Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 7th Jul 2011 17:36 UTC, submitted by vivainio
Linux Linux.FR has an interview with Lennart Poettering of PulseAudio and systemd fame (among others). Regarding PulseAudio: "I can understand why people were upset, but quite frankly we didn't really have another option than to push it into the distributions when we did. While PulseAudio certainly wasn't bug-free when the distributions picked it up the majority of issues were actually not in PulseAudio itself but simply in the audio drivers. PulseAudio's timer-based scheduling requires correct timing information supplied by the audio driver, and back then the drivers weren't really providing that. And that not because the drivers were really broken, but more because the hardware was, and the drivers just lacked the right set of work-arounds, quirks and fixes to compensate for it."
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RE[2]: Also, why?
by cmchittom on Thu 7th Jul 2011 20:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Also, why?"
cmchittom
Member since:
2011-03-18

Why? I mean, seriously, why?

Glitch-free audio and reduced power consumption. These are not "sophisticated audio capabilities", these are very basic requirements that a modern audio stack for desktops can't miss and Linux was missing.


I'll grant that glitch-free audio is a requirement for an audio stack, but every Linux box I ever used since '98 had that, with OSS and then ALSA—to the extent of the majority of normal desktops need: like I said, to play some audio files and maybe a nice beep for an error. I don't have any statistics, but I'd be very surprised if most people's usage strays far from that.

I definitely do not grant that reduced power consumption is a "very basic requirement"—all else being equal, it would be nice to have that too. But I'd much rather have an audio stack without it that works than one that uses no power at all since it isn't working.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Also, why?
by Troels on Fri 8th Jul 2011 07:14 in reply to "RE[2]: Also, why?"
Troels Member since:
2005-07-11

Linux has had glitch free audio since 98? Really? Sure, the transition to PA was annoying as hell, but finally audio just works.

No more fighting the system to be able to have more than one application produce sound at a time.
No more stuttering when the system is under heavy load.
No more rebooting because a file handle didn't get freed up correctly, effectively locking the sound card.

For me, there has historically only been one subsystem more annoying than sound, and that is X, but that got to the "i dont need to think about it" stage way before the audio stack did.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Also, why?
by phoenix on Fri 8th Jul 2011 20:50 in reply to "RE[3]: Also, why?"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

No more fighting the system to be able to have more than one application produce sound at a time.
No more stuttering when the system is under heavy load.
No more rebooting because a file handle didn't get freed up correctly, effectively locking the sound card.


This was due to a fault in the OSSv3 support in Linux, and the half-bakedness of ALSA. All non-Linux Unix-like systems using OSSv3 have been able to mux multiple inputs into a single output.

Odd that people praise "yet another layer on top" for fixing this issue, when everyone else fixed it in OSSv3.

Will be interesting to see what happens in 2012 when "yet another layer" comes out to replace Pulse, instead of fixing ALSA itself.

Reply Parent Score: 4