Suggest to disable artsd by default

Paul Dufresne dufresnep at fastmail.fm
Wed Feb 28 10:48:36 GMT 2007


I switch from ubuntu to kubuntu a while ago.

I had the feeling that feisty was quite horrible
because amarok normally would not work and kaffeine
was almost not working, and never had sound.

So was becoming to understand how dcop allows unique
applications by, when trying to run a new instance of
amarok, using dcop to know if an old amarok instance
was there. And how killall amarokapp, was helping
amarok to start a new instance.

Until I realized that going through System Settings/
Sound System, and unmarking 'Enable the sound system',
was magical. Rather than making sound to disappear, amarok
have become to work and make sound! Movies under kaffeine,
that had never sound before, have become to have some.
Not only that, but playlist under kaffeine have become to
work too! Before, it was stoping between each movie of
the playlist.

I then began to realize what was going on. Old applications
like amarok and kaffeine try to use ALSA libraries to get
exclusive use of the sound card.

KDE3, expect every applications whishing to make sound, to
call artsd daemon to make sound. artsd is using ALSA, making
exclusive use of the sound card too. So alerts, beep and newer
sound applications all play fine and simultaneously when artsd
is there. But old applications like kaffeine and amarok that
seems not to know the new trick to call artsd daemon to make
sound, are unable to initialize sound normally when artsd is
running.

But normally, KDE3 have a trick for making everybody happy.
When artsd have not been using the soundcard (through ALSA)
for 1 minute, it then release control of the soundcard 
(I guess, by closing ALSA). That way, if no beep or alert
have happened in the last minute, then launching amarok or
a movie with sound with kaffeine will work fine.

But, as a bad user not knowing what he was doing, I had disable
this feature of artsd to close ALSA after 1 minute idle.

I first thought that running artdsp amarok or artdsp kaffeine
would make the problem disappear. But I believe amarok and kaffeine
call themselves other backend, and the effect of running through
artdsp disappear.

My opinion is that disabling artsd by default for feisty would avoid
much more problems, than losing the warm feedback sounds and alerts
of KDE3.

For KDE4, we will have Phonon that should help a lot to fix that for us:
http://phonon.kde.org/

Well, I am just a user becoming to understand things a bit. Maybe there
is something important I am missing, and if so, I expect you guys to
tell me.

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