[arch-general] Opinions on pulseaudio [WAS: PulseAudio in [testing]]

Rasmus Steinke rasi at xssn.at
Sun Nov 28 18:00:52 CET 2010

Let me answer on your points...

> Fine, Then I'll list all of its problems right here:
> - It's unstable.
NEVER crashed on me...
> - It's got far too many unresolved bugs the upstream developers defer
> INCORRECTLY elsewhere simply because they can't be bothered to fix their
> software.
Possible, tho i did not experience any...
> - It wastes a lot of RAM.
never see it in top.
> - It wastes a lot of CPU.
see above. In fact it uses LESS cpu then pure alsa does here, since alsa 
is resampling everything, altho my card can natively play all 
samplerates. Pulse behaves correctly here and simply routes it forward.
> - It causes noticeable audio latency.
You cant be serious? i have been using pulse audio over network from one 
room to the next. It synced audio with my movies 100% even over a slow 
wifi network. This would never work with high latency audio backends...
> - It DOES NOT release sound to other daemons as your erroneously claim.
> It will not turn itself off for JACK just as it won't turn itself off
> for ESD or Phonon.
> - It actually doesn't support ALSA that well, it's ALSA module is stuck
> at 70% completion, with a lot of critical ALSA support stuck on that
> missing 30%. Again, further upstream blame gets laid on ALSA or drivers
> where it doesn't belong.
I am actually not too sure about this one, since upstream alsa DOES have 
a lot of bugs that never get fixed.
> - It's not really necessary for any actual Linux audio needs, where
> things like ESD and Phonon had already fixed the problems Pulse Audio
> has no use for.
Phonon has solved what exactly? Its totally useless overhead with not a 
single complete backend. Every single backend is missing features the 
other one has.
> - Even the Pulse Audio devs at one point admitted it breaks Linux audio.
> - A great deal of Linux applications have problems working with it, far
You can simply forward alsa AS IS to pulseaudio - this should work for 
about any software you can think about. Btw: skype works much better 
with pulse than with alsa. i know, bad example, but still.
> more than any other daemon to date. Upstream, rather than making Pulse
> Audio abstract itself like ESD or Phonon does, seems to want app
> developers to write their code SPECIFICALLY for Pulse Audio, which is
> NOT how its done.
actually it is. mplayer, mpd, clementine <insert some audio software 
here>, all have native pulse audio backends. And those are normally used 
by people with small WMs, not gnome users.
> - An incredible array of utterly useless features (Like networking sound
> in a day and age where all PCs have sound systems they can use
See above. I know several people (also on arch) that use pulse audio 
with mpd, since its the easiest way to control mpd remotely AND have 
sound locally.

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