Can't share audio in ALSA

Basil Chupin blchupin at
Wed Aug 25 09:58:01 UTC 2010

On 25/08/2010 11:23, Reinhold Rumberger wrote:
> On Wednesday 25 August 2010, Basil Chupin wrote:
>> On 25/08/2010 02:04, Gerardo wrote:
>>> I'm using Kubuntu 10.04 Lucid 64-bit and I'm having a problem
>>> that is driving me insane.  If I'm playing music on Amarok, or
>>> something in mplayer and another application uses the audio
>>> (i.e., KDE notification bell, flash video in firefox, etc...)
>>> the music stops.  The timer in Amarok/mplayer keeps running as
>>> if the song is still playing, but I can't get the audio back
>>> unless I stop playback and restart it again. Pausing and
>>> unpausing doesn't work.
>>> The same thing works backwards.  If I'm watching a video in
>>> firefox and start Amarok, then the sound in firefox goes out
>>> and I have to reload the page for it to come back.  I didn't
>>> have any problems in Hardy.  It works fine on my kids computer.
>>> I installed installed pulseaudio on this computer and later
>>> removed it and went back to ALSA.  I don't know if doing this
>>> fudged something.
>>> Lou
>> I believe the reason why pulseaudio was 'created' is because it
>> can share sound from a number of sources - unlike alsa, which is
>> what you are now experiencing.
> That's rubbish. OSS didn't support mixing natively (that's why arts
> and other sound daemons were needed), Alsa does. You obviously
> shouldn't use the OSS compatibility layer if you want to use your
> sound card with multiple applications.
> Incidentally, I run Alsa exclusively, no pulse anywhere to be seen.
> Skype often annoys the heck out of me because it insists on beeping
> while I watch videos or listen to music.
> @Gerardo: Try making sure that you're using only pulse or alsa. Using
> both in parallel will result in more or less funny errors.
>    --Reinhold

Thanks for this.

I have saved your message for future reference because in another place 
I got "stomped on" for saying almost what you said above - which is why 
I said what I did namely, that you need pulse to handle multiple audio 
ins/outs simultaneously.


Gumperson's Law: The probability of anything happening is in
inverse proportion to its desirability.

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