Ubuntu, ALSA, and PulseAudio

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Ubuntu, ALSA, and PulseAudio

Postposted on Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:33 am

(a continuation of this tangent)

bthylafh wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
bthylafh wrote:MC Frontalot. Trying to chase down a problem with Kubuntu, mpg321, and ogg123; something to do with the latter two not using ALSA apparently.

Which version of Kubuntu? And by "not using ALSA" do you mean you've removed PulseAudio?

Edit: Well, there does seem to be a problem with ogg123's ALSA output on Kubuntu 11.10, at least. When I try it, the sound is very distorted. Have you tried sending its output through PulseAudio instead (-d pulse option)?

Will try that tonight when I get home. I could tell it was /something/ with ALSA, though, because mpg123-alsa would play but those other two would not.

I seem to recall having similar issues with Audacious when I tried to configure it for ALSA output, so the issue is probably with some underlying audio library. I'm also pretty sure that when applications invoke the ALSA API on Ubuntu, they're actually talking to an emulation layer that feeds into PulseAudio instead of native ALSA; so some subtle differences between how this emulation and (real) ALSA works is a likely culprit.

It is unfortunate that there are so many different audio APIs on Linux. PulseAudio has apparently attempted to unify them (sort of), but definitely has some issues of its own...
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Re: Ubuntu, ALSA, and PulseAudio

Postposted on Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:54 am

It started happening when I used these instructions:

http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/purekde

to clear the extra crap off my Kubuntu install - decided that I hate KDE the least of the four current *buntu DEs. I expect there's something Ku's PulseAudio[1] doesn't provide by default, and/or there's something Kubuntu needs that kubuntu-desktop doesn't pull in automatically.

Bit moot right now anyway, since it doesn't even finish booting right now - stops right about the point that kdm should load, but can get into console mode. :evil: Maybe this is my excuse to go back to 10.04 for a while.


[1] Yes, Kubuntu uses Pulse now. :-?
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Re: Ubuntu, ALSA, and PulseAudio

Postposted on Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:47 am

bthylafh wrote:Maybe this is my excuse to go back to 10.04 for a while.

It's what I still use on my primary desktops (both home and work).

I do have 11.10 set up in VMs (and will install it native on a secondary machine soon), but the whole Unity/GNOME3 mess is a bit of a turn-off.
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Re: Ubuntu, ALSA, and PulseAudio

Postposted on Fri Nov 11, 2011 8:27 am

It looks like you've removed some Pulse support in those instructions. You should be able to leave out the Pulse-python since that looks like to be a for a frontend. However, you'll want this...libsdl1.2debian libsdl1.2debian-pulseaudio if you can get that back in there.
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