So, I tried CCRMA...my thinkpad froze twice over a several hour period. I uninstalled I might try compiling a kernel but it's just such a hassle with Fedora, especially since if I go to the trouble of compiling it, I feel I should buildin all the modules I would need, and that means finding out the names of everything I need. It's a whole big thing
Well, I honestly don't have anything invested in PA, but it seems to have the best chance of providing a CoreAudio experience on Linux. Pottering was heavily influenced by CA, and I've never heard anyone say that CA was anything but fantastic. Of course, Mac runs a preempt kernel, which is something desktop Linux really needs to do if it has any hope of providing for the "most" desktop users. I understand why Fedora won't do it (b/c it really hurts server performance, and that is Fedora's target), but I don't understand why Ubuntu/Mint or any other desktop focused distro would run anything other than the preempt kernel. Frankly, the preempt kernel might be enough for any use where throughput isn't the most inmportant thing, other than the embedded area, of course.
About ALSA, I'm going to repeat something I feel I've been saying a lot recently: "UNIX" is supposed to be composed a bunch of relatively independent components. From the sound side that should mean: a stable kernel API and a user-space sound server. If we can get rid of the non-driver framework related cruft of Alsa, and "finish" with PA (or replace it with something that does at least everything PA does), we should then have something pretty similar to OSX. I really wish I had the expertise in this area to help the PA, or whomever, guys...
Hmm, so you are running the Molnar branch. Isn't that a bit overkill? It's really more designed for hard RT work. Have you tried using a preempt kernel, and tweaking the knobs? You might find that the cpu would be less loaded if it wasn't running with the overhead of the RT kernel.
If you try it, let me know how it turns out.
You can PM me (I think) on Phoronix.