Fedora-7 rant #3: Sound

Skunk Worx skunkworx at verizon.net
Sat Jun 16 16:00:41 UTC 2007

Timothy Murphy wrote:
> I'm running F-7 with KDE,

Non-default install of a non-RedHat, non-Fedora project.

> and I'm trying to get Skype working.

Non-default install of a proprietary non-RedHat, non-Fedora application.

> The sound system seems designed for sound engineers,
> not ordinary mortals.

The huge mess of linux sound infrastructure is shared across linux 
flavors and not specific to RedHat or Fedora.

KDE added a large sound infrastructure too at some point.

For example www.alsa-project.org supports many distros. Perhaps your 
comments directed there could help them prioritize things.

> What on earth do all these symbols in KMix mean?
> (I've left clicked on the loudspeaker icon in my panel,
> and clicked on Mixer.)
> Whoever designed the sound GUI seemed to have a love affair with triangles.
> What on earth do these half-filled in triangles mean?
> And why do they have a smaller triangle beside them pointing to the right?
> Why am I given no hint of their meaning when I hover over them?

These are KDE apps right? Not designed by RedHat or Fedora, but offered 
as an alternative to gnome.

This is starting to sound like a KDE,ALSA,Skype rant...all things not 
developed by RH or Fedora.

> And why does input have what looks like headphones as icon?

I think KDE extras are supported through their SIG...maybe they could 
help with your design questions. Also kde.org


> When I try the CLI command "alsamixer" instead
> I get 19 (yes, 19) controls,
> none of them properly labelled.
> I see one called Mic, set to 0.
> It isn't at all obvious how to change this, or any, setting,
> but I go to the Mic icon with the right arrow key,
> and then use the up arrow to go from 0 to 81.
> Was that a good idea?

Same here...see above. KDE is a third party/extras package set offered 
as an alternative, not designed or implemented by RedHat or Fedora, AFAIK.

> I cannot tell, as I have no idea how to test the result.
> Is there a simple introduction to Fedora sound somewhere?
> When I get a new mobile phone, I take it out of the box,
> put in a SIM card and it works.
> There aren't 19 switches to adjust.
> I bought a DVD player yesterday.
> I connect it to my TV with a Scart connector,
> switch on and put in a DVD.
> I am asked one question - do I want to play the DVD?
> I answer Yes, and it plays.
> Sigh.

Regarding your DVD player and phone :

1) free?
2) designed and implemented by a worldwide network of people, often in 
their spare time?
3) released on a 6-month development cycle?
4) have all the source code available?

F7 does have a few regressions from what I can see. There are also a lot 
of great things.

The desktop and user switching in gnome, the livecd-tools...I am looking 
forward to the updates that will fix a lot of issues over the next few 

One thing Linux people like is being able to read about a new linux 
feature on the web, then use it right away--whether it's a cool app or 
service or whatever. Fedora offers that, at the price of some instability.

Note : I am just another end user with no affiliation to RedHat or 
Fedora...please don't be frustrated with them over my post if it rubs 
you the wrong way!


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