realnc at arcor.de
Wed Aug 31 08:55:41 BST 2011
On 08/31/2011 09:15 AM, Eric Griffith wrote:
> The way that I understood it... PulseAudio came along because Alsa and
> OSS couldn't reliably handle multiple applications outputting sound at
> the sametime.
Nope. ALSA handles multiple applications just fine. OSS v3 (the one
that was in the kernel) has been deprecated for a long time and is now
removed from the kernel almost entirely. OSS v4 can handle multiple
apps just fine.
> Now; one little caveat that was mentioned on the Arch Wiki was that
> DMIX can have really bad sampling by default, but that it was an easy
> fix under .asoundrc via " defaults.pcm.rate_converter
> "samplerate_best" " The downside to this was it caused higher CPU
> Usage; which as the industry says, CPU Power is cheap.
This is an issue if you're on a Pentium 1 100MHz machine or something
like that. For anything that is not over 10 years old, the performance
impact is virtually zero.
> Fedora, Ubuntu, Mageia, they all install PulseAudio by default...but
> really, is it necessary now that CPU's are more powerful and DMIX has
> its bugs worked out? It just seems like one more layer of overhead,
> one more layer of lost preformance because of abstraction, and one
> more layer where something can go wrong.
PulseAudio provides per-application volume levels in the mixer which
ALSA doesn't (OSS v4 does, but it's not a popular software since it
doesn't support as many sound cards as ALSA). So PA solves that. It
also provides easy support for Bluetooth sound devices and networking.
I don't use PA because I don't need networking for audio and don't have
any Bluetooth devices, and per-application mixer volumes are provides by
OSSv4 (I use that). But distros need to cover everything, so they went
with PA. It isn't a bad idea for having most stuff work "out of the
box" and it's not really heavy on resources (again, unless you're on
some hopelessly outdated hardware.)
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