Sound Software

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Sound on Linux is the absolute biggest bunch of bullshit ever.


  • Determine: are there still ALSA hardware drivers inferior to their OSS equivalents? Assuming no...
  • OSS emulation: kernel, library, or neither?
    • Kernel: snd_pcm_oss, snd_mixer_oss, snd_seq_oss provide /dev/dsp, /dev/seq, /dev/mixer
    • Library: aoss sets LD_PRELOAD to include
    • Neither: force fail on attempts to use OSS
      • Might be better if OSS-only code is old and crappy, as suggested by OSS-only nature, as it'll eliminate such code. Might also be better if OSS compatability introduces any kinds of issues. Might be worse if OSS code is better-written than ALSA code alternatives, and OSS compatability introduces no problems.
  • What the fuck ought go in /etc/asoundrc? It's a complete enigma.

Sound Servers

  • pulseaudio -- crashes mpd every time I try to use it (no longer true as of Fall 2008)
  • To drive ALSA through pulseaudio by default:
pcm.!default {
	type pulse

ctl.!default {
	type pulse
  • jack -- low-latency, professional software; it frightens me
  • esd -- deprecated, replaced by pulseaudio's esd-compat module

See Also