OSS 3.99.2a has been announced – it’s shipping a new ALSA compatibility library that allows you to run most popular ALSA apps (most apps have OSS API support as well). OSS is now free for home/personal use – you just need to reinstall the new software every 4 months but all features and drivers like Virtual Mixer PRO and IMUX and PRO audio devices are available for free. Announcements regarding the company’s latest OSS/3D for iTunes are imminent too.
OSS v3.99.2a announced; ALSA Compatibility
Submitted by Dev Mazumdar 2005-01-20 Multimedia, AV 22 Comments
good move 4Front to make it free, but i don’t really see a reason to switch _back_ to OSS when ALSA works fine, is technically superior (less CPU-usage, better architecture) and included in vanilla 2.6 (OSS is included too but not for long i guess (in 2.7 it’ll get removed for sure) – i guess they had to do it because most people are jumping over to ALSA.
nice thing is the compatibility mode – now we can really start dropping OSS-support-programming
remember this is OSS, while what’s in the Linux kernel is OSS/Free, a completely different beast. You can’t judge OSS based on OSS/Free, which means most of can’t judge it at all, having never paid for a license. I might download this to try it out, but I think I still want my audio drivers to be FOSS, thanks…
Just what linux needs more fragmentation…
Three points basket.
lol, OSS has been around WAY longer than ALSA.
Fragmentation? I guess every OS is fragmented then, since there’s so many drivers, from variuos sources….
i _think_ it makes sense for them using the same codebase in both their proprietary OSS and OSS/Free – they also developed (on) OSS/Free – therefore i drew/draw the conclusion that it’s about the same as OSS/Free with some additions..
this is just a guess so if someone thinks otherwise/has proof tell me i’m wrong – (they haven’t release it, have they? -> you have to re-install every 4months..)
So how exactly would it be better switching over to this OSS?
What about JACK http://jackit.sourceforge.net/ – this claims to provide amazing improvements and flexibility…
“JACK is a low-latency audio server” – http://jackit.sourceforge.net/
alsa and OSS is not audio servers they are hardware driver frameworks…
Thing is, they stopped working on OSS/Free a long time ago, pretty much; all the development on it, and other non-ALSA drivers in the kernel which are often called ‘OSS’ though they’re not really, has been done by other people. So none of the development that’s been done on commercial OSS in the meantime has turned up in OSS/Free. Anyway, that’s my understanding, I expect I’ll be corrected if I’m wrong…
This is a great product for getting sound working on other operating systems that have less than great sound card compatibility (Open-NetBSD, Solaris x86, etc…)
It’s also great for putting in a Sound Blaster Live card in a Unix workstation (like an rs/6000 or HP/UX or Sun box).
Try it out, you’ll like it (a reinstall every four months is not bad for the price (free)).
Now with Vitual Hardware Mixing, and ALSA compatibility?
Wow. Talk about too little too late.
I dreamed for these features when I first started using Linux, now it’s something I take for granted.
The bigger winner out of this, in regards to free non-commercial use, will be those of us who like using Solaris but find the hardware support limiting. Solaris + OSS on a non-commercial machine should provide a good platform alternative to Windows and Linux.
Why would you need to reinstall the software every four months?
..beacuse it will be disabled as it is not a registered version. So it’s not really free, it costs a reinstall every four months. A small price to pay, IMO. In other words, it’s beer is free, you just have to get up and pour your own cup.
…and refill it yourself when your done.
> Now with Vitual Hardware Mixing, and ALSA compatibility?
> Wow. Talk about too little too late.
Virtual Mixer was announced in 1998!.
Compare ALSA’s DMIX – you can’t control individual apps volume like Virtual Mixer in OSS can. Compare the quality!
If you have OSS, use ossxmix -d1 to access the virtual mixer pro controls (on most soundcards). Play around with Fidelity enhance or the Equalizers and see how good your CDs or MP3s can sound.
As for ALSA compatibility – we’re late because ALSA keeps changing. And what ALSA API apps do you want to run that don’t have OSS support?. if you need to run Jack apps, try
the Jack for OSS: http://www.sonarnerd.net/projects/jack_oss.html
Who would use non-free drivers on linux, unless absolutely having to? Why would they?
I’m using linux 2 years and heard about oss as non-free package for a second-third time.
I use the OSS from the 2.6.x kernel. I generally found that ALSA is a lot harder to setup and all the following apps didn’t work with it in a hassle free way:
doom3, skype, flash, enemy territory, gstreamer, more I expect.
Mostly propriety stuff but it is worth noting that even things like gstreamer work better with the OSS output sink.
I’m sure ALSA will be great, but I’ve found it easier to hang back and wait it out.
Now as for the non free drivers, I have an SBLive! so the free ones seem good enough to me.
enemy territory – I played this yesterday and it worked good, No problem with it. And I use ALSA.
I know alsa, as I know oss/free. I remember when alsa first came around and you had to wave through quite a hassle to make it work with simple cards (that time that is). Then, I don’t know why, it just happened, that all my following soundcards simply just worked with oss just with a click in menuconfig so I just didn’t bother to check what alsa has been up to in the meanwhile. I’ve setup my sound with alsa for the last time about a year ago, to see how it goes. It goes ok, no hassle, set and run. But there were some stuff that didn’t like it (like doom3 and I see mxcl experienced something similar above), but then again, I don’t really doom3 that much so I didn’t care. But at the end, when 2.6.9 came out I changed back to oss. Call it habit, loyalty, whatever, oss is something which has proved to be quite ok over the long long years it has been in action. That’s enough for me.
“Just what linux needs more fragmentation…”
You had already had it, but you deserve it once more.
ALSA is the fragmentation, only existing for Linux and arrived later. OSS exists for many OSes.
some call it fragmentation, others including me would call it choice in alternatives, which is supposedly a good thing. For people who are not capable enough too choose, they simply need to choose someone who does the right decision for them. The plain ugly truth is, mostly they don’t and complain afterwards. Like with that guy who moved in yesterday, eh.
ALSA is portable and has already been ported to OS/2. BSD zealots don’t like it because of the GNU license, or it would be available on those platforms too.