On January 18, 2011, the Khronos Group will launch two new APIs [Application Programming Interface] geared towards mobile devices.
The group behind industry standards such as OpenGL and OpenCL have worked hard on standardizing the sound reproduction on all handheld devices. Currently, the field of mobile audio reproduction reminds us of chaos that ruled the PC market in the 1990s, with Creative Labs setting the standard and numerous other players making their versions, often resulting in problems.
Current mobile phone industry is just the same – different types of playback, hard to program any software due to hardware and API limitations, you have one smartphone manufacturer that uses four different audio codecs in their smartphone lineup… and many more not so brilliant examples.
The Khronos Group decided to "clean the air" and develop two APIs that should set the record straight: OpenSL ES and OpenMAX AL.
As the name explains, OpenSL ES is an audio application API for embedded devices, ranging from mobile phones to automotive and airline systems. API supports interactive music and ringtones through SP-MIDI, Mobile DLS and Mobile XMF, as well as 3D positioning for gaming and movie reproduction.
OpenMAX AL builds on top of OpenSL ES and other audio APIs to "provide a standardized interface between an application and multimedia middleware," enabling audio-using applications to be easily ported between different operating systems.