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Thread: sound system

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Default sound system

    What kind of sound system is better? Alsa, oss or pulseaudio? Now I use Alsa. But when I use Skype I can`t listen music when I talk with companion because, how I think, sound chanel is busy. What kind sound system is more optimal and how to config it good?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    The English Lake District. UK - GMT/BST
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: sound system

    It's normal that you can't use 2 applications at the same time with sound.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Phuket, Thailand
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: sound system

    polecat_jet, if you are curious, you could brush up on some openSUSE Linux sound concepts so you can understand the limitations of sound in Linux. Sound-concepts - openSUSE

    Most Linux sound daemons/servers will NOT allow more than one application to share the sound. Hence if one sound device is using the sound, another is not allowed to use it.

    The exceptions to that are the alsa api and pulse audio (where they WILL share the audio). Pulse audio is relatively new, and it was implemented in part to specifically allow multiple applications to share the sound device. However pulse audio is buggy. Real buggy ... Did I say pulse was buggy?

    The alsa api "route" is what I often try to set up on my PC. Maybe someday I'll switch to tuning pulse ... but its not there yet, and neither am I. Pulse is still buggy. You will find many applications allow one to select the sound engine, and hence one can often select the output sound module (or sound engine) to be pulse, or alsa. I usually select alsa when it is a choice.

    For example, In the case of Amarok, one can select "xine" to be the sound engine. After selecting that, one can then separately launch "xine" (assuming one has installed 'xine-ui' (the xine user interface)) and in "xine" select alsa as the output sound module. By doing that, Amarok is using the alsa api and hence it will share the audio device with other applications that also use the alsa api.

    I do not use skype, so I do not know if one can control its output sound module to be alsa or pulse.

    Its not easy to tune to the alsa api, and thats why pulse is being implemented to eventually make this easier such that all applications will be able to share sound. ... but , ... did I say pulse was buggy ?

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