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  • #61
    Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
    I installed Arch/KDE with pure ALSA (no pulseaudio for a change). The result? atrocious sound quality, CPU usage and latency, applications bypassing the mixer and hogging the output sink, a fucking nightmare.

    Two days later, I installed pulse and guess what? Sound quality and CPU usage improved instantly, latency fell, and applications suddenly started cooperating. I installed a single package and my sound started working!

    Pulseaudio is the solution we were always waiting for. Linux audio sucks without it.
    Yeah, personally I've had no problems with it, and its only been an improvement. A lot of distros included it to early when it was super buggy, but much of the hate for it these days is ridiculous.

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    • #62
      If that's the case, the right option would be improving dmix's algorithm, not starting Yet Another Daemon.

      Comment


      • #63
        Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
        @ninez: my browser crashed while replying and there's no way I'm typing my whole reply again. However:

        (a) the PA resampler is more efficient than whatever dmix uses.
        (b) the PA resampler offers better quality (and a huge selection of settings for quality vs speed)
        (c) the PA mixer is more efficient than dmix (timer-based scheduling for one).
        LOL. Did you actually read what i wrote??? i guess not. i wasn't comparing dmix to PA's mixer. I am comparing ALSA (user-space) to PA. You are not going to get any better sound than your card supports, period. and you are dumb to think otherwise. hence, the example of ALSA, OSS, PA and Jack, all essentially should sound the same / be the same quality - IF you have each one setup properly, and know what you are doing.

        Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
        In short, better quality and lower CPU usage out of the box. For the CPU usage you get with dmix, you can use PA and achieve lower latency.
        Again, not talking specifically about dmix..... ALSA vs. PA -> PA has more overhead. furthermore, If you want low latency - PA and to a lesser extent ALSA aren't the best solutions. Trying to reduce latency to an acceptable level using PA - is well, straight up dumb! that has got to be one of the silliest ways i have ever heard anyone come up with as a viable way to get lower latencies, with audio/midi in linux.

        Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
        For me, the turning point was when I tried to use a MIDI keyboard with pure ALSA. Impossible! I had to decide between 200ms latency (dmix) or audio dropouts (direct hw access and multiple applications - e.g. the MIDI keyboard and a metronome).
        LOL. what are your using a normal upstream kernel, or something???? lol. It's Not impossible, in fact, i've have much lower latency than that using pure-alsa (on any given day, on any of my machines). Furthermore, ALSA is already used in extreme low-latency situations in a commercial product, known as the 'Receptor';

        http://www.museresearch.com/

        I've used the second generation of this hardware, and i could get as low as 64frames (somewhere around 1ms) - running a boat load (12-16 synths at once with FX chains). Even on my own workstation, i can get the same low-latency.

        seriously, if your turning point was being able to use a midi-keyboard with PA ~ that is just sad. try using a proper kernel, that has low-latency in mind. BFS/ the -ck patchset do a nice job. (if using SCHED_ISO) Then there is the smart/proper way to do things, which is using JACK + linux-rt... My average latency is 2.9ms running shitloads of synths/fx all at the same time - no dropouts/xruns or any of that crap.

        Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
        The solution? Pulseaudio. A trivial configuration change and I get 20ms latency - and that's on a netbook, of all things! And just with that I have multiple applications working, seamless switching between headphones and HDMI (digital out to dedicated sound system) and dynamic source->sink routing (music on speakers and communications on headphones? Done.)
        20ms of latency so incredibly unacceptable, it is ridiculous. You put a exclamation, like i am supposed to be impressed, but dude - that is terrible latency!!!! extremely bad!... You do realize that a real piano is somewhere around 8ms, and most analog keyboards are lower than that too, right??? lol... Again, on a properly configured system ALSA/alsa-midi should be well below what you think is 'low latency'. i call 20ms - total f#%^ing crap!

        Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
        ALSA without PA feels like a Win98 system - it works but it's impossible to do anything remotely complex without it going belly up. I guess some users may be ok with that, but there's no way I'm ever going back. Hell, even OpenWRT routers offer PA now - consider that for a moment!
        I don't use PA, none of my systems feel like win98. Outline what you consider 'complex', please? and if you start talking about running midi/audio apps with PA - you really need to give your head a shake!

        ...and ya, i don't need to 'consider' that OpenWRT can use PA. A) i already knew that and B) I would use netjack (part of jack-audio-connection-kit) any day of the week over using PA in a networked audio environment ~ and again i can much lower latencies (even across a network) using jack over PA. and that is a simple fact.

        I hook my old laptop and run a synth or two using netjack, running into my workstation(with jackd), and the latencies are a fraction of what you seem to consider to be low latency. what a joke.
        Last edited by ninez; 10-23-2011, 02:46 PM.

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        • #64
          Overreacting much?

          ALSA by itself is unusable on 99% of desktop configurations (no hardware mixer and multitasking). For the 1% who have a hardware mixer or run a single application at a time, ALSA is fine. The rest need dmix - and dmix sucks. PA is much, *much* better on all accounts.

          At this point you are just trolling, but 20ms on a netbook without dedicated hardware is awesome. If I wanted lower I would configure JACK and a RT kernel, but I don't *need* lower on my netbook. For that I have a proper workstation.

          I don't use PA, none of my systems feel like win98. Outline what you consider 'complex', please?
          Why don't you try something simple first? Move a stream from analogue headphones to digital out. Try doing that on this pure ALSA you love so much, without stopping playback.

          Simple on WinXP, MacOSX and Linux/PA; impossible on Win98 and Linux/ALSA. Have a nice day.

          Comment


          • #65
            Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
            ALSA by itself is unusable on 99% of desktop configurations
            Wow. Unusable, and 99%. It will give you cancer in 7534% of cases.

            I've never had a problem with ALSA on ANY desktop configuration, ever since dmix became standard.

            Why don't you try something simple first? Move a stream from analogue headphones to digital out. Try doing that on this pure ALSA you love so much, without stopping playback.

            Simple on WinXP, MacOSX and Linux/PA; impossible on Win98 and Linux/ALSA. Have a nice day.
            This is actually a good use-case for Pulse Audio, and the point that made me concede that Pulse Audio is not just a worthless pile of unnecessary crap. Only a worthless pile of potentially necessary crap.

            That that is also the ONLY thing Pulse Audio brings that is of any use. But it might be important in the future.

            Comment


            • #66
              Originally posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
              Wow. Unusable, and 99%. It will give you cancer in 7534% of cases.o

              I've never had a problem with ALSA on ANY desktop configuration, ever since dmix became standard.
              So you actually agree with me. ALSA by itself is unusable - you need dmix. Unless you are in the 1% population bracket who uses a soundcard with hardware mixing.

              This is actually a good use-case for Pulse Audio, and the point that made me concede that Pulse Audio is not just a worthless pile of unnecessary crap. Only a worthless pile of potentially necessary crap.

              That that is also the ONLY thing Pulse Audio brings that is of any use. But it might be important in the future.
              It also brings a faster and higher quality alternative to dmix, plus output hotplugging. Guess this might also be important in the future, if by "future" you mean post-Win98.

              Comment


              • #67
                Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
                Overreacting much?
                No, actually more like having a laugh, ya dumb shite. lol.

                Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
                ALSA by itself is unusable on 99% of desktop configurations (no hardware mixer and multitasking). For the 1% who have a hardware mixer or run a single application at a time, ALSA is fine. The rest need dmix - and dmix sucks. PA is much, *much* better on all accounts.
                I'm actually getting the impression, that dmix is just too complicated for you. it's really not hard to setup, and for myself - if i was to be using it (which i am not - as i use Jack, even for normal desktop sound - which AFAIK kicks the living crap out of PA), it wouldn't be very hard to have setup properly.

                To me, PA is yet another linux audio API - the work should have been done on ALSA - not creating something retarded new API, that really isn't all that great.

                Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
                At this point you are just trolling, but 20ms on a netbook without dedicated hardware is awesome. If I wanted lower I would configure JACK and a RT kernel, but I don't *need* lower on my netbook. For that I have a proper workstation.
                20ms in any situation regarding audio/midi is pure crap. you live in a fantasy world to be claiming otherwise. And i am not trolling, just because i am laughing at you for actually believing 20ms is good latency. it's pretty obvious that you have no clue. You the first person i have ever encountered who thinks on any hardware, dedicated or NOT that 20ms is actually decent.

                Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
                Why don't you try something simple first? Move a stream from analogue headphones to digital out. Try doing that on this pure ALSA you love so much, without stopping playback.
                sorry dude, i don't use some dinky intel-hda/hdmi/etc in my setup. so that's not something i can test. however, i can do things much more complicated than that. if you want to talk about sending multi-track audio/midi streams over a network, to be processed, being able to rout my audio internally in any direction, sure.

                and AFAIK - i am a jack-user, i have no particular love for ALSA, other than the fact Jack uses it as it's backend on my workstation. And straight up, after years and years of using CoreAudio (Mac) and Jack (both osx and linux) - when i look at PA - i just see a heaping pile of crap. Conceptually, PA has some good ideas and uses, but it's design/implementation is kinda crappy. I

                Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
                Simple on WinXP, MacOSX and Linux/PA; impossible on Win98 and Linux/ALSA. Have a nice day.
                I'll take your word for that, i don't use Windows and my linux machines all use ALSA/Jack.

                and thanks, i've been having a great day

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                • #68
                  This whole alsa vs pulseaudio argument you two are having is retarded. For desktop users not doing serious audio work that don't need low latency, pulseaudio is clearly superior. For people that depend on low latency and do lots of serious sound work an alsa solution is better. Stop trying to measure your epeens. You have a choice, even though gnome pulls in pulseaudio you can disable it. I can understand why to some having it installed even if you can disable it is annoying, but trying to paint a 5.1mb install as a dealbreaker is nothing short of moronic.

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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by bwat47 View Post
                    This whole alsa vs pulseaudio argument you two are having is retarded. For desktop users not doing serious audio work that don't need low latency, pulseaudio is clearly superior. For people that depend on low latency and do lots of serious sound work an alsa solution is better. Stop trying to measure your epeens. You have a choice, even though gnome pulls in pulseaudio you can disable it. I can understand why to some having it installed even if you can disable it is annoying, but trying to paint a 5.1mb install as a dealbreaker is nothing short of moronic.
                    I actually agree with most of what you say here - you have actually summed up my point, of ALSA being better for low-latency than PA. Blackstar seems claim the opposite to be true. (which is how the argument began in the first place)

                    As a long time proaudio user, it's obvious that he is straight up wrong, on that point.

                    as far as measuring 'epeens' ~ i think you missed the point. And technically speaking, you and i are actually in agreement, PA is not for low-latency, ALSA does a better job. Which is what i have been trying to explain to Blackstar, but he seems to not understand. But even in the case of not requiring low-latency, i personally still don't have a particular use for pulseaudio, i would still be using alsa/jack (obviously jack would have larger frames, in this use case.).

                    lastly, AFAIK - we didn't 'paint' a 5.1mb install (of PA) as a dealbreaker (it was another user) - i actually said the exact same thing you are saying. disabling PA is not a big deal. it takes 2 seconds.
                    Last edited by ninez; 10-23-2011, 09:56 PM.

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                    • #70
                      Originally posted by ninez
                      my linux machines all use ALSA/Jack.
                      Thanks for proving my point. Plain ALSA is useless. You are *not* using plain ALSA, you are using JACK over ALSA, so your "arguments" for plain ALSA are hot air. It's not enough, as you just demonstrated.

                      Stop trying so hard, at this point you it's just making you look desperate.

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
                        So you actually agree with me. ALSA by itself is unusable - you need dmix. Unless you are in the 1% population bracket who uses a soundcard with hardware mixing.
                        dmix is a part of ALSA for all intents and purposes, and it is enabled by default. A default ALSA configuration will work just fine for the vast majority of users, out of the box.

                        dmix will not cut it for professional sound engineers and people who need to dynamically reroute their active skype session between analogue and digital outputs.

                        The first group needs JACK. The second group needs PulseAudio.

                        Given how ESD and aRts tackled the same problem and failed spectacularly, with their functionality ultimately being added to ALSA to save us the torture, I would not be surprised if the same thing happens with PulseAudio.

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
                          Thanks for proving my point. Plain ALSA is useless. You are *not* using plain ALSA, you are using JACK over ALSA, so your "arguments" for plain ALSA are hot air. It's not enough, as you just demonstrated.
                          You an idiot. All of my machines are Jack/ALSA because the vast majority of what i do on my machines, is writing and playing music. So ya, it's quite logical to have jackdbus running all of the time.

                          FYI, i've been using linux for nearly a decade, and have had plenty of pure-ALSA setups, thank you very much. Plain ALSA works fine, is not 'useless', nor does the fact that i use jack, prove that ALSA is useless <- that logic, and how you've gotten from A to B is laughable, you're really not in the position of telling me that i am 'trying to hard'.... Furthermore, if alsa is so fricking useless, how say you completely remove ALSA from your system? see how well PA works then

                          ...and you've been wrong on so many levels about the nature of audio and midi, how latency works - in the context of sound servers and linux... You were completely backwards in your logic of PA vs. ALSA / latency. Your method of trying to achieve lower latencies for your midi-keyboard was absolutely retarded, and so is your logic of thinking 20ms is a reasonable latency, to be using with your midi-keyboard. You seem to not even understand the basics, when it comes to midi/audio.

                          Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
                          Stop trying so hard, at this point you it's just making you look desperate.
                          LOL. I think you got that backwards, duchebag. You can cherry pick the odd comment i've made, but you have avoided and/or ignored some of the more relevant ones... Many of your claims, are simply false.

                          So, all i can say, is basically we just have to agree to disagree. You think PA is the best thing since sliced bread, that it is a low latency sound server (lower latency than ALSA apparently...lol), I think PA, while having some good ideas, is not really all that good, and that the work should have been done to ALSA, instead of creating yet another linux sound API.

                          ...And in the context of Gnome 3, i think that while PA is easy to disable, which is all fine and dandy. They also should have supported ALSA, in a slightly more integrated way. - i say this, because i know atleast 10-15 people (personally) who do not use PA with Gnome 3. (sure, 10-15 people doesn't sound like much - but those are people i know personally, not random people. if i were to include, everyone i bump into online - that number would be pretty big.)

                          have a swell day

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                          • #73
                            Ok, ok, we get you, ALSA is perfectly fine by itself and PA is useless. Nevermind that dmix is buggy and has higher latency than PA - Fedora, openSUSE, Ubuntu, Mint are wrong to prefer PA. In fact, noone you know uses PA, so why does it even exist?

                            It's quite an interesting world you are living in.

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
                              Ok, ok, we get you, ALSA is perfectly fine by itself and PA is useless. Nevermind that dmix is buggy and has higher latency than PA - Fedora, openSUSE, Ubuntu, Mint are wrong to prefer PA.
                              Ok, i get you. Trying to put words into my mouth???

                              1. I said PA is useless to me ~ not *everyone*. furthermore, i said while it has some good ideas/features, i personally find it's design to be shotty (and also convoluted). I also said the work should have been done in ALSA, rather than introducing yet another sound API. As you yourself have pointed out, dmix could use a little bit of love. and as another user pointed out;

                              Given how ESD and aRts tackled the same problem and failed spectacularly, with their functionality ultimately being added to ALSA to save us the torture, I would not be surprised if the same thing happens with PulseAudio.
                              that is what should actually happen!

                              2. So tell me, smartass - where do you see me saying "Fedora, openSUSE, Ubuntu, Mint are wrong to prefer PA. In fact, noone you know uses PA"?!?!?! - oh, that's right - I DIDN'T SAY THAT - YOU DID! It's incredible how you came to that conclusion. You just make shit up as you go - eh dummy?

                              Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
                              In fact, noone you know uses PA, so why does it even exist?
                              PA exists to be a proxy for audio apps. it isn't linux exclusive, wasn't designed *exclusively* for ALSA and was designed with portability in mind. (windows, mobile, *nix systems).

                              You really need to start using your brain. Read what i actually wrote;

                              ...And in the context of Gnome 3, i think that while PA is easy to disable, which is all fine and dandy. They also should have supported ALSA, in a slightly more integrated way. - i say this, because i know atleast 10-15 people (personally) who do not use PA with Gnome 3. (sure, 10-15 people doesn't sound like much - but those are people i know personally, not random people. if i were to include, everyone i bump into online - that number would be pretty big.)
                              Where did i say it shouldn't exist because no one i know uses it???? HINT: your making shit up again! - as, i never said that. I was pointing out that Gnome should have integrated ALSA a little better (for users who don't require, or want PA). If you aren't intelligent enough, to be able to understand what i have written - do yourself a favor and just shot the fuck up! REALLY!

                              Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
                              It's quite an interesting world you are living in.
                              You mean the world that you are making up for me, in your pea-sized brain???? making grand assumptions, putting words in my mouth? misreading what i wrote? ...then coming to your own conlcusion based on fallacies, that you're creating on the fly? (yup)

                              but ya, in a totally different context than you seem to think, it is an exceptionally interesting world that we all live in. thanks

                              have a great day blacktard!
                              Last edited by ninez; 10-24-2011, 01:23 PM.

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Originally posted by ninez View Post
                                I actually agree with most of what you say here - you have actually summed up my point, of ALSA being better for low-latency than PA. Blackstar seems claim the opposite to be true. (which is how the argument began in the first place)

                                As a long time proaudio user, it's obvious that he is straight up wrong, on that point.

                                as far as measuring 'epeens' ~ i think you missed the point. And technically speaking, you and i are actually in agreement, PA is not for low-latency, ALSA does a better job. Which is what i have been trying to explain to Blackstar, but he seems to not understand. But even in the case of not requiring low-latency, i personally still don't have a particular use for pulseaudio, i would still be using alsa/jack (obviously jack would have larger frames, in this use case.).

                                lastly, AFAIK - we didn't 'paint' a 5.1mb install (of PA) as a dealbreaker (it was another user) - i actually said the exact same thing you are saying. disabling PA is not a big deal. it takes 2 seconds.
                                Yeah I was referencing that guy who posted earlier about pulse having to be installed being unacceptable, but I should have been more specific in my post

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