SDL Wiki
(This function is part of SDL_mixer, a separate library from SDL.)


Load a supported audio format into a chunk.

Header File

Defined in <SDL3_mixer/SDL_mixer.h>


Mix_Chunk * Mix_LoadWAV(const char *file);

Function Parameters

const char * file the filesystem path to load data from.

Return Value

(Mix_Chunk *) Returns a new chunk, or NULL on error.


SDL_mixer has two separate data structures for audio data. One it calls a "chunk," which is meant to be a file completely decoded into memory up front, and the other it calls "music" which is a file intended to be decoded on demand. Originally, simple formats like uncompressed WAV files were meant to be chunks and compressed things, like MP3s, were meant to be music, and you would stream one thing for a game's music and make repeating sound effects with the chunks.

In modern times, this isn't split by format anymore, and most are interchangeable, so the question is what the app thinks is worth predecoding or not. Chunks might take more memory, but once they are loaded won't need to decode again, whereas music always needs to be decoded on the fly. Also, crucially, there are as many channels for chunks as the app can allocate, but SDL_mixer only offers a single "music" channel.

If you would rather use the abstract SDL_IOStream interface to load data from somewhere other than the filesystem, you can use Mix_LoadWAV_IO() instead.

When done with a chunk, the app should dispose of it with a call to Mix_FreeChunk().

Note that before SDL_mixer 3.0.0, this function was a macro that called Mix_LoadWAV_IO(), creating a IOStream and setting closeio to SDL_TRUE. This macro has since been promoted to a proper API function. Older binaries linked against a newer SDL_mixer will still call Mix_LoadWAV_IO directly, as they are using the macro, which was available since the dawn of time.


This function is available since SDL_mixer 3.0.0

See Also

CategoryAPI, CategoryAPIFunction

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