winealsa: 6 Channel Audio

Chris Robinson chris.kcat at
Sun Oct 23 19:57:04 CDT 2011

On Sunday, October 23, 2011 8:28:45 PM Jonathan McCrohan wrote:
> Would someone with a better knowledge of Wine and/or ALSA be able to
> assist me in tracking down the source of this bug?


Part of the problem is the way Wine attempts to "detect" a default format from 
ALSA. ALSA doesn't report a default format, though, so Wine attempts to see 
what it's capable of and reports that instead. Apparently ALSA is capable of 
handling up to 10,000 channels, and Wine has no idea how to report that back 
to the Windows app.

IMO, the "fix" would be to make winealsa default to something sane, like 
44.1khz 16-bit stereo. A configuration option (in winecfg/control panel) would 
be needed to set it into a different mode. Windows has something similar to 
this for its own audio device configuration in the control panel.

But, there's an additional complication. The order Windows expects for >4 
channels is different than what ALSA provides. For example, ALSA places the 
front-center/lfe channels after the rear-left/right, while Windows places them 
after front-left/right. So either Wine will need to tell ALSA to expect a 
different order (I'm not sure if you can in an easy way), or Wine will have to 
reorder the samples itself before writing to the device.

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