PyAudio and PortAudio are I/O libraries for sound (i.e. audio).
I'm stretching the analogy a bit here, but they made me think:
"... like ODBC for sound". (*)
PyAudio is a Python interface to PortAudio.
[ PyAudio provides Python bindings for PortAudio, the cross-platform audio I/O library. With PyAudio, you can easily use Python to play and record audio on a variety of platforms. ]
I installed PyAudio for Windows. Installation was trivial. It also automatically installed the PortAudio DLL (actually, the .pyd file).
I then tried a PyAudio Python program from the docs to play a small .WAV file. It worked.
(*) That's because PyAudio and PortAudio support both:
a) different platforms (Windows, Linux, Mac, UNIX)
b) different "Host APIs" on the same platform, where the different Host API's have, obviously, different API's, but PortAudio (and hence PyAudio) hide those differences behind a uniform interface (to some extent).
UPDATE: If you interested in checking out other Python multimedia libraries, you may also like to read this earlier post of mine about pyglet:
Playing an MP3 with pyglet and Python is easy
pyglet has some of the same benefits as PyAudio - cross-platform, easy to use, etc.
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- Vasudev Ram @ Dancing Bison