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The OpenAL site I'm looking at is a crappy outdated and broken sharepoint portal and the SDK in the downloads section give me a 500 html code when i request it.

http://connect.creativelabs.com/openal/Downloads/OpenAL11CoreSDK.zip

I found an OpenAL SDK on a softpedia and it has headers but not alu.h or alut.h which the tutorials I'm looking at apparently require for loading wavs etc.

What am I missing? Is OpenAL dead or something?

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OpenAL is an unmaintained piece of shit. The fact of the matter is Creative Labs hijacked and proprietarized the original OpenAL code (it is now on 2.1), the result was a bunch of systems are stuck on old OpenAL 1.1 code, and are not able to move forward because beyond OpenAL 1.1 is proprietary. –  bobobobo Nov 3 '13 at 23:31
    
Ok, I was mad when I posted that. It's not a piece of shit, but it sure hasn't been updated in a long time. You can access the (now inaccessible?) OpenAL 1.1 docs here. It seems Creative may be trying to push people to upgrade by an attrition of information. –  bobobobo Nov 4 '13 at 1:58
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2 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

http://kcat.strangesoft.net/openal.html is the OpenAL Soft library, which is what you use on almost every platform besides Windows by default anyway. It doesn't expose the hardware-accelerated EAX extensions, but not a lot of people use those. If the Creative Windows SDK doesn't come back online shortly, OpenAL Soft is the only real option remaining.

Not that this is an answer to your question, but... you might consider just using FMOD or Wwise. They are free for hobbyist usage and very reasonably priced for commercial usage, they have a bazillion and one more features than any version of OpenAL, have a much cleaner and less error-prone API, and have designed-oriented tools and support rather than being purely a low-level sound abstraction API.

While I don't know if OpenAL is dead on Creative's site permanently or it's just a hiccup, I really wouldn't be surprised if it was dead. It's very very rarely used in the industry commercially, and is decreasingly used in the indie/hobby scenes from what I've seen. The only platform that really stresses use of OpenAL anymore is Linux. Windows has its own API, iOS and OS X have their own APIs, the consoles have their APIs, and even Android prefers OpenSL over OpenAL. And of course, FMOD/Wwise abstract all those away and give you a single unified high-level API.

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Its answer enough for me :) Ill start looking into FMOD, thanks for the pointer in the right direction! –  Peter Short Aug 18 '12 at 23:26
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