The VR3 is unique in that it started out as a user supported platform. The designers opened up the architecture and firmware to such an extent that it is possible to continue to improve it long after the original developers have scattered. Aside from the folks at Softfield who still support the hardware, the Linux kernel and GNU-based OS are still under development by a small but fanatical group of folks who gather at Agenda Wiki to exchange tips and techniques for using and improving this device.
Since audio applications are one of my interests, I gravitated to the audio input features nearly from the start. Not long after getting my VR3, I started trying to play and record digital audio. I was pleased to see that the common application Sox was included in the OS, and that copying a standard WAV formatted file to the VR3 allowed me to play it through the mono mic/headphone that is included with the device. Sox also supports recording, but every time that I tried this, it would hang the machine. Obviously there was something wrong.
Browsing through the mail archives, it became clear that I was not the first to discover this. Further discussions with the original developers revealed that after getting the audio output working, other priorities had forced them to abandon work on the audio input code, and it hadn't progressed since. Shortly thereafter, Agenda went out of business and the world of the VR3 became very quiet.
Recently though, VR3 development has begun to heat up. Several folks have set up a range of Sourceforge depots to maintain the VR3 kernel, and a new package-based system has sprung up to maintain the OS. The Wiki is active, and the mail list is fairly busy. When the issue of audio input came around on the mail list again, several of us volunteered to work on it. As a result, I've got a few things to contribute.
Milan Pikula has a much better driver available at his agenda website which I reccomend instead of mine.
oss-beep is a simple little digital audio output tester which allows me to quickly generate sinewaves at various frequencies, channels and word-lengths. This is important in testing output quality, as well as driver capabilities.
ramrec is a RAM-buffered recording application that is needed to test input quality. Sox can't be used due to the way it writes to the disk.
rec-test is a simplified app that can record a few DMA buffers worth of audio data and dump the results to stdout. I use this as a quick check when banging on the driver.
wavedump is a host application that assists me in analyzing the audio input in greater detail. I use it in conjunction with Octave to do spectral analysis.
record is a FLTK/FLPDA GUI application for the VR3 which allows you to record and playback .WAV files. Here's a snow 1.2 binary as well.
Please let me know if this is useful for you.
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