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The Android audio subsystem enables apps to write audio data for playback and record audio from input sources. Using audio drivers, your apps can register new audio input/output devices connected over I2S or other Peripheral I/O interfaces. Apps can access your audio devices using the standard media framework APIs, such as AudioTrack and AudioRecord.

Implementing the driver

To define a new audio device, extend the AudioInputDriver or AudioOutputDriver class and implement the appropriate read() or write() method. The media framework calls these methods as needed to request recorded audio or supply data for playback.

Your driver should implement the onStandbyChanged() method if the audio hardware is able to react to Android going into and out of standby mode. This might include terminating an audio stream in progress or putting the hardware into a low power state.

The following example implements an AudioOutputDriver that sends audio from the framework to an I2sDevice for playback:

public class PlaybackDriver extends AudioOutputDriver {

    private I2sDevice mOutputDevice;

    public PlaybackDriver(I2sDevice output) {
        mOutputDevice = output;

    public void onStandbyChanged(boolean inStandby) {

    public int write(ByteBuffer buffer, int count) {
        try {
            return mOutputDevice.write(buffer, count);
        } catch (IOException e) {
            Log.w(TAG, "Unable to write audio buffer", e);
            return -1;

Registering a new device

Bind your audio device to the framework by registering it with the UserDriverManager. Supply the following parameters along with the device registration:

  1. Audio Format - Audio data parameters. Including sample rate, encoding, and channel count. Provided as an AudioFormat.
  3. Buffer Size - Maximum amount of data the system can exchange with your audio device in one transaction. The buffer size must be an even multiple of 16 audio frames, as defined by the provided format.

To detach the device from the framework, unregister the driver.

public class AudioDriverService extends Service {

    private static final AudioFormat AUDIO_FORMAT_STEREO =
            new AudioFormat.Builder()
            .setChannelMask(AudioFormat.CHANNEL_IN_STEREO) // 2 channels
            .setEncoding(AudioFormat.ENCODING_PCM_16BIT)   // 16-bit samples
            .setSampleRate(44100)                          // 44.1kHz
    private static final int BUFFER_SIZE = 1024; // 256 PCM16 frames

    private PlaybackDriver mPlaybackDriver;

    public void onCreate() {

        mPlaybackDriver = new PlaybackDriver();
        UserDriverManager manager = UserDriverManager.getManager();

        // Register the new driver with the framework

    public void onDestroy() {

        UserDriverManager manager = UserDriverManager.getManager();
        // Unregister the driver when finished

With the driver properly registered, apps can use the new device for recording and playback through the standard Android media classes, including AudioTrack and AudioRecord.

The registration process can take some time before the audio device is available to clients. Apps should register an AudioDeviceCallback to be notified when it is available before starting recording or playback on that device:

public class PlaybackActivity extends Activity {

    private AudioManager mAudioManager;

    protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
        mAudioManager = (AudioManager) getSystemService(Context.AUDIO_SERVICE);
        mAudioManager.registerAudioDeviceCallback(mDeviceCallback, null);

    protected void onDestroy() {

    // Listen for registration events from the audio driver
    private AudioDeviceCallback mDeviceCallback = new AudioDeviceCallback() {
        public void onAudioDevicesAdded(AudioDeviceInfo[] addedDevices) {
            for (AudioDeviceInfo deviceInfo : addedDevices) {
                if (deviceInfo.getType() == AudioDeviceInfo.TYPE_BUILTIN_SPEAKER) {
                    // Audio user driver is now registered

        public void onAudioDevicesRemoved(AudioDeviceInfo[] removedDevices) {
            for (AudioDeviceInfo deviceInfo : removedDevices) {
                if (deviceInfo.getType() == AudioDeviceInfo.TYPE_BUILTIN_SPEAKER) {
                    // Audio user driver was unregistered

Adding the required permission

Add the required permission for the user driver to your app's manifest file:

    <uses-permission android:name="" />
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