[LAU] FireWire audio on Linux: past, present and future

Leigh Dyer lsd at wootangent.net
Fri Jun 15 14:44:05 UTC 2012

On 16/06/12 12:13 AM, Dave Phillips wrote:
> On 06/15/2012 09:14 AM, Alexandre Prokoudine wrote:
>> Some recent FireWire related development in ALSA got me interested, so
>> I ended up doing a large-ish interview with Clemens Ladisch of ALSA,
>> and the FFADO team on the state of support for FireWire audio
>> interfaces in Linux.
>> http://bit.ly/MvgnxU
> Excellent article/interviews. However, it ignores a rather salient
> development - the gradual disappearance of Firewire from desktop and
> laptop machines. The last time I shopped I was surprised to see that FW,
> like PCI, is becoming rare hardware, presumably due to improved
> performance from USB3 (?).

It's becoming less common, but Firewire still isn't too hard to find on 
a desktop, at least. I recently replaced my motherboard, and because the 
new board lacked Firewire, I had to buy a PCI card to add a Firewire 
port to my system. It took only a small amount of digging to find a 
cheap one online with a Focusrite-recommended chipset (VIA 6306), and it 
only cost me $12.

If I was buying an audio interface today, I'd look more seriously at 
some of the USB2 options that have appeared recently that feature some 
Linux support, but I'm very happy with my Firewire interface, and I 
don't imagine I'll have my trouble keeping it running for years to come.


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