Back and kicking

Been a while since I blogged the last time. Got sick which took my energy level down to 0. Still not fully recovered, but thanks to the wonders of modern medicine I can at least function quite well now.

Polypaudio (or what is now known as Pulse)

Got a few comments on my previous blog entry where I discussed Polypaudio (Pulse) (and also mentioned JACK). To start with JACK, as I tried to say in my previous entry, I simply think its the wrong tool for the job (the job in this case being a generic sound server for the desktop). JACK solves the problem of low latency access on your local for applications specifically written for it when used in combination with a special kernel. The desktop on the other hand is looking for a solution which mixes your sound streams if you have a cheap sound card, gives you some basic network transparency and sample caching.

In regards to Pulse vs Phonon, I don’t think comparing them makes sense. As for wether Pulse is an unecessary interfaces, well for many of us it is. If you are only playing back sounds on your local system and your soundcard handles multiple writes or you are using dmix then having a soundserver there doesn’t give you anything extra IMHO. The sound server usecase is mostly in the case of remote clients or as an alternative way of mixing sounds to using a kernel/alsa level solution like dmix. Personally I wouldn’t mind having a sound server there even if I strictly don’t need it if it didn’t get in the way. ESD do get in the way which is why I haven’t used it for the last 3-4 years. So I am not giving Pulse a ringing endorsement yet, haven’t used it enough to do such a thing, all I am saying is that its the most ‘plausible to suceed’ desktop sound server project in a long time.

GUADEC just one week away!

So GUADEC will fire up next weekend with the main event next week. Really looking forward to it! The teams here at Fluendo is working hard to have cool stuff to demo for Pitivi, Elisa and Flumotion.

6 thoughts on “Back and kicking

  1. Note that the standard Ubuntu Dapper kernel works well with jack to provide low-latency audio. So you might not need a “special kernel” if your distribution provides it in the standard kernel.

  2. I don’t think Polyaudio (Pulse) is the best for this work. It is as good (bad) as jack. For me the best will be combination of jack (2 periods – one playing, one processing + usage of jack applications for low latency) and alsa dmix plugin (for others latency not critical applications) + some sound processing (upmixing, downmixing, I/O connector handling, speaker configuration, …), but it should be on lower level as Polyaudio, just above alsa. It should use (export) normal normal alsa api (and not something new or old – esd, polyaudio, …) and jack api.

  3. I think that reasonably low latency (<100ms) is important on the desktop as well. Ubuntu breezy played a bongo sound (a very inapropriate sound as it is too long and busy, imho) on almost every click and I found It incredibly annoying that the sound was mostly played well after the click and that the latencies varied wildly.

  4. Indeed dré, this can be done with a sound server and is already available with Pulse (look at Pavucontrol

    Nevertheless, the work I started with GSmartMix and the future merge with Gnome mixer I develop will do what the mockup shows without a “software audio mixer” server (the classic “sound server” name is inappropriate for this work).

    I think that this will be done only with GStreamer & DBus: it is not related directly with Polypaudio or esd.

    Stay tuned, more news will soon appear on this (after Guadec)!

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