Inadequate sound device control

Samuel Sieb samuel at
Wed Apr 18 05:02:40 UTC 2012

John Morris wrote:
> It doesn't.  And nobody cares, go buy hardware that works the way
> Pottering imagines it 'should' work is the closest you will get to real
> world advice.  It doesn't actually exist mind you, so you can't really
> buy it. You will just have to imagine how wonderful it would be.
> It is insane, it has been insane now for several years and is only
> getting worse by the day.  And when the insanity in one subsystem, after
> years of pain, finally begins to subside it will be rubbished and
> rebuilt from scratch again.  Meh.

It is so frustrating to hear people complaining about pulseaudio like this. 
Pulseaudio is an amazing improvement for the use of sound on Linux.  For 99% of 
users, it just works like it should.  I love how software mixing just works and 
I can easily switch between output devices and it even keeps separate volume 
settings for each device.  For example, when I turn off the active bluetooth 
headset, the sound automatically switches back to the internal speakers without 
interrupting the application.  But it is just a layer on top of ALSA, so you 
still have the tools you had before to mess with the sound card settings (like 
alsamixer).  In the cases where pulseaudio doesn't work, it's usually an ALSA 
bug or specialized audio cards which tend to come with their own control 
software anyways.  Either way, file a bug report instead of writing off the 
whole thing just because it doesn't work for you.

Yes, there is usually some initial pain when major subsystems like audio or init 
get changed, but in the end, the result is so much better.

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