[openal] HRTF on Android

Cyril Drouet cyril.drouet at gmail.com
Thu Feb 16 21:34:59 EST 2017

Hi all,

I am currently working on a simple demo on Android using OpenAL Soft. I'm
trying to use HRTF but I don't understand how to do that. I have been using
OpenAL Soft for a while now but it is the first time that I try to use HRTF
so bare with me.

>From what I understand, on Windows or Linux, I'm supposed to edit the
alsoft.conf file and set hrtf to true, and specify a list of files to
hrtf_tables. However, how can I enable and specify the same thing on
Android? I could root my device and edit the same file, but this would not
be practical for end users. Is there a way to do that on Android?
When I check for the ALC_SOFT_HRTF extension in my test program, it is
available. I'm able to retrieve pointers to alcGetStringiSOFT and
alcResetDeviceSOFT, but when I try to get the ALC_NUM_HRTF_SPECIFIERS_SOFT,
I get 0. This probably makes sense since there is no mhr files anywhere so
how can I embed them in my app, and have OpenAL use them?
I read the following thread: https://github.com/kcat/openal-soft/issues/46
It seems that there used to be the option to embed the default mhr files
into the openal lib when compiling it, but this option doesn't seem to be
recognized anymore (I'm using the latest version, 1.17.2). Note that I can
embed the mhr files into the apk and extract it on the native side. This
would not be an issue if necessary, but then how would I pass it to OpenAL?
Is it just not possible to use HRTF on Android without rooting the device?

Note that I only started developing on Android a couple weeks ago, so I'm
not very familiar with the platform and I may be missing something.

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