In doing Silverlight Simon and friends and then trying to port the uber tile from Silverlight to WPF I found that for doing quick short sounds there was a limit in Silverlight and WPF to the preformance and bahavior you can expect. WPF's 'MediaElement' is just horride but even in Silverlight if I try to use the same media element to play 2 short 2 second clips with in 1 second you will get issues. I must say though the Silverlight team has done a bang up job on the media element. It is orders of magnitude better then the one in WPF.
As part of pulling bits out of the crossfader codebase to post on codeplex I built a new 'MediaElement' class (see http://Crossfader.codeplex.com/) that solves this problem with sound in Silverlight and WPF and makes my life just that much easier for building composite apps.
So Karim suggested something called channel support to solve this and in this control I implemented it. Basically what happens is that the usercontrol called 'MediaElement' creates a collection of MediaElements that it then can have events and flags for for tracking state and each of these is a 'channel'. When you call SetSource the control looks for the first available channel to assigns the source. this actually creates like a quing mechinism that allows me to rapidly play sound effects without loosing one or having to wait for the control to have its mediaelement in a ready state and I don't need to have an army of media elements.
Also in WPF and Silverlight the usage can be then the same where I call SetSource and pass in a local uri path like this:
in this case make sure the item is a local 'resource' in the xap with the control. In any case check out on the crossfader codeplex project or the HackingSilverlight library.
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