[linux-audio-user] Sound servers conflict

Kai Vehmanen kvehmanen at eca.cx
Tue Feb 8 19:18:07 EST 2005

On Wed, 9 Feb 2005, Christoph Eckert wrote:

>> For example:
>> aplay -Dplug:dmix foo.wav
>> alsaplayer -o alsa -d plug:dmix
>> ecasound -i foo.wav -o alsa,plug:dmix
>> http://alsa.opensrc.org/index.php?page=DmixPlugin
> Yeah, I already read it. But still it requires manual work.

Well actually the above three examples work without any manual settings!
Only if you encounter unexpected problems (I didn't on my machines), you
may need to consult the Wiki and other dmix documentation.

>> PS I think dmix is _the_ solution for "desktop sound
>> mixing". Together with JACK they form a killer combo. :)
> Do you use both at the same time? Jack is running all day and 
> using DMIX, while maybe artsd or esound is running in 
> parallel for desktop audio?

No, I've configured jackd to access soundcard without any plugins in
between (the 'hw:0' ALSA sound device). Switching is still quite easy as I
just have to stop any mp3 players ('stop' should be enough if the player
is well written), launch JACK, and start making music. :)

> Is DMIX transparent to any ALSA aware application, or does an 
> application need some coding to use DMIX, or is it needed to 
> invoke the application always with the plug:DMIX parameter?

It's completely transparent, dmix is just another sound device
from application's point of view. Without a custom asoundrc, you
have to instruct the app to use 'plug:dmix' as the sound device, 
but this is really quite normal. 

For example I have two soundcards on my desktop Linux machine.
Even without dmix I anyway have to instruct apps to select which of 
the cards to use. Of course, not all apps provide an easy way to select 
the soundcard, but this problem is not specific to dmix alone, but
is a more general usability problem.

 Audio software for Linux!

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