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Re: Emacspeak with Espeak on Ubuntu doesn't work

It is true jackd is recommended for those involved in high-end audio production tasks, but that was not the type of specialized user I was referring to. The majority of users don't require jackd and the majority of distributions do not use a default sound configuration based on jackd (there are some specialist distros which target sound produciton/music production that are configured for jackd). 

I have tried out jackd, but found no benefit over a standard pulseaudio or alsa setup. However, I would not classify the small amount of sound editing etc that I do as requiring this level of support. I also found it was quite complex to get a good jackd setup working reliably. For those who need it, its good, but most of us probably don't need it. If I discover a need down the track, I will probably avoid all the hassle and just install one of the distros which are targeted at sound/musci produciton.

When I mentioned it will become harder for people to not use pulseaudio, I was referring to the situation where most new distributions will be setup for pulseaudio and to remove it will involve replacing all pulseaudio apps with their alsa based versions. Things will become even more complex as many of the default sound setup/configuration tools assume a pulseaudio setup, so the user will need to configure things manually. 

Yes, I have also seen numerous bug reports that indicate the problems are with the alsa drivers rather than pulseaudio. 

The main point I wanted to make is that while pulseaudio has had a rocky start, things have improved a lot and that my personal experience with a number of systems of varying specs (notebooks, laptop, desktop and server) has been that it works extremely well. Where I've run into problems, the issue has turned out to be due to packages that have been compiled with things like portaudio in order to make one package work under both pulseaudio and a plain alsa setup i.e. epseak for example. I've found that once the program is recompiled against pulseaudio, it works reliably. 

The one mistake I've seen people make with pulseaudio is, when they discover a problem, going in and tweaking options all over the place. In the end, they tend to add more new problems than address existing ones. Pulseaudio has a lot of things which can be tweaked, but you need to understand what your doing and go slowly. Most of the time, the defaults are pretty reliable - most of my tweaking these days just involves changing the default sample format, rate and channels to better fit my soundcard and sometimes the fragment size and number and maybe the resample method - all of which relate to quality of sound and usually only have a noticable impact if you have a hiigher-end sound card.


 Wed, Feb 23, 2011 at 10:30 AM, Jason White <jason@jasonjgw.net> wrote:
Tim Cross <theophilusx@gmail.com> wrote:
> Most recent versions of pulseAudio work well for me on two different systems
> - one running 64bit and one running 32bit Linux.
> I now need to worry a lot less about the type of audio card, can multiplex
> different sound sources and setup usb devices, such as mcrophones and
> headsets just by plugging them in. I can vary the volume of different sound
> sources and can stream different sources over the network to different
> mahcines. All in all, a lot more flexible and easier to run than just plain
> alsa

According to Lennart Poettering, the principal author of PulseAudio, it has
exposed bugs in Alsa drivers for various sound cards; hence many of the
problems that people experience are said to be caused not by PulseAudio itself
but by drivers, which have been and continue to be fixed.
> As time passes, it will become more difficult to not use pulseaudio than use
> it as this is the direction nearly all distributions are going.

This is not quite correct. Jackd continues to be recommended (including by
PulseAudio developers) for low-latency audio editing and recording
applications. Based on what I've read from LWN and Lennart's blog, a
PulseAudio and Jackd merger is unlikely, as they serve different use cases and
meet different technical requirements.

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