Getting Started - Choosing Audio Playback Backend

This option was introduced in version 0.1.6 along with the support of FFmpeg, which has now been used by default. Before that, the native system backend (Windows Media Foundation on Windows, and AVFoundation on macOS) had been the only option. The Linux version, which also appeared in this release, uses GStreamer as the underlying framework. To switch between FFmpeg and the native audio playback backend, just select the corresponding option in Audio | Audio Playback Backend menu of the main menu. The program restart is required for the changes to take effect, so the dialog window, asking for your permission to do that, will appear.

The main advantage of FFmpeg is that it is cross-platform and overcomes some limitations of native multimedia backends. It lets the program play audio files of all the audio formats which can be added to the Playlist without the need to use the in-app conversion tool. The playback position timing also tends to be more exact, especially comparing to AVFoundation handling of FLAC files. On Ubuntu (Linux), FFmpeg showed more stable performance than GStreamer when testing the application manually.

However, the app’s GUI (including the audio playback part) is built upon the PyQt6 framework, with all its strengths and pitfalls. Since QT introduced the FFmpeg support as the technology preview, not all the stability issues seem to be fixed yet. While the manual tests showed the stable performance on Windows and Linux, on macOS, it sometimes leads to the program hanging or freezing when a new audio file is being loaded. So, when the crashless performance is the priority, switching to the native backend on macOS is recommended.

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EarQuiz Help Getting Started audio backend FFmpeg Windows Media Foundation AVFoundation GStreamer