Comparisons with ALSA
Some advantages and disadvantages compared to using the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture.
OSS Advantages (users)
Per-application volume control.
Lower latency due to everything running within the Linux Kernel. Initial response time in audio applications is usually better.
OSS always has sound mixing, ALSA does not.
Sound mixing is of higher quality, due to OSS using more precise math in its sound mixing.
Some legacy cards have better support.
OSS Advantages (developers)
Support for drivers in userspace.
Cross-platform (OSS runs on BSDs and Solaris).
Cleaner and easier to use API.
ALSA advantages over OSS
Better support for USB audio devices.
Support for Bluetooth audio devices.
Support for AC'97 and HD Audio dial-up soft-modems such as Si3055.
Better support for MIDI devices.
Support for suspend.
Better support for jack detection.
OSS has experimental output support for USB audio devices, but no input.