OSS apps vs. ALSA apps

Toby Smithe tsmithe at ubuntu.com
Sun Feb 24 18:08:16 GMT 2008

On Sun, Feb 24, 2008 at 4:44 PM, raydar <raydar at inetnebr.com> wrote:
>  I discovered in the Ubuntu forums that running an app as an argument to
>  "aoss" is a/the way to invoke alsa-oss, so I typed
>     aoss gtick
>  in a terminal, got
>     /dev/dsp: Device or resource busy
>  and also tried having Gtick use /dev/dsp1 after launching Gtick via
>  aoss, but there was no difference from starting Gtick the normal way &
>  using /dev/dsp1 as before (no error, but no output).
>  So, if the problem is Jack hogging /dev/dsp, and if /dev/dsp1 is not
>  being hogged but it's output isn't "getting through," is there a way I
>  can route /dev/dsp1's output to Jack's input so that it all goes out
>  /dev/dsp?

You wouldn't want to do this anyway, because latency would be
horrible. The pipeline would go something like:

Gtick -> aoss -> OSS-JACK router thingy (which doesn't exist) -> JACK -> ALSA

I hate ALSA and dmix: dmix is a userspace library plug-in, and not at
kernel level, so not only do some apps not conform to it (they don't
/have/ to link against that library), it has latency problems too. I
welcome the day when the newly open-sourced OSS4, and its lovely
kernel-level vmix virtual mixer, replace ALSA and dmix forever. OSS is
a much nicer sound system anyway, even if it did betray us by closing
up last decade.

My suggestion is to give up on Gtick if you're intent on using JACK.
If you're into overkill, you could have Hydrogen give you a beat to
the right BPM, but I'm sure there are other applications that I
haven't heard of that are more suitable.

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