Bluetooth audio user experience.

Jorge O. Castro jorge at
Tue Mar 6 15:49:51 UTC 2012

Hi everyone, I'm posting this here since it's fresh in my mind and I'd
like to see if I can put this on someone's radar for 12.10's UDS.

I have an android tablet that I wanted to output audio onto my desktop
with. Those of you who have looked into this know it can get a bit
hairy. Android (and other tablets) don't really have pulseaudio so the
usual audio discovery with avahi slickness isn't there. Some apps let
you control your desktop player, others run a little server on your
desktop and use their own protocol to their music app on the tablet,
and so on. So I thought I would be "clever" and just use bluetooth to
connect my tablet to Ubuntu and pipe the audio that way, like I can do
in my car.

The experience wasn't ideal, with a bunch of incomplete information on
the web. Finally Steve Langasek figured it out:

The actual detection of all the hardware was great, in fact, I've
never run into any bluetooth thing Linux can't detect. I've never
really had a problem using a bluetooth headset either. It's when you
want to go around the other way where we kind of fall down. This
touches a bit of  -desktop, -foundations, and I learned only enough
about this to be dangerous, but it seems to me that we can make a
bunch of improvements by just shipping a more complete A2DP
configuration in our bluetooth packages?  Any insights from the
experts in those subsystems would be great!

I wanted to bring it up for discussion on the list, especially now
that we have things like Ubuntu TV, Ubuntu on Android, and other
devices that we want to interop with. Some might be linux, some might
not be so I think looking at it from a higher level might be useful,
so perhaps this should be part of a greater plan on network discovery
and streaming (things like UPNP/DLNA) and how we can fit and talk to
as many things as we can as I'm sure people will have multiple sources
that they will want to output on other sources.

Thanks for your consideration!

Jorge Castro
Canonical Ltd.

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