output audio

D. Michael McIntyre michael.mcintyre at rosegardenmusic.com
Wed Dec 20 16:16:15 UTC 2006

On Wednesday 20 December 2006 6:55 am, nutchanat sattayakawee wrote:

> It's HDA Intel. I have ALSA v1.0.12 as a driver

The problem is that 99% of soundcards people actually have are only able to 
accept one connection from one application at a time.  If you are running 
some application that has opened the soundcard, then nothing else will be 
able to use it until that application relinquishes its hold on your hardware.

There are various ways to work around this problem.  I think what's supposed 
to happen in modern times is your hardware is supposed to magically get 
configured to use something called "dmix."

I've never had this working, and the instructions for getting it working run 
into dozens of pages of cryptic nonsense.  It's really arcane black magic 
looking stuff unless you're an insider.  I'm supposed to *be* an insider, and 
I'm still too stupid to make heads or tails of it.

That leaves the old fashioned way.  Sound servers like aRts for KDE or ESD for 
GNOME, or JACK, or some combination (aRts can use JACK, for example.)

Unfortunately, as of today, I have never found a way to get everything playing 
nice at the same time.  If I want to hear sound on a flash in a web browser, 
or if I want to edit an audio file with Sweep, or listen to something with 
the Real Player for Linux, I have to shut off aRts and JACK completely, and 
run just that one application I'm trying to use.

There are supposed to be ways around this, but I wrote the book on Rosegarden, 
have spent many hours trying to help users deal with these ugly questions, 
and I'd probably pay someone to come over to my house and show me how the 
bloody donkey shredding hell to set this nonsense up, once and for all.

Linux audio is evil.

Bah humbug.

I really miss my emu10k1.  The only soundcard I've ever found that doesn't 
suffer this problem.

D. Michael McIntyre 

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