What is OpenAL: why you may want it & how to download or delete it

You may never notice a file named OpenAL until the moment you decide to check on a graphics card. That’s how people usually discover OpenAL’s presence on their computers. 

Some inexperienced users may consider it’s a virus or an unnecessary piece of software and decide to remove it promptly. But we won’t recommend that you hurry to delete OpenAL. First, let’s figure out the purpose of OpenAL and its functions, the ways to install it, and how to delete this app from your device if needed. 

What is OpenAl: the purpose and benefits

OpenAL refers to Open Audio Library, which as the name suggests, contains elements for working with sounds. Furthermore, this app is called cross-platform since OpenAL exists for Windows and Linux versions. Hence, it enables sound control on the top popular OSs. 

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Being similar to OpenGL, OpenAL is aimed at performing multichannel 3D audio. An OpenAL program can be downloaded to your computer for improved sound effects. But the fact is, for conventional playback software, such as an audio player or video player, nothing like this will be needed – those tools reproduce the sound exactly as it was recorded. So, what is OpenAL’s purpose then?

Today, developers of many applications and games use OpenAL in their products since they can achieve realistic 3D sound by using this API.

Let’s consider the example of a computer game. Moving through the virtual territory (with the character’s help), we can hear a slight hum (source object). When moving towards the source of the sound, the sound intensifies; when moving away, it weakens. Finally, when entering a house (or some isolated spots), the hum will become barely audible or stop altogether.

The Audio Library allows you to transfer natural-sounding effects to a software product taking users into a three-dimensional plane. Actual distances to the object, obstacles, other objects (from which the sound waves must be bounced) is taken into account and processed by the program.

As a result, the sounds and voices of other game characters or users sound correct. Depending on the position and location of the character, the environment and sound will change. Also, it is possible to overlay several sounds (for example, many voices, a crowded place), to recreate echoes or interference.

What is more, OpenAL can control the audio source. So, for example, when entering a dungeon or plunging into the water, you will hear how the sound quality changes, how the tonality changes.

But why is this audio library called “open”? The reason is in its code – it utilized an open code, which means that changes and contributions to its functionality can be performed by its users who are skillful in programming. Developers have been using OpenAL for several years in their products, like “Doom 3,” “Call of Juarez,” “Bioshock,” etc.

Even though this program is not essential, it’s definitely not a virus as many people may think. This means it’s safe and doesn’t require liquidating. It’s primarily required by gamers and those people who create and design games. OpenAL is needed for the correct setup of some software and games. Nevertheless, if you want to exclude the OpenAL program, this can be done – all the details are revealed further in this article. 

How to know if you have OpenAL and how to get & install it 

how to download and delete OpenAL

Anyone can check instantly if the Audio Library app is downloaded on their computer. Just scan your program files or the game folder, and if the file named OpenAl.dll is on your PC, the library of sounds was downloaded previously. Sometimes you may need to know whether any game or program requires or utilizes the open audio library. To do this, simply start googling. Your inquiry may look like “[the name of the game] + OpenAL.”

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Installing the open audio library is as manageable as installing any other software. Users should download the installer file that is available from the approved source. When you open the link, click two times and pick the menu item Install. There won’t be any requirement to configure additional parameters. In case the operating system prompts you to adjust the settings for audio devices, select “Allow.”

After the Open AL is launched, you will be able to enjoy the 3D audio and multiple sound effects.

An alternative solution for using this API and updating it requires using the Driver Booster. This software will assist you in scanning out-of-date and missing game elements. All the updates will be possible to start with a single click. 

Should you uninstall OpenAL or not? The truth and ways to delete the library

First of all, you should know that deleting OpenAL is completely safe, and you can get rid of this app if you don’t need it. Nevertheless, we advise you to think well before uninstalling it. Here are several reasons:

  • The sound in some apps and games can be damaged. Likely, they won’t be able to start without it. 
  • If you are a gamer, you will hear fewer sounds that can impact your gameplay. 
  • You will miss 3D realism in games and apps. OpenAL helps to achieve an effect similar to a cinema from the comfort of your home.

If you are determined to remove OpenAL from your computer, it is very easy to do. 

  1. Open the Control Panel.
  2. Click on the item Programs and Applications. 
  3. When you find the OpenAL, pick the option Remove. 

In other words, you can remove an application from your system if you feel that it’s not required for your work. However, OpenAL doesn’t threaten the system or the performance of programs. 

If you removed the OpenAL.exe by mistake and need to download and reinstall the app, you need to head to the OpenAL official website. Pick the file suitable for your OS – Windows or Linux and proceed to installation. 


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