are Free to use as long as the application’s using them are not commercial or compensated. If its a personal or freeware application they grant you a free license to use them. Bass.dll does have a lower cost option if your making a Shareware app. You should read through the license agreements of each library before using them in your applications.

Note: You can check out part one at this link.


 BASS.DLL Audio System Library

This is a great library for pretty much all of your music or audio needs. Bass can play everything from mp3’s, wave’s and mod music to .cda’s and internet streaming. It has alot of source code and examples for Visual Basic and Visual Basic.NET. This library gives you access to the samples that are playing so you can plot your own visualizations or ffts. I had alot of experience with this library a few years ago and even made the original VB.NET api and examples for the author. The .dll is very small in size (Under 100KB) so it won’t bloat your application.

Author Information: BASS is an audio library for use in Windows and Mac OSX software. Its purpose is to provide developers with powerful and efficient sample, stream (MP3, MP2, MP1, OGG, WAV, AIFF, custom generated, and more via add-ons), MOD music (XM, IT, S3M, MOD, MTM, UMX), MO3 music (MP3/OGG compressed MODs), and recording functions. All in a tiny DLL, under 100KB* in size.

On Windows, BASS requires DirectX 3 or above for output, and takes advantage of DirectSound and DirectSound3D hardware accelerated drivers, when available. On OSX, BASS uses CoreAudio for output, and OSX 10.3 or above is recommended. Both PowerPC and Intel Macs are supported.

C/C++, Delphi, Visual Basic, and MASM APIs are provided, with several examples to get you started. .Net and other APIs are also available.

 Main Features Main features
Samples
Support for WAV/AIFF/MP3/MP2/MP1/OGG and custom generated samples
Sample streams
Stream any sample data in 8/16/32 bit, with both “push” and “pull” systems
File streams
MP3/MP2/MP1/OGG/WAV/AIFF file streaming
Internet file streaming
Stream data from HTTP and FTP servers (inc. Shoutcast, Icecast & Icecast2), with proxy server support and adjustable buffering
Custom file streaming
Stream data from anywhere using any delivery method, with both “push” and “pull” systems
Multi-channel streaming
Support for more than plain stereo, including multi-channel OGG/WAV/AIFF files
MOD music
Uses the same engine as XMPlay (very accurate, efficient, high quality reproduction), with full support for all effects, filters, stereo samples, DMO effects, etc…
MO3 music
MODs with MP3 or OGG compressed samples (vastly reduced file size with virtually identical sound quality), MO3s are created using the MO3 encoder
Multiple outputs
Simultaneously use multiple soundcards, and move channels between them
Recording
Flexible recording system, with multiple device support and input selection, (WMA encoding & broadcasting via the add-on, and other formats via BASSenc)
Decode without playback
Streams and MOD musics can be outputted in any way you want (encoded, written to disk, streamed across a network, etc…)
Speaker assignment
Assign streams and MOD musics to specific speakers to take advantage of hardware capable of more than plain stereo (up to 4 separate stereo outputs with a 7.1 soundcard)
High precision synchronization
Synchronize events in your software to the streams and MOD musics, synchronize playback of multiple channels together
Custom DSP
Apply any effects that you want, in any order you want
DirectX 8 effects Windows only
Chorus / compressor / distortion / echo / flanger / gargle / parametric eq / reverb, 2 implementation options each with its benefits (including mixing with DSP functions)
32 bit floating-point decoding and processing
Floating-point decoding/rendering, DSP, FX, and recording
3D sound
Play samples/streams/musics in any 3D position, with EAX support
Flexible
Small buffers for realtime performance, large buffers for stability, automatic and manual buffer updating, configurable threading
Expandable
Add-on system for additional format support and effects (C/C++ API available on request), dynamic plugin loading system, access to underlying DirectSound objects
Small
BASS is less than 100KB*, so won’t bloat your distribution

As you can see, this is a very feature-rich and flexible sound system. If your interested in Bass.dll then go to the main webpage.


FMOD.dll Music and Sound Effects System

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Readymade Options for Playback of Music/Audio Files in VB and VB.NET – 1 of 2

This article and Part Two are to show some options available for Audio/Music playback if your not interested in making your own control or library. I do have an article on how to do basic music playback at this link with some quick and simple source code. But if you want more advanced features and don’t want to create the bulk of the playback code, then the content in these articles should help you out. This first article is on using some libraries I made around the MCISendString Windows API function and doesn’t have 3rd party dependency.

Note: You can now check out part two at this link on two 3rd party controls named Bass.dll and FMod.dll.


Visual Basic 6.0

For VB 6.0 is Music Module v2.2 that I made with Visual Basic 6.0 and contains the main features that a music player usually needs. It supports the most popular music formats like Wave, MIDI, and MP3 files. Some other features are calculating the MP3’s overall Bitrate, getting the Playing Position in various formats, Left/Right Volume Control with Muting, etc. While the class module is old, it still does the job well and does not rely on any 3rd Party .DLL’s or Resources. You can download the Class Module with Example at this link.

Visual Basic.NET 2002/2003

This option is basically for VB.NET 2002/2003 and would recommend you use it for those versions only. This library is called csMusicLibrary v1.0 Professional. This class contains more features than the VB 6 library.  The class has all of the features required for a normal music player and some extra features like basic playlist support, setting the music playback rate, setting the playing position and more. IF your interested in this option you can download the compiled class with example at this link.

Visual Basic 2005/2008/2010, and Higher

This next library definitely has the most features out of the options in this article. It is a major overhaul of the original csMusicLibrary. It is csMusicLibrary v3.1 – The Professional Series and made with Visual Basic 2005. It is completely XML commented with explanations about the Subs/Functions and Properties along with remarks. There are many options available and is easy to use and understand. Besides your normal playback features it can give your applications some basic recording capabilities, extract MP3 Tag v1.1 information, get the music playback status, and much more. Like the other options outlined above, this library does not rely on any 3rd party controls or resources. If you don’t need any super advanced features like visualizations, data manipulation, or sound effects, etc. then this library should work just fine for making a fully featured music application. You can download the compiled class with example at this link.


All these options should be fine for making a nice featured application. But you may be wanting more advanced features like FFT’s, Data Manipulation, Sound FX, and so on. That is where the next article will come in. Click this link to read part two about some third party controls. Have fun 🙂

Jason

Revised: 2014