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    I can hear clearly…
    Submitted by stootles on Friday, June 14, 2002 – 17:28
    MultimediaThere are many solutions to the provision on sound in Debian, ALSA, OSS, esound, NAS to name the most popular. However each has its own merits and capabilities, software mixing in esd versus hardware with ALSA. Everybody has different needs and different preferences. So which do you use and why? And if Debian were to have a ‘default’ solution which would you choose?
    Category: Q & A

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    Subject: esound is good for networks
    Author: kadmos
    Date: Monday, 2002/06/17 – 14:12
    At home I have a server and some workstations. I use X and esound to turn the workstations into terminals that do audio and video. I perform all my work on the server, and export my display and my speaker to my terminal. It works really well for web browsing and streaming music around the house.

    If I had to standardize on an audio protocol, I would recommend esound or arts, as they can be used on many different Unix systems, and interoperability is important to me. Arts seems to provide more features than esound, but esound seemed to have less dependencies. On the other hand, esound appeared to use raw audio, which could saturate a slow network. I wonder if any network audio protocols support compression.

    I was impressed with ALSA when I started playing with it, and would prefer this over OSS as an audio driver, as it seems to be better designed, less encumbered with comercial OSS relatives, and supported more of the audio cards I use last I checked.

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    Subject: Re: esound is good for networks
    Author: ackron
    Date: Tuesday, 2002/06/18 – 07:47
    I still Use OSS commercial it has never failed me
    Although it’s payware.
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    Subject: Re: esound is good for networks
    Author: grolschie
    Date: Tuesday, 2002/06/18 – 10:07
    > Although it’s payware

    Wash your mouth out man! 😉

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    Subject: So let me get this straight.
    Author: grolschie
    Date: Monday, 2002/06/17 – 00:30
    So for me to use ALSA, I remove the SB Live EMU10k1 (OSS) drivers from my kernel first? And then just install the packages from Debians ftp? Or it is more involved? What advantages do I get by making the switch?
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    Subject: aRts
    Author: Anonymous
    Date: Sunday, 2002/06/16 – 08:53
    I know I’m extremely biased, but few people outside of KDE know of aRts and how cool it is. Bet you didn’t know that both glib and mpeglib can *easily* use aRts – aRts has plugins for both of the above, as well as KDE. To the best of my knowledge, esd has no such thing. Plus, aRts has artsdsp for sucky programs that want to touch /dev/dsp directly. 🙂
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    Subject: Re: I can hear clearly…
    Author: CaptainMorgan
    Date: Saturday, 2002/06/15 – 17:23
    jackit.sourceforge.net should be considered.
    It is an extremely low latency audio server that satisfies the requirements of the highest end audio applications and yet is quite simple to use. I don’t think esd or arts perform nearly as well and alsa doesn’t provide the resources that high end audio applications need.
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    Subject: Re: I can hear clearly…
    Author: robot101
    Date: Saturday, 2002/06/15 – 22:56
    Someone should make compatibility libraries so programs built against esd or arts can send their output to something else/better (think svgalib-dummy or libungif). Then having a default would make sense.

    Regards,
    Rob

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    Subject: Re: I can hear clearly…
    Author: Anonymous
    Date: Monday, 2002/06/17 – 07:29
    Ah, the wonderfully misinformed. man artsdsp; apt-cache show libarts1-glib. 🙂
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    Subject: Re: I can hear clearly…
    Author: robot101
    Date: Monday, 2002/06/17 – 15:13
    Ah the gratuitous arrogance. I don’t argue for a minute that ESD doesn’t suck, but it has an esddsp wrapper just like artsdsp. As for the glib bindings, that package isn’t even in unstable, but I found it in Calc’s KDE debs with a great description: “This package contains the glib support libraries for aRts”. How does this explain how it avails arts to programs built against ESD? Surely you want a libarts1-esd…?
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    Subject: Re: I can hear clearly…
    Author: Kerensky
    Date: Saturday, 2002/06/15 – 15:31
    There are two layers of software involved:

    1. Drivers:
      There are two possibilities: OSS and ALSA. I chose ALSA, because its way more powerfull and the designated successor of OSS in the Kernel.
    2. Sound servers:
      NAS, arts, esound. I’ ve installed both esound and arts, so almost all programms can output sound.
      I start them in my .xsession:

      artswrapper&
      sleep 3
      artsdsp esd&

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    Subject: Best sound tip I’ve seen!
    Author: abo
    Date: Tuesday, 2005/03/15 – 00:41
    May as well delete all the other comments, kerensky has posted the definitive answer!

    That tip about running arts and esd in the artsdsp wrapper is brilliant.

    ABO

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    Subject: Re: I can hear clearly…
    Author: Anonymous
    Date: Saturday, 2002/06/15 – 23:18
    Where do non-OSS drivers that come with the kernel fit in to these two possibilities? eg: SoundBlaster Live EMU10k1
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    Subject: Re: I can hear clearly…
    Author: Kerensky
    Date: Sunday, 2002/06/16 – 12:16
    The current (2.4.x) in-kernel driver are based on OSS/Lite and therefore often refered to as “OSS”.

    So there is only OSS (in-Kernel and the commercial OSS) and ALSA, which can be built in- and outside the 2.4.x kernel and is integrated in the newer 2.5.x Kernels.

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    Subject: Re: All your sound driver are belong to OSS
    Author: glenalec
    Date: Wednesday, 2002/06/19 – 01:43
    What about my VIA686 driver. It is listed in kernelconfig separetly to the OSS drivers. It works though (or it did before my southbridge partially fried itself – just waiting for baby-atx boards with usb2 to hit the market, then I’ll replace it – IDE0 won’t let GRUB run either)
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    Subject: Re: I can hear clearly…
    Author: ninjanano
    Date: Saturday, 2002/06/15 – 13:10
    I would most probably choose ALSA for it’s features. ALSA is the project that has the most to give the user. It’s in active development and, since a couple of months ago, it’s also a part of the Linux 2.5 kernel wich gives it a strong position. I suspect when we have 2.5 as a stable kernel everybody will run Alsa as their main soundsolution.
    According to several tests ALSA beats OSS without trying. I’ve used ALSA for a couple of months and I’m very pleased with it. The debianscripts that come with the source makes it possible for a total beginner to complile the kernelmodules by him self.
    So.. the conclusion.. if you havn’t tried ALSA yet -> go fetch! you will be amazed!
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    Subject: Re: I can hear clearly…
    Author: Anonymous
    Date: Sunday, 2002/06/16 – 08:57
    Except for the FAQ entry which basically says: “Will you ever support my Vibra16?” “No! Shame on you for getting such a shithouse sound card. Get something else.”
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    Subject: Re: I can hear clearly…
    Author: grolschie
    Date: Saturday, 2002/06/15 – 00:30
    I use the default ESD with my SoundBlaster Live! Value PCI. See various HOWTO’s on different sound setups, but never found a definitive guide to the pro’s and con’s of either.

    Which has Hardware Acceleration for audio? Does either system affect pc performance noticably?

    Slightly off-topic:
    I would like to know how mixer settings are stored. Everytime, I reboot, my mixer volume is reset to default (not my preference). Couldn’t figure out what files if any the settings are stored in.

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    Subject: Re: I can hear clearly…
    Author: MaxMaverick
    Date: Monday, 2002/06/17 – 10:41
    For the SbLive! i could say that the pro is that u can use 4 speaker output and even sometime 5 but that doesn’t work everywhere (or i don’t know how to let that work every where) on my SbLive! 5.1 Player, but since the creative labs drivers doesn’t even support 4 speaker output, it’s far more better 🙂

    For your off-topic problem: alsa driver automaticaly setup audio output level at initialisation, maybe to avoid breaking speaker or anything. but there are tools to solve this:

    alsactl store/restore it, so if you are using devfs just add it to the post-install and pre-remove of the module, but if your are using debian the best way is to avoid letting devfs autol-load alsa and install the alsa-common (or something like that) package which whill automaticaly load module at boot and restore audio config.

    But DO NOT USE AUMIX, since it is mainly an oss app (just look at what show aumix and what show alsamixer on an sblive! and you will understand).

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    Subject: Re: I can hear clearly…
    Author: robot101
    Date: Monday, 2002/06/17 – 15:08
    Great, but where did he say he was using ALSA? On an SB Live you can get 5.1 surround, DSP support, etc, with the OSS-type driver in the kernel.

    Rob

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    Subject: Re: I can hear clearly…
    Author: robot101
    Date: Saturday, 2002/06/15 – 14:48
    Esd isn’t a default, it’s a popular choice amongst GNOME programs. You could load arts instead, but then you wouldn’t get any sound.

    To store and load mixer settings, install aumix. It will save them at shutdown to /etc/aumixrc and reload them at boot time. They are otherwise stored nowhere except on the sound card DSP.

    Regards,
    Rob

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    Subject: Re: I can hear clearly…
    Author: robot101
    Date: Friday, 2002/06/14 – 18:22
    ALSA only supports multiple streams if the hardware does, same as OSS, because the kernel people don’t want mixing in the kernel. Comparing to esd, arts, NAS is therefore an apples and oranges thing. The use of ALSA or OSS depends on which supports your hardware, and which kernel version you’re using. There is no massive advantage either way, so no sense declaring a default or preferred option. By kernel 2.6 we’ll all be using ALSA anyway, I guess. I hope the packages aren’t still crap by then.

    For mixing if your hardware doesn’t support it, NAS is right out. It doesn’t mix. Esd is a popular solution for GNOME programs (indeed, you *need* it to have them make noises) and arts is a popular solution for KDE programs (similarly it is required, I think). Hence it makes no sense to to try and draw a default or a preferred option here either. It depends on the programs you run.

    Regards,
    Rob

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    Subject: Re: I can hear clearly…
    Author: cat-o-matic
    Date: Friday, 2005/02/11 – 17:02
    You are correct Rob, there is not much head-to-head competition and the choice will often be dictated by one’s hardware and/or software choices. Recently I acquired the m-audio delta 44 (requires driver ice1712) and plan to do some multitrack audio recording so I now have no choice but to run ALSA. I’m not yet experienced enough with ALSA to be sure, but it seems a bit finicky to me compared to NAS which I used with the old audiodrive card I had. Then again, it can do a lot more so I guess it’s always a compromise, just like real life lol.

    Cheers,

    cat

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    Subject: Re: I can hear clearly…
    Author: Anonymous
    Date: Sunday, 2002/06/16 – 08:54
    Well, I can’t use ALSA at all, since my Vibra 16 sucks and I don’t have the money to replace it. Sometimes I do, but I have better things to spend it on, like getting my learner’s permit, and getting a decent laptop. Thus, I use OSS. I also use aRts exclusively.
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    Subject: Re: I can hear clearly…
    Author: gid
    Date: Tuesday, 2002/06/18 – 20:11
    I buy yamaha ymf724/744 cards, they cost ~$20 anywhere you look. They support hardware mixing and work great.
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    Subject: Re: I can hear clearly…
    Author: Anonymous
    Date: Tuesday, 2002/06/18 – 23:57
    Maybe in .us, but I haven’t seen them here, even for $au40. Besides, last time I looked, I had a whole $3.71, so that’s still a little much (learner’s permit + birth certificate not cheap).
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    Subject: Re: I can hear clearly…
    Author: krumeich
    Date: Friday, 2002/06/14 – 18:15
    This leads to me to a question I have wanted to ask for a long time: Is there a comprehensive guide to the different Linux sound solutions? I am looking for a document that compares and describes the different approaches of OSS vs. Alsa, of esound and whatnot else? I found the HOWTO documents a bit outdated.

    Any pointers appreciated!

    Alexander

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    Subject: Since I use GNOME…
    Author: carlos
    Date: Friday, 2002/06/14 – 17:44
    I go with its default — EsounD. It suits my needs perfectly.
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