Core Audio provides software interfaces for implementing audio features in applications you create for iOS and OS X. Under the hood, it handles all aspects of audio on each of these platforms. In iOS, Core Audio capabilities include recording, playback, sound effects, positioning, format conversion, and file stream parsing, as well as:

On the Mac, Core Audio encompasses recording, editing, playback, compression and decompression, MIDI, signal processing, file stream parsing, and audio synthesis. You can use it to write standalone applications or modular effects and codec plug-ins that work with existing products.

Core Audio combines C and Objective-C programming interfaces with tight system integration, resulting in a flexible programming environment that maintains low latency through the signal chain.

Core Audio Overview is for all developers interested in creating audio software. Before reading this document you should have basic knowledge of general audio, digital audio, and MIDI terminology. You will also do well to have some familiarity with object-oriented programming concepts and with Apple’s development environment, Xcode. If you are developing for iOS-based devices, you should be familiar with Cocoa Touch development as introduced in Start Developing iOS Apps Today (Retired).

Organization of This Document

This document is organized into the following chapters:

This document also contains four appendixes:

See Also

For more detailed information about audio and Core Audio, see the following resources: