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libao (version 0.8.6)
Libao is designed to make it easy to do simple audio output using various audio devices and libraries. For this reason, complex audio control features are missing and will probably never be added. However, if you just want to be able to open whatever audio device is available and play sound, libao should be just fine.
The libao API makes a distinction between drivers and devices. A driver is a set of functions that allow audio to be played on a particular platform (i.e. Solaris, ESD, etc.). A device is a particular output target that uses a driver. In addition, libao distinguishes between live output drivers, which write audio to playback devices (sound cards, etc.), and file output drivers, which write audio to disk in a particular format.