We've been beating around the central issue though. Well, the "issue" as I see it, if there's an issue at all:
ALSA has the following problems:
- High latency (only an issue with games and virtual instruments/synthesizers.)
- Poor OSS support (dmix doesn't work).
- Sound quality issues (sampling/mixing quality and playback during high system load).
OSS4 doesn't have the above problems. Furthermore, one can have the best of both worlds by using OSS4 over the ALSA libs:
Install the "ALSA Plugins" package of your distro ("alsa-plugins" in Gentoo, "libasound2-plugins" in Debian and Ubuntu). Put this in /etc/asound.conf:
Nothing more is required. So, a distro that would have this setup, would provide the following features:
- Full ALSA compatibility.
- Full OSS API support.
- The benefits of OSS4 also apply to ALSA applications (sound quality, CPU load).
That would be (in my very, very humble opinion) the best set-up of any distro. Scratch PulseAudio, don't enable sound in the kernel, take ALSA-libs and run them over OSS4.
Am I the only one to see a lot of sense in this?