Pulse Audio -- Wine should have instructions on this web site

Stéphan Kochen stephan at kochen.nl
Thu Apr 3 02:33:07 CDT 2008

Hash: SHA1

A lot of the posts I see about PulseAudio seem to complain about the
Linux audio situation in general. PulseAudio just gets dragged along in
all the negativity.

Chris Robinson wrote:
> On Wednesday 02 April 2008 03:26:40 pm Michael Stefaniuc wrote:
>> Alexandre Julliard wrote:
>>> What I really want is for all the people who are clamoring for yet
>>> another driver to pitch in and start fixing the alsa driver instead.
>> Right but you _cannot_ force people to do that. If they just go ahead
>> and setup a separate Wine repo they can work on pulseaudio all the day
>> and nobody can stop them. That's the OSS reality and git makes that very
>> easy to do.
> But that still doesn't make it The Right Thing to do. Who's to say PulseAudio 
> will really stick around and continue to be useful? Phonon has a good chance 
> of that, too (as it's backed by Trolltech/Qt, and is useable on several OSs). 
> And I'm sure people said some of the same thing about aRts. But we know how 
> that ended up.

Phonon is high level multimedia framework. PulseAudio is a sound server.
Those are two very different areas.

aRts and ESounD were both abandoned because of inactivity, I believe.
Your doubts about the same happening to PulseAudio in light of that are

But PulseAudio is the most actively maintained and most desktop
integrated audio solution we have now, and pretty much has been since
it's inception. This looks like one of the widest and most enthusiastic
adoptions of an audio standard I've ever seen on Linux, so I think the
risk is small.

> And it's not even like PA's main feature (software mixing) isn't available 
> through ALSA (dmix). Sure it has some other features, but they're hardly 
> something that Wine needs to make such a shift for (most apps have their own 
> volume control, and people that need device hot-plugging can still get it 
> through the ALSA-PulseAudio plugin; or even the OSS-PulseAudio plugin).

DMix is also a sound server. PulseAudio is a replacement in that sense.
Some will argue it is even a better replacement. ;)

Wine already goes to great lengths to integrate with the existing
desktop environments and distributions. (All the tiny things work: I can
double click on .exes, applications appear in desktop menu, I can copy
and paste naturally, even drag and drop.) Why not go the extra length
and have full integration when it comes to audio as well? Many large
distributions have already accepted PulseAudio as the standard.

Device hot-plugging should be nothing special, especially with Bluetooth
headsets and similar. I admit that I too do not know the exact
advantages in this area when talking directly to PulseAudio instead of
through the ALSA plug-in, but right now Wine does not even work with the
ALSA plug-in for me.

> I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling like we're getting jerked around with audio 
> APIs in Linux (use OSS! no, use ESD! no, use ALSA! no, use PulseAudio!). IMO, 
> we have to set down and just pick something.

You're damn right! So let's pick PulseAudio! :)

- -- Stéphan
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