FreeBSD supports a wide variety of sound cards, allowing you to enjoy high fidelity output from your computer. This includes the ability to record and playback audio in the MPEG Audio Layer 3 (MP3), WAV, and Ogg Vorbis formats as well as many other formats. The FreeBSD Ports Collection also contains applications allowing you to edit your recorded audio, add sound effects, and control attached MIDI devices.
With some experimentation, FreeBSD can support playback of video files and DVDs. The number of applications to encode, convert, and playback various video media is more limited than the number of sound applications. For example as of this writing, there are no good re-encoding applications in the FreeBSD Ports Collection that could be used to convert between formats, as there is with audio/sox. However, the software landscape in this area is changing rapidly.
This chapter will describe the necessary steps to configure your sound card. The configuration and installation of X11 (Chapter 6) has already taken care of the hardware issues for your video card, though there may be some tweaks to apply for better playback.
After reading this chapter, you will know:
How to configure your system so that your sound card is recognized.
Methods to test whether your card is working.
How to troubleshoot your sound setup.
How to playback and encode MP3s and other audio.
How video is supported by the X server.
Some video player/encoder ports which give good results.
How to playback DVDs, .mpg and .avi files.
How to rip CD and DVD content into files.
How to configure a TV card.
How to configure an image scanner.
Before reading this chapter, you should:
Know how to configure and install a new kernel (Chapter 9).
Warning: Trying to mount audio CDs with the mount(8) command will result in an error, at least, and a kernel panic, at worst. These media have specialized encodings which differ from the usual ISO-filesystem.