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 willingness to experiment, FreeBSD can support playback of video files and
DVD's. 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
is no good re-encoding application in the FreeBSD Ports Collection, which could be use to
convert between formats, as there is with audio/sox. However, the software landscape in this area is
This chapter will describe the necessary steps to configure your sound card. The
configuration and installation of XFree86™ (Chapter 5) 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 that your card is working using sample applications.
How to troubleshoot your sound setup.
How to playback and encode MP3s and other audio.
How video is supported by XFree86.
Some video player/encoder ports which give good results.
How to playback DVD's, .mpg and .avi files.
How to rip CD and DVD information into files.
How to configure a TV card.
Before reading this chapter, you should:
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For the video sections, it is assumed that XFree86 4.X (x11/XFree86-4) has been installed. XFree86 3.X may work, but it has not been tested with what
is described in this chapter. If you find that something described here does work with XFree86 3.X please let us
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