In the recent years we have witnessed the explosion of digital multimedia technologies and content, both in video and audio arenas. The development of digital audio technologies was even more dramatic and versatile than any other form of multimedia. The proliferation of the new audio technologies had a profound impact on content providers, chip manufacturers, product manufactures as well as end consumers. Besides affecting the component-integration, this audio format proliferation also increased the complexity of multimedia systems that support multiple audio formats. One of the major technical challenges in these systems is how to enable these new features in the existing systems with the minimal cost and time-to-market penalties. Typically, the solution is to add a separate external audio decoder, but then the problem is how to achieve the glueless interface between the existing system and the new decoder. This paper addresses the problem of interfacing the external audio decoders with the rest of the multimedia system on the software protocol level.
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