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...For Linux to move forward, there's got to be a consensus on this very basic functionality. Fork if you need to, but not because of meaningless differences. Fork because the underlying tech is truly different, innovative or disruptive. Right now we've got a hoard of shit doing basically the same thing. This it truly very sad.
The consensus is ALSA is already catered for in Wine, simply now add PulseAudio and let people choose. Personally I want Wine to run with other desktop applications without the sound dying. Yeah people will say OSS or ALSA already do multiplexing, but for me that has always been a problem. I've got zero problems with PulseAudio though, once you configure your whole system to default to it. Btw, I use KDE with gstreamer.
There should be no competition. There should only be one API. Top layers should be things like SDL, OpenAL, PortAudio, stuff like that. Third-party low-level APIs like PA should not exist. The existence of PA is proof of Linux's failure in audio.
The very notion of "third-party" on Linux is mistaken. Everything is third-party... well, maybe except for the Linux kernel and the GNU software collection, depending on your definition. Even ALSA userspace is third-party. Talking about "it's not built-in" is nonsense. PA is as much first-party as any other piece of the infrastructure on any distro that integrates it properly.
There's one "hw" device for exclusive access, and there's a dmix device that I guess you can call virtual. The hw device can only be opened by one application at a time. The dmix device can be opened simultaneously.
Per-application volume is not supported well. There's no automation for it, you need to set up everything manually and assign mixer controls to specific applications, which is totally useless. It's one of the things PA chose to replace instead of fix. Well, it was to be expected I guess. Linux devs usually want their own projects instead of joining an existing one. Fame and honor and all that :-/
That's (along the lines of) what I thought. If a per-application mixer can be allocated manually, I'm certain that someone could extend the API allocate them dynamically. Unfortunately, if I remember the formatting of the .asoundrc and the options for each dmix device (define inputs, outputs, sample rates, etc), it's going to be a big task.
Someone should look at the PA API, and reimplement the PA API on top of dmix (or extend the ALSA API). If it didn't work out, at least it adds some fuel to the fire that appears to be consuming the issue. Some bridges are better off burnt.
I haven't really been a fan of Miguel de Icaza's work since Rage Against the Machine broke up.
I seriously think the NAY SAYERS are on Pentium 3's or the like struggling to keep their system from dying and watching screen page flip.
Modern Linux users want Pulse Audio.
I would agree with you unnecessary CPU consumption was PA's only problem. My system is modern, I don't use it. Not saying other shouldn't just saying you're off on your statement. With that being said, I do think wine should be able to handle it if nothing else. I don't really like the idea of wine having a default I guess.
Hmm. The article discusses competing versions of a wine pulseaudio driver. It doesn't discuss whether wine will have a pulse driver (it does) or whether you like pulseaudio. Try to stay on topic (I know that's difficult).
pulseaudio : a fix for a problem that didn't exist. (not completely true, but a wrong fix anyhow : fixing something by adding a layer of complexity is plain wrong)
I hate pulseAudio, for me it caused nothing but trouble (HTPC, desktop and laptop). Using pure ALSA hasn't yet let me down. The craziness it allows me to do is everything anyone can ask for (I even used it to stream audio of a movei to a different PC). Yes it takes a day of digging through docs/tutorials, but it IS possible.
Also when using pulse on a relatively good sound system, I got the feeling that it somehow distorted the sound; I'll have to do an analysis at some point...
And don't get me started on digital passthrough.
I haven't notice pulse audio since years,except when i have to deal with wine installations.