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What Is a Multimedia Audio Driver?

Article Details
  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 01 August 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2017
    Conjecture Corporation
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A multimedia audio driver is a program file typically required by the operating system (OS) on a computer to properly interact with a multimedia audio device or program. The exact nature of such a driver can vary somewhat, depending on the particular application or device being used, and is often provided by the developer of that piece of hardware or software. In general, however, a multimedia audio driver allows the OS to recognize the multimedia audio device or application and then properly interact with that device.

There are a number of different applications and devices that might require the use of a multimedia audio driver, though in general these are related to audio input or output in some way. A multimedia audio driver typically works like any other type of driver, which is a computer program file used by the OS installed onto a computer. Different systems typically utilize different drivers, which means that choosing the proper driver or drivers for an application and the OS is essential in ensuring that the application works with that computer. Drivers basically allow the OS to recognize the hardware or software being used with that computer, and then to properly communicate and work with that application.

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A multimedia audio driver designed for use with a sound card, for example, allows the OS to recognize and interact with the sound card installed onto the motherboard. Without the proper drivers, the OS might not properly recognize the sound card and audio could be distorted or not properly transmitted through the sound card. Similarly, if an input device was connected to a sound card or audio input port, such as a musical instrument, then a multimedia audio driver may be needed for that device as well. This would ensure that any input entered through that device, such as music played on an electronic instrument, would be properly received and recorded by the computer.

Most manufacturers of audio devices provide a multimedia audio driver on a disc with that product. These drivers, or updated versions of older drivers, can also typically be found on numerous websites and downloaded directly to a computer for installation. The use of the proper multimedia audio driver for a particular product and OS is important, however, so care should be taken by anyone installing drivers to ensure they are the proper ones for the device and OS being used.

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