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Re: [tlug] Fixing Sound AGAIN

Jim Breen writes:

 > Dunno when pulse-audio arrived - possibly when I upgraded to
 > 10.04 from 9.10. It's dated March 2010.

Ah, so the real problem is updating Ubuntu.  Why am I not surprised?
(Maybe because I'm looking into a regression in cloud-init-nonet 0.7.5
that allegedly was fixed in 0.6.3 right now, for a GSoC student's VM?)

I found this thread on Ubuntu forums:


which has a very nice diagram of what's going on.  Notice the heavy
use of TCP/IP (which is what causes the latency -- people who care
about latency are presumably gamers, let them use Wii!).  Is anybody
else out there natsukashii for NAS (network audio system, AKA X11 for

Ignore the people who say "ALSA seems to be used as well".  What's
going on is that pulseaudio implements the ALSA driver API (as well as
the OSS API) so that it can talk to the hardware using existing ALSA
drivers, and then there's a (presumably hacked-up) ALSA user-space
library that can talk to ALSA applications.  But pulseaudio infests
everything if you're running it, it appears.

My first guess is that if you were not already running pulseaudio[1]
and turned it on just for Skype, I bet the configs are devilish,
including the configs for switching from "native" ALSA or OSS to
pulseaudio-mediated ALSA or OSS.  But tweaking the right options
(including figuring out how to get "native" ALSA out of the way, if
necessary) should get things running.

My second guess is that to appease the gamers the pulseaudio
developers are hacking on internals to fast-path as much sound as
possible, and breaking things on the way to release.

[1]  And I approve: don't fix what ain't broke.

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