[LAU] Standard for Linux Audio ?

sonofzev at iinet.net.au sonofzev at iinet.net.au
Wed Jul 15 23:51:32 EDT 2009

>I thought Ubuntu had a solution for my audio problems when it was said to be 
>specially packaged for multi-media and the only distribution with an 
>off-the-shelf RT kernel. Every time I run Rosegarden there is a warning 
>message that the kernel timing is not good enough. So I determined to 
>install the UBuntu Studio with the RT kernel.
>What happened ? It didn't recognize my Soundblaster Audigy. It is not clear 
>how to configure.
>Debian had it much better.
>Couldn't there be more agreement on audio configuration for Linux ? Is 
>anyone working on a standard ? Shouldn't they be ?
>How about an agreed upon place to specify which sound card to use ...and 
>which driver.

I've just read these articles .. and well this all just frustrates me.. It took
me a very short piece of time to learn... (way back 10 years ago)....Linux is not
windows and Linux box is not an Apple box

Linux is not a corporation that can control how everything will work. 

Apple controls the hardware it works on.. yet I've seen with many 3rd party audio
devices... it doesn't work very well.. and just like every other OS MAC OS
updates break the drivers for many of these devices. 

Windows again, works basically out of the box but suffers the same issues but
never works really well.......  

Linux takes work... Your initial choice of distro may not work as you
expected.... but with a bit of sweat and a bit of tears and possibly trialling a
couple or more distros.... and here research is the best prevention to
problems... before buying hardware research other users experience.. (that would
apply to Windows, OSX and even your primary applications not just linux anyway).  

Once this work is done (as your experience with Ubuntu, Ubuntu Studio and finally
Debian shows) you should be left with a stable and reliable platform.. 

What I've noticed is with the distros that try to be "out of the box" this is
where the problems seem to occur most.  I see 2 main reasons for this... 

1. They don't meet the users expectations... not everything is going to work
right out of the box. This makes people upset. 

2. Like Windows and OSX, they relinquish control from the user in order to
achieve the "user friendly" label of not requiring much work.. but this means
when work is needed, it is often harder to do. 

Another trap which I have also fallen in myself is being an early adopter of
hardware.. Most hardware vendors are not involved in writing drivers for linux,
this means it requires developers who are most often donating their time to
develop them. The result is it takes longer for drivers to be released and
stabilise (in most cases)... Buying the latest motherboard or laptop with the
latest chipset will often result in pain .. most often with audio as there seem
to be very few contributors relative to other areas... 

Part of me would love to see the Microsoft monopoly smashed by Open source... but
the reality is Open source is by it's nature diverse with many options. It is
also mainly the result of contributions... It has no head or tail has an almost
insane number of different options... Which means commercially it probably can't
do this.. However, some of us are or have been zealots and have told everyone we
know linux is the best thing since sliced bread, this has resulted in many people
believing that Linux is something it is not.... 

We really should be saying something a bit less glamorous...

"Linux is like life.. you get out what you put in and nothing in life comes
without work (for free)... but I've put in the work any it works fantastically



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