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Thread: Wine Developers Fight Over PulseAudio Driver

  1. #71
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    Feb 2012
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    I've tried it in Ubuntu 12.04 which has pretty up to date versions of both PulseAudio and ALSA. I ended up removing it because of problems under heavy load. While I had pretty all of my RAM in usage and high CPU use audio stream was stuttering and even disappearing for long periods of time.

  2. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scias View Post
    I can understand all this hate towards pulseaudio, since I used to hate it aswell...

    My first pulseaudio experience was on the first Ubuntu that included it by default (I think 9.04 but I might be wrong), and yes, it was really awful. Stuttering sound, crackles, high latency, lots of apps not being able to output audio with default settings, very high CPU usage (over 50% to play 2 streams) so yeah, I immediately removed it every time after a fresh install, and yet it was not easy as GNOME was seeming to highly depend on it.
    I hated it, verily. I also thought that another layer like this was useless and only causing troubles...

    So I passed years, only using bare ALSA and fled on KDE 4 just because of pulseaudio becoming more important in GNOME (like replacing the old standard esd). I also finally moved to Archlinux and some day after reading pulseaudio 1.0 release news, I decided to try it, as I'm curious...
    The result was just totally different. Not only my sound quality and maximum volume vastly increased, but it was just flawless even under heavy load. I could also finally use some more features of my dedicated Creative X-Fi card such as 96khz/32bit output, tune the resampling quality, per-app volume/recording/routing/piping to what-so-ever, things that are just totally impossible or very user-unfriendly with bare ALSA/dmix.

    I also learnt more about pulse, like why it used to have a lot of issues at the beggining.
    As pulseaudio is way more feature complete than dmix, it uses some functions/APIs that weren't used nor tested at all in the ALSA drivers previously, and many of them were bugged or simply broken/missing. Pulseaudio highlighted a ton of existing bugs in ALSA drivers that weren't noticed yet and as the drivers were broken pulseaudio was working bad on them.
    Would you blame X if the display is corrupt because of a bad driver ? I don't think so.

    Times passed, and a lot of these issues have finally been resolved. PA works seamlessly on most of the hardware nowadays, and if not you can still configure it to use the old interrupt-based method which should work for the still-problematic drivers...
    Of course, ALSA drivers aren't the only ones to blame for most of pulseaudio's misconceptions, but also some distros and/or some desktop environments that enforced it while it was still not complete and working on bugged ALSA drivers, making a lot of users, including me, blaming pulseaudio even if the broken pieces were elsewhere...

    So I understand people hating pulse, but I really encourage them to try a recent version, because it has really changed and matured. Don't hate or troll on it just because you lastly tried an old version of it on broken ALSA drivers.

    Regards,
    (Sorry for the wall of text and bad english)
    I agree, for me pulse is a FAR FAR FAR better experience than plain alsa/dmix. I am getting better sound quality, and stuff like my HDMI output just works (had to use freakin scripts to get it working with alsa/dmix, and even then volume control didn't work. alsamixer refused to show the hdmi device, even in the f6 menu).

    Pulseaudio actually fixed the only remaining bug I had with it (sometimes it would stop working and tell me I had a dummy output until I restarted pulse. Works with no issues with pulseaudio 2.0)

  3. #73
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    Aug 2007
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    It is just a bit tricky to use pulse when the hdmi device is not at ,3. Like when you have got some nvidia gfx cards one output is often ,7 and the other is ,3.

  4. #74
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    A couple of general comments:
    1. I'm a Fedora user ( More on that later ).
    2. Up until Fedora ~11 I used to remove Pulse and use my dmix based Alsa setup (which worked just fine w/ multiple sound cards - some using 2.1 / 5.1).
    3. In ~F11 everything more-or-less fall into place, for the first time Pulse got everything right (for -me-) and actually had features that didn't quite work when I used Alsa. (E.g. Playing games while Firefox displays a tab w/ flash running; Doing the same with Amarok running; etc).
    4. ... Currently the only application that requires special treatment is wine, which I manually build w/ the latest winepulse driver.
    5. 7 desktop machines / workstation, 10 different sounds cards, 1 minor issues. (Weird input sound level balancing issue on my laptop).
    6. I honestly can't picture myself going back to wasting hours on hours trying to get the perfect alsarc just so I won't get shuttering / distorted sound (let alone trying to get dmix working reliability)
    7. pavucontrol (PA volume control): Give it a try.

    ... In the end, the distribution has a *huge* effect on how pulse behaves (Trying to use PA under Arch was, err, interesting experience). Before people starts blaming PA for world + dog, I suggest you try a different distribution. Who knows, maybe your issue is default-configuration related.

    - Gilboa
    DEV: Intel S2600C0, 2xE52658V2, 32GB, 4x2TB, GTX780, F20/x86_64, Dell U2711.
    SRV: Intel S5520SC, 2xX5680, 36GB, 4x2TB, GTX550, F20/x86_64, Dell U2412..
    BACK: Tyan Tempest i5400XT, 2xE5335, 8GB, 3x1.5TB, 9800GTX, F20/x86-64.
    LAP: ASUS N56VJ, i7-3630QM, 16GB, 1TB, 635M, F20/x86_64.

  5. #75
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    May 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowBane View Post
    If this is the case, tell me why pro audio stuff on linux tends to not support alsa directly. Also, if extra layers were bad things like ASIO and ReWire wouldn't exist on windows/mac.
    linux has a huge advantage with alsa in pro-audio in that alsa comunicates with the hardware directly thus providing 2'nd lowest latency posible (lowest woud be the program directly talking to the sound card

    ASIO is not a layer on top of nothing, its a protocol(and driver/ABI) made by Steinberg when they realised how much latency there is in windows audio
    ASIO bypasses direct-audio and stuff

    PA and jack are layers

    edit: only thing i know alsa cant do and PA can is switch streams around while playing
    Last edited by gens; 07-01-2012 at 08:48 AM.

  6. #76
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    May 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by gilboa View Post
    A couple of general comments:
    1. I'm a Fedora user ( More on that later ).
    2. Up until Fedora ~11 I used to remove Pulse and use my dmix based Alsa setup (which worked just fine w/ multiple sound cards - some using 2.1 / 5.1).
    3. In ~F11 everything more-or-less fall into place, for the first time Pulse got everything right (for -me-) and actually had features that didn't quite work when I used Alsa. (E.g. Playing games while Firefox displays a tab w/ flash running; Doing the same with Amarok running; etc).
    4. ... Currently the only application that requires special treatment is wine, which I manually build w/ the latest winepulse driver.
    5. 7 desktop machines / workstation, 10 different sounds cards, 1 minor issues. (Weird input sound level balancing issue on my laptop).
    6. I honestly can't picture myself going back to wasting hours on hours trying to get the perfect alsarc just so I won't get shuttering / distorted sound (let alone trying to get dmix working reliability)
    7. pavucontrol (PA volume control): Give it a try.

    ... In the end, the distribution has a *huge* effect on how pulse behaves (Trying to use PA under Arch was, err, interesting experience). Before people starts blaming PA for world + dog, I suggest you try a different distribution. Who knows, maybe your issue is default-configuration related.

    - Gilboa
    How long ago did you try pulse under arch? I'm currently using pulse under arch and it works perfectly, I didn't even have to do any extra tweaking... pacman -S pulseaudio pulseaudio-alsa pavucontrol, and everything just works (well I had to do a little bit of tweaking in XFCE, but that was due to xfce-mixer and xfce-volumed's nonexistant pulse support and not a problem with arch. When I used it in gnome/kde it required zero extra tweaking), the arch packages already included the necessary asound.conf too.

  7. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by bwat47 View Post
    How long ago did you try pulse under arch? I'm currently using pulse under arch and it works perfectly, I didn't even have to do any extra tweaking... pacman -S pulseaudio pulseaudio-alsa pavucontrol, and everything just works (well I had to do a little bit of tweaking in XFCE, but that was due to xfce-mixer and xfce-volumed's nonexistant pulse support and not a problem with arch. When I used it in gnome/kde it required zero extra tweaking), the arch packages already included the necessary asound.conf too.
    To be honest, I didn't have much time to test Arch, so any issues I had with PA/XFCE might have been *entirely* my fault.

    - Gilboa
    DEV: Intel S2600C0, 2xE52658V2, 32GB, 4x2TB, GTX780, F20/x86_64, Dell U2711.
    SRV: Intel S5520SC, 2xX5680, 36GB, 4x2TB, GTX550, F20/x86_64, Dell U2412..
    BACK: Tyan Tempest i5400XT, 2xE5335, 8GB, 3x1.5TB, 9800GTX, F20/x86-64.
    LAP: ASUS N56VJ, i7-3630QM, 16GB, 1TB, 635M, F20/x86_64.

  8. #78
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    Dec 2007
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    Not a fan of PA. Have never used it on my gentoo boxes, and I routinely have to work around it on my wife's desktop.

  9. #79
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    Apr 2010
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    Im really looking solution for this problem and i hope it ends up better pulseaudio support for wine. Why someone asks. Well im currently running setup where i output sometimes my music from apps and game sounds from wine via tunnel-sink and its pretty annoying when it gets latency. My network speed isnt the problem its the alsa-pulseaudio problem here. Almost every other app work flawless like html5 sound from youtube and native linux games vlc etc... (flash plugin isnt working and its very choppy but ya).

    So less latency is always better as it makes things working. And i think that in this point it would be best to seal pulseaudio support as i think its now mature enough to handle all the audio needs for near lets say 5-10 years in future and lets hope that other audio driver will overcome in time that can handle everything in one layer.

    I also started to use pulse audio like year ago as it got enough mature. But case you dont need the pulse audio you will be fine just using alsa. Thou many packages are being merged depend on pulseaudio so it cant hurt much to give it a try.

    The pulse audio networking isnt too hard to figure out but it totally lacks good documentations maybe. I used various wikipages to get my setup(openwrt,gentoo,archlinux). I guess the hardest part is to realize how it should be configured to handle the audio. Maybe some pictures with flow-chart should easy it up a but i guess :\
    Last edited by Dehir; 07-04-2012 at 06:10 PM.

  10. #80
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    Mar 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreatEmerald View Post
    Once again, pulse-damon.conf. It has loads and loads of settings to micromanage how much CPU it uses. It's set to be high priority by default (so that audio isn't interrupted), and you can change that very easily.

    It seems that the main problems that people have with PA are that a) it was released earlier than it was ready (integrated properly) and so people still remember it in that broken state, even if it's fixed long ago, and b) that nobody cares to read the manual for it...
    I agree on a) (and god knows It was a bumpy ride when PA was forced down on people too early), but not about b). WHY should an average desktopuser have to read documentation about how to manually set up their sound card driver and mid level sound system with a texteditor??? That is something geeks and sound pros only should ever need to even think about. Average Joe expect sound to always just work, and that is how it should be on a modern system.

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