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"PulseAudio Is Still Awesome"

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  • Marc Driftmeyer
    replied
    Originally posted by magika View Post
    I felt embarrassed just reading that blog oh god... But I'm glad things work for him.
    But things work even better if you remove unnecessary level of complexity and simply use ALSA :P
    Alsa is a POS. Always has been. It's just the entire Sound ecoystem for Linux has been a POS hodge podge and people don't like a PulseAudio for fixing and simplifying it across desktop environments inside Linux. I haven't touched PulseAudio configs for nearly 18 months. It just works.

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  • mdias
    replied
    Originally posted by 89c51 View Post

    It shouldn't be that way. And thats why most people doing audio are on Macs. Because they can plug a POS mic to a Hi end audio interface and get things done without having to use 2 different servers.

    The fact that the Mac hides it's implementation doesn't mean it doesn't have 2 or more layers before reaching the hardware. I'm not familiar with the Mac stack, so I can't comment further in this respect.
    What you're asking for, however, sounds more like a feature request for pulseaudio. I will agree with you here, it would be nice to have a "low latency" mode or better integration with Jack. But then some users would just complain more since it would add to the complexity of the server...

    [edit] Take the graphics stack for example; we have the drm layer before libgl. And we have the compositor before whatever toolkit your apps are using. It wouldn't make sense to have your apps talk to the drm layer directly or draw directly to the screen now, would it?
    Last edited by mdias; 04 June 2015, 07:22 PM.

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  • wagaf
    replied
    Originally posted by LightBit View Post
    PulseAudio Is Still Useless

    "PulseAudio does not currently allow TrueHD or DTS-MA passthrough, this is a PulseAudio limitation and not a limitation of the Kodi implementation."
    http://kodi.wiki/view/PulseAudio#Pul..._Configuration
    DTS-MA and TrueHD are just proprietary lossless codecs (like FLAC, which is free). They don't improve/add anything over PCM as far as audio quality is concerned (PCM is just plain uncompressed audio).

    This means you will get the exact same audio if the DTS-MA track is decoded by Kodi then sent as PCM to your amp.

    If for some reason you really need those feature feel free to write a commit.

    But calling PulseAudio "useless" because of this is not reasonable.
    Last edited by wagaf; 04 June 2015, 07:29 PM.

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  • Dasher42
    replied
    Once upon a time, I ran Gentoo, because I was fed up with ALSA software mixing, ESD, and all that. It took USE flags to make sure no software mixing was loaded, and I then made sure I got mixing in hardware. In the days of a single-core processor, that means nearly double the framerates in games, and a much smoother experience in multimedia.

    Ten years later, I have had quite a time getting JACK and PulseAudio to play well together, and I don't want to have to use Ableton on a Mac. I want to support open source and use it exclusively. However, the currently available Linux ecosystem is doing an iffy job of supporting people who take audio seriously. It shouldn't be that way.

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  • wagaf
    replied
    Originally posted by TeamBlackFox View Post
    ALSA and PA both are poorly designed:

    (...)

    If Linux wants any chance of being a good, reliable desktop, it needs to trash ALSA, PulseAudio, JACK, and maybe even OSS and write a kernel and userspace sound system that is both simple and coherent, yet flexible. I shake my head at the Linux kernel and distros of GNU/Linux for making so many beginner mistakes.
    With PulseAudio the sound system in Linux is good enough for end-users and most professionals. It is actually simple, coherent and flexible.

    For sure ALSA is shit, but if a new sound API was to be included in the kernel, PulseAudio should definitely stay there in userspace and use the new API simply because it's the most advanced and complete Free sound server available. The only value provided by ALSA is the (poor) kernel hardware abstraction layer but PA does everything else and does it right.

    I've found PulseAudio to be an excellent piece of software at all levels. It works much better than every other Linux audio library for almost every possible usecase. As a developer I also enjoyed the excellent sound API they provide. For instance with a single line I could enable audio cancelling and let PA determine if, with the current setup, audio cancelling is necessary, and potentially enable it live (while my app is playing) if the user plugs something etc. No lower-level system have access to the necessary information to do this : it should really be done in userspace unless the whole desktop is put in the kernel. Note that OS X and Windows now also include similar sound servers.

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  • 89c51
    replied
    Originally posted by mdias View Post
    Yep. That's because that's where software dsp (including mixing) belongs. It serves 90%+ of the users' needs. If you have the need for low latency, go with Jack. ALSA may have flaws, yes, but I don't think exclusively locking your sound card is one of them.
    It shouldn't be that way. And thats why most people doing audio are on Macs. Because they can plug a POS mic to a Hi end audio interface and get things done without having to use 2 different servers.

    Leave a comment:


  • Remdul
    replied
    Originally posted by TeamBlackFox View Post
    If Linux wants any chance of being a good, reliable desktop, it needs to trash ALSA, PulseAudio, JACK, and maybe even OSS and write a kernel and userspace sound system that is both simple and coherent, yet flexible. I shake my head at the Linux kernel and distros of GNU/Linux for making so many beginner mistakes.
    This. I'm afraid any other attempt at adding another layer, or re-implementing one, will only make things worse. A Wayland-ish approach would be nice. Just cut right through the years of accumulated cruft, cast it aside and get right to the modern and functional. And existing software that can't adapt to it, is thusly not being maintained properly, and therefor can't be that important anyway (if it were, someone would step up).

    Until then, would also wish ALSA/jack (or whatever is to blame) would stop spamming stderr whenever I run my programs, grrr...

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  • mdias
    replied
    Originally posted by TeamBlackFox View Post
    ALSA and PA both are poorly designed:

    Basically, ALSA is a broken pile of mistakes from the get-go, because it uses blocking I/O and thus often two inputs to the sound card cannot be negotiated. It also lacks features of OSSv3 and v4. Its config syntax is also cryptic and doesn't always work as intended.
    Every piece of hardware you have on your PC can only be controlled by one driver. This is for obvious reasons.

    Originally posted by TeamBlackFox View Post
    Pulseaudio further clouds the mix by adding another layer of redirection in userspace, which further increases latency, and its main purpose is to cover the holes ALSA leaves in a proper sound API, and to mix all of the different inputs together and feed them into ALSA.
    Yep. That's because that's where software dsp (including mixing) belongs. It serves 90%+ of the users' needs. If you have the need for low latency, go with Jack. ALSA may have flaws, yes, but I don't think exclusively locking your sound card is one of them.

    Originally posted by TeamBlackFox View Post
    If Linux wants any chance of being a good, reliable desktop, it needs to trash ALSA, PulseAudio, JACK, and maybe even OSS and write a kernel and userspace sound system that is both simple and coherent, yet flexible. I shake my head at the Linux kernel and distros of GNU/Linux for making so many beginner mistakes.
    What Linux needs is to poop on users that:
    - support hardware vendors that don't supply documentation
    - can only argue on forums instead of actually opening bug reports and help debug problems
    - only see their own special needs as needed to be flawless

    Can't you see that PA actually works wonders for most of the people? You may see a large percentage of users complaining, but that is because those who have it working properly don't even bother replying... I for one only had a problem once with my mic's volume that was quickly fixed.
    I do believe people complain because they do have problems, but less complaining and more bug reporting would help everyone. Linux gives you tons for free, filling bug reports is the least you can do.

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  • TeamBlackFox
    replied
    ALSA and PA both are poorly designed:

    Basically, ALSA is a broken pile of mistakes from the get-go, because it uses blocking I/O and thus often two inputs to the sound card cannot be negotiated. It also lacks features of OSSv3 and v4. Its config syntax is also cryptic and doesn't always work as intended.

    Pulseaudio further clouds the mix by adding another layer of redirection in userspace, which further increases latency, and its main purpose is to cover the holes ALSA leaves in a proper sound API, and to mix all of the different inputs together and feed them into ALSA.

    When you combine both layers together you get a system that is unreliable, high latency and needlessly complex. Someone should have instead forked OSS when the license changed, or use its API while using a different system internally, like FreeBSD did - FreeBSD's system is nowhere near perfect, for sure, but it at least works, the worst one has to do on a laptop or desktop is to edit /boot/device.hints and indicate the primary soundcards using a rather simple syntax.

    If Linux wants any chance of being a good, reliable desktop, it needs to trash ALSA, PulseAudio, JACK, and maybe even OSS and write a kernel and userspace sound system that is both simple and coherent, yet flexible. I shake my head at the Linux kernel and distros of GNU/Linux for making so many beginner mistakes.

    Leave a comment:


  • dimko
    replied
    Originally posted by Calinou View Post
    PulseAudio is good, exactly because it meets the needs of advanced users. Some people happen to do all this at once:

    - play 4 sound sources (Web browser, VoIP, a game, music player) at once with different volumes
    - use a 5.1/7.1 USB headset
    - use HDMI sound or multiple devices at once

    play 4 sound sources - hell you can. Until adobe flash starts pulse audio, than you can do one thing at a time.
    use a 5.1/7.1 USB headset - dunno, but normal sound card, PCI-E, 5.1 or more channels(Asus Xonair DX) works perfect, until fucking pulseaudio kicks in.

    Leave a comment:

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