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(This is the documentation for SDL3, which is under heavy development and the API is changing! SDL2 is the current stable version!)


Get the current audio format of a specific audio device.

Header File

Defined in <SDL3/SDL_audio.h>


int SDL_GetAudioDeviceFormat(SDL_AudioDeviceID devid, SDL_AudioSpec *spec, int *sample_frames);

Function Parameters

SDL_AudioDeviceID devid the instance ID of the device to query.
SDL_AudioSpec * spec on return, will be filled with device details.
int * sample_frames pointer to store device buffer size, in sample frames. Can be NULL.

Return Value

(int) Returns 0 on success or a negative error code on failure; call SDL_GetError() for more information.


For an opened device, this will report the format the device is currently using. If the device isn't yet opened, this will report the device's preferred format (or a reasonable default if this can't be determined).

You may also specify SDL_AUDIO_DEVICE_DEFAULT_PLAYBACK or SDL_AUDIO_DEVICE_DEFAULT_RECORDING here, which is useful for getting a reasonable recommendation before opening the system-recommended default device.

You can also use this to request the current device buffer size. This is specified in sample frames and represents the amount of data SDL will feed to the physical hardware in each chunk. This can be converted to milliseconds of audio with the following equation:

ms = (int) ((((Sint64) frames) * 1000) / spec.freq);

Buffer size is only important if you need low-level control over the audio playback timing. Most apps do not need this.

Thread Safety

It is safe to call this function from any thread.


This function is available since SDL 3.0.0.

CategoryAPI, CategoryAPIFunction, CategoryAudio

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