A question: How many of you are using synthesizer software? I do. Please, explain to me why ALSA plays the sound a good deal later after I have pressed a key on the MIDI keyboard, making playing a continuous melody an awkward experience. I am not using Pulse. "Jacking" the path from the application to the synth makes no difference either. And this is even without BFS.
Not using synths? OK, then have you ever noticed how sound effects in a game are much more in-sync with the visuals if you disable dmix or use ALSA's OSS? Of course, most games used to use OSS anyway (guess why) so you might have not noticed it because of that.
Also, this problem COMPLETELY DISAPPEARS when I either disable ALSA's dmix or use ALSA's OSS compatibility (which doesn't use dmix.) Or, of course, when I use OSS4 with its in-kernel vmix instead.
So OK. I've nailed it down to two things:
ALSA API sucks.
So now, tell me how "ALSA 1.0.23 Is Here With Better Linux Audio", which was what ticked me off in the first place, if neither of those two issues have been addressed.
I'm not an OSS4 fanboy. Actually, I also dislike OSS4. Its build system is brain damaged, it doesn't seem to support db-based output levels for my sound card, and its mixer interface (I mean /dev/mixer) is not always 100% legacy-OSS compatible. But I dislike ALSA even more.
Still to this day, audio on Linux sucks, and its flagship (ALSA) doesn't seem to even try to make things better. If it did, there would have been no reason for PulseAudio to exist.
So please think about the issues before you go defensive because someone attacked your beloved ALSA. Have a look at Windows and OS X. There you can see how an audio system should be. Compared to those, ALSA is crap.