I have always preferred to use alsa previously as the sound system for the desktop and thus not had multiple sound events possibility. I wanted to change this now but found no settings alternative for choosing the arts sound system for KDE in the Control Centre. Strange, it has always been there before, I mean with earlier versions of SuSE.
So, how do I set this now? Should I choose auto detect, though, I don’t think that that would be exactly the same?
aRts is being phased out in favour of pulse audio.
My understanding is that aRts is an application that simulates an analog synthesizer under KDE, allowing modular multimedia applications. aRts relies on ALSA to provide the hardware kernel drivers. Historically aRts was the default KDE analog Real time synthesizer, although it has been deprecated by the KDE team for KDE4 (being replaced by Phonon).
I see, the phonon project seems fine, but I don’t know how to enable KDE 3.5.9 to use neither pulse or phonon. This is no big deal for me, but the nice thing about arts is that I may have multiple sound sources running at the same time, e.g. playing with amarok and still have the option to use kalarm. This is not possible without having some kind of soundserver of course. But I may use Jack.
KDE3 was patched by Novell long long ago to remove any use of aRts.
Of course you can have hardware mixing in your sound card. If isn’t the case you can use dmix, ALSA will use dmix automatically when needed since also loooooooong long ago.
You do not need a sound server to mix multiple streams.