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AHI User's Guide, version 4.16

Copyright © 1994-1997 Martin Blom

The latest release of AHI can always be found at <URL:http://www.lysator.liu.se/~lcs/ahi.html>.


The Amiga has always had excellent sound capabilities. In 1986, they were awesome. Today, well@enddots{} Perhaps not awesome, but still very good. The OS interface, audio.device has however never been as good as it could have been. It is tied hard to the underlying hardware, and doesn't work very well for music. This has led to a situation where most audio programs only use audio.device to allocate the audio resource, and then poke around in the hardware registers--making it next to impossible to replace the Paula chip (1).

There have been attempts to write an audio.device clone that uses a sound card instead of Paula, but so far nobody has succeeded. It is definitely possible, but the question is if it is worth the trouble--too many of the programs bang the hardware.

Entering AHI (2). AHI is a new audio subsystem, designed to be flexible, hardware independent, expandable and future safe. It is designed with real-time applications in mind. It is designed to play modules (3) and sound effects as efficient as possible, taking advantage of modern DSP-based sound cards.

Yet AHI allows applications that don't need full control over the audio hardware to share the resource, so that many different programs can play and record sound at the same time, without conflicts.

As a user you will hopefully not see much of AHI, other than the audio mode requesters. They works almost exactly like screen mode requesters.

AHI was never supposed to be the standard for hardware independent audio. It was meant as a temporary solution until Amiga Technologies delivered an official standard. However, the situation looks worse and worse for every day that passes by, and this may be all you will ever get.

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