[linux-audio-user] Sound servers conflict
dlphilp at bright.net
Tue Feb 8 16:17:39 EST 2005
> 1. Is there a way to resolve such a situation, in a way that allows
> two programs that use different sound servers to play sounds at the
> same time?
It looks as though this part of your message got answered, so...
> 2. A more basic question: Why do we have to use sound servers in
> Linux? shouldn't it be the job of the operating system to allow sound
> multiplexing through a set of standard API's? The situation is
> especially bad, if there is no comfortable solution to the problem in
> my first question.
The answer to this question is bound up in some relatively uninteresting
and obvious Linux history. The situation has changed recently, and there
is now the possibility of ALSA providing software multiplexing. The
problem is that this software mixing is not automatic or transparent to
the user, it requires the composition of a small script (called
.asoundrc), less long than this email but of apparently such awesome
complexity that normal users faint with horror at the prospect.
Sorry, I was being silly, but it's the silly truth. The necessary
.asoundrc file is hardly a difficult thing to write, but I'll still
agree with the naive user: it's the sort of thing that can and should be
handled transparently by ALSA during system configuration. Some kind of
default .asoundrc could be autogenerated for chipsets that don't support
hardware mixing, perhaps ? Well, history again: ALSA has only recently
been adopted as the kernel sound system, and many of its features remain
hidden to the average user. Hopefully we'll see more of those features
become more easily available to users, without the need for user-written
More information about the Linux-audio-user