Version 1.0.18 RC1 of ALSA was just released a month ago and it was quickly followed by a second release candidate for this Linux sound system. However, it's taken nearly a month for the third 1.0.18 release candidate to come together.The ALSA project has announced 1.0.18 RC3, but for taking all of this time there aren't many changes to show for it...
Argghhhhh, i hope they add it soon. I'm so fed up with OSS 4. Once alsa add it and like you said, resolve the problems with pulseaudio, linux sound system with x-fi gonna kick ass.... in the meantime... i'll keep dealing with OSS... :-(
What problems you are experiencing with OSS v4? I am really fed up with ALSA and all of my problems were solved by switching to OSS so don't exept too much for ALSA. (I use lots of different kind of software and something is always broken with alsa).
Having ubuntu as base system is having oss giving pain. I have lots of incompatibilities with software (not having sound, not being able to configure them for using oss...) For instance, recordmydesktop. Every software i have to use (or the software i use to use) i have to be searching for a build with oss enabled, or configure it somehow (like Skype).
The sound configuration by itself is also giving problems. oss with pulseaudio is a pain (i guess until pulseaudio is stable, i have to get rid of it to run it properly), i'm not able to have sound in flash, configuring it for having 5.1 is terrible.....
I have some experience in linux, so i read every documentation and search here and there (for example, my flash sound issues are just a recent problem, since i've installed ubuntu again and installed the latest oss, what is broken and have some problems).
So linux and x-fi, running oss is a bit of pain. For me (and i repeat, for me only, on my experience), having it on alsa makes the system just works. I can configure the sound like i want, don't have to be tweaking here and there for just having a mixer, (so i have to be running ossxmix)
Well, it's hard to explain, but summing all the issues up, the system as a whole works for me better on alsa. Every software works, every volume control works, and 5.1 (pulse, alone) works and that stuff.
I hope the latest version (currently, available as an alpha on svn) release soon. I've read that it resolves lots of the problems i'm having actually. And i hope creative or alsa release their asap. I've passed my years of "learning" and i want, for me and to offer for friends/customers/family a system based on linux that just works easily for them, and for me, having to do everything on cli is a no-go nowadays. So having the sound resolved is a part of the problem.
Sorry for the long post and the language mistakes ;-)
The cause for your OSS problems seems to be that ubuntu doesn't have oss enabled in it's software builds. OSS itself seems to be a lot better audio api than alsa (at least for most usecases). Too bad that it can't be used properly with ubuntu.
And what's the point with pulseaudio really? In my experience it only adds annoying delay to sound and brings nice bunch of brand new problems to linux audio.
(As you can see, I have had it with alsa and all kind of useless sound servers. )
Pulseaudio gives some other great features that (hopefully) will come in the future. Right now, it's just a pain, and with oss it's directly a no-go.
And that's it. Ubuntu doesn't have oss enabled by default. That's true about the API AFAIK. As I said, in my day to day basis usage, i get into less problems using alsa, and in the general usage,it's easier to configure, and use.
About the software not enabled on ubuntu... i can't compare to a distro that has oss by default. But the software i use it's the usual on linux (rhythmbox, amarok, banshee, audacious, audacity, pidgin, skype, vlc, totem, etc....). Right now, most of them are working with no problems (flash is giving some headache, that's all...) but with some of them i had to get the oss build, configure because the auto-conf doesn't work, have to tweak because i don't get simultaneous sounds...
Maybe it's my lack of experience with oss, but what i'm really tired of is, not having something centraliced. Pulseaudio can give something about this, or any other sound proxy, whatever. The point is having something everyone uses, and the layer below it are the sound drivers (so no matter what are we using, it will work).
Would be great, anyway, to get a link to properly configure oss on ubuntu. I've followed some guides (of course, the one on the ubuntu forums is great) but i still have some problems here and there.
Sorry for this post. I don't want this thread to become an alsa vs oss one. That should be discussed elsewhere.