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    SubjectRe: Is it time for remove (crap) ALSA from kernel tree ?
    On Sun, Jun 24, 2007 at 09:57:24PM +0100, Alan Cox wrote:
    > > Sory Alan but I don't want philosophical/historical discuss.
    > > Try to answer on question "ALSA or OSS ?" using *only* technical arguments.
    > We dropped OSS for ALSA for technical reasons. Those being that ALSA
    > - has a better audio API
    > - is more flexible
    > - provides OSS as emulation
    > - supports more hardware

    I sent a patch to the ALSA developers 4 years ago.
    It was never included in the kernel :/

    Here's the comment from a script that I once wrote to
    make some closed-source dinosar code run (speech recognition)
    on modern linux:

    # Note that ALSA (Advanced Linux Sound Architecture), the sound drivers that
    # replace the older OSS as of kernel 2.5, also introduce a problem for some
    # soundcards: unlike the OSS drivers, the ALSA drivers limit the recording
    # buffer to the hardware limit of your sound card. For example, the SB Live!
    # only has two 'period' buffers (called fragments before), and although
    # viavoice requests an 'arbitrary number of periods, size 1024 bytes', it
    # only gets two periods of 1024 bytes: 2048 bytes in total! The ViaVoice
    # engine however doesn't even process sound until it sees at least 6102 bytes.
    # The 'solution' for this is to increase the buffer size (from 1024 to say
    # 8192), this script also takes care of that. Unfortunately, also that is
    # possibly not enough: the sound is read from the hardware in chunks of
    # 'period size' and having only two buffers this is often causing an underrun.
    # When ALSA sees an underrun... it stops the sound stream.

    My (four year old) patch can be found here:

    I STILL think that ALSA should restart the stream after an underrun,
    but I am not someone who asks twice :p usually.

    Carlo Wood <>
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      Last update: 2007-06-25 00:47    [W:0.023 / U:8.436 seconds]
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