For the last months I have much work and my free time is limited. I find my self working on two missions but never got the time to finish them. I started working on v1.30 but decided to postpone it until I have more time to work on it consecutively. Therefore I decided to extend v1.20 and incorporate into it a basic support of the Sound implementation already done into v1.30.
The sound is linked with the Messaging system, Meaning into the broadcasting or event messaging elements. You can display a readable message, while playing a sound file. The sound file will play until it is reached to the end and not until the text message will disappear.
Currently, the sound implementation is in a basic form. It is good enough to add special environment sounds to immerse the simmer, but is in no way implemented to create a new sound platform, especially when X-Plane 10 is looming just around the corner and it might have a new Sound SDK implementation. Further more, when I implemented the sound library, I new I have a tried and a good cross platform sound library (FMOD), but I also new, that for a first implementation, I need to implement it in a form that will integrate seamlessly with the plugin current framework.
This is I believe a good starting point, the designer will mix the sound file and prepare it with all the effects built into it, and the sound library will only need to play it, and not do any special conversion/work on the file. This is on par with what I believe that a feature should not hurt the sim performance.
Hardware vs Software: Currently the sound library will try to work in Hardware mode, but if it fails, it will fallback to software mode. I tested both of them on all platforms, and never felt any performance gains or quality differences, which I believe is also good.
File Formats supported: Since I'm using the FMOD sound library, many formats are automatically supported. But I believe that uncompressed formats are better for performance while compressed ones can hurt in some cases ( though I never felt it ). Therefore sticking with currently wide spread formats like WAV, MP3 and OGG formats might be the best of all worlds both in size and compatibility, but I'm not an expert so try to find the balance through trial and error.
When will this feature build will be available: ( sigh ) I really do not know. All I can say is that the code has been implemented into v1.20 version and I started updating the document files. But compiling testing and packaging to the "Mass Users" takes at least a full day work, a day that I do not have so sorry if I disappoint in that area, but I do believe that a good mission can do without special sound integration.
What if I have plugin load issues because of the sound Library ?
I gave this issue some thought and decided to publish the plugin in two flavors, with and without the sound library. It is up to the designer to decide if the Mission must have a sound implementation or not, and this is, I believe, the best solution.
So this is it, I believe, The next plugin update ( probably the 1.20.12 build ) will have the sound implementation and I hope to deliver it during next month.
If you have special thoughts about sound support, let me know.
Until then Cheers and enjoy your flight