Sharing sound hardware

Colin Walters walters at
Mon Feb 7 15:45:35 UTC 2005

On Sat, 2005-02-05 at 11:25 +0000, Dariusz J. Garbowski wrote:

> Please, no! This sounds really bad to me (pun intended ;-) I own a card 
> that can do hardware mixing and really don't like the idea of "being 
> punished" for that. Especially by something like upsampling almost every 
> sound I play from 44.1 to 48kHz. And yes, I will notice (is it really 
> 99% of the users who won't? where does this number come from?) -- decent 
> amplifier, cables and loudspeakers do just that: you start noticing.

Sure; but I think it's better to fix one huge, extremely user-visible
bug (multiple apps playing sound not working and getting weird error
messages) and introduce some smaller bugs (sound mixing not taking
advantage of hardware mixing).  Particularly when there's no obvious
major technical difficulty in fixing the smaller bug.

In other words, two steps forward and a temporary one back is better
than none at all. 

> The reason I'm really worried here is that I recall Colin Walters saying 
> that dmix will be on for everybody in FC4:

Nothing is final; I just wanted to experiment with it in rawhide for a
while and get feedback.

Right now unfortunately it's off again by default pending the outcome of
a discussion between the new ALSA package maintainer and me.

> Question: will there be a SIMPLE way (a script or HOWTO/FAQ would do) to 
> turn dmix off for those whose soundcard can do hardware mixing so they 
> can use their hardware the way it was intended to?

Yeah; overriding ALSA_PCM_DEFAULT should do the trick if with my
alsa-launch approach.

> If so, *please* include a note how to do it in Release Notes for FC4.

I wouldn't ask for a config option or a release note item first; you
really just want the bug fixed, right?  If that doesn't get done, then
we fall back to the former.

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