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Thread: ALSA vs. OSS clarification please?

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  1. #1
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    Default ALSA vs. OSS clarification please?

    Hi guys, as you can tell.. I'm a bit of a linux newbie.. well, I've been using it for a year but haven't delved into it as deep as I'd like. Anyway, unfortunately I purchased this computer with an X-Fi sound card, which has FINALLY gotten some beta support in OSS 4.1015. Now my problem is... I don't know how to find out when distributions will be shipping this version, if at all. From what I can see, ALSA is replacing OSS and has support for pretty much everything OSS previously supported.. so I was hoping someone'd be able to help me understand all this and get a simple answer to the question of when I could finally hear anything in linux out of this damn card.

    Oh and if the answer is 'in a long time', is it simple to get the latest OSS drivers going yourself? On say, some *buntu derivative?

    Cheers

  2. #2
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    There is no current plans to incorporate OSS back into the kernel. ALSA has already received the spec sheets from Creative for the X-Fi and a ALSA driver is planned in a near future release. There is already a driver for the X-Fi Xtreme Audio using the snd-ca0106 module. Other X-Fi's will be supported shortly.

    PS By the way, creative is falling on hard times, recently they have been found selling their headquarters.
    http://www.tradingmarkets.com/.site/...0News/1235910/
    Last edited by deanjo; 03-29-2008 at 11:27 PM.

  3. #3
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    Thanks That clarifies a lot.. no luck with the Xtreme Audio.. I've got Xtreme music.. lol without sound.. well I'll sit n wait longer I Guess.. I'd sorta resigned myself to using my integrated sound all my life anyway.. at least it'll happen eventually :P Probably after I replace my computer.

    I don't know whether to be sad or pleased about Creative's troubles.. hopefully any company that rises to fill the high end audio gap learns from creative's mistakes.. Which reminds me.. I needa get my Cowon iAudio fixed.. :P

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rahux View Post
    Thanks I don't know whether to be sad or pleased about Creative's troubles.. hopefully any company that rises to fill the high end audio gap learns from creative's mistakes..
    I've never had troubles finding an alternative to creative for high end audio. Currently it looks like Asus is finally making a play to kick creative in the teeth with it's sonar cards (which are fully supported in linux with Alsa or OSS). M-Audio is another company with a good record and Auzentech has some great cards. My X-Meridian and X-Plosion work great in any OS.

    Currently Creative is driving their customers away, after telling a 3rd party to stop modding their drivers to give proper support and fixing their bugs.

    http://forums.creative.com/creativel...cending&page=1
    Last edited by deanjo; 03-30-2008 at 10:24 AM.

  5. #5
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    Well Now my opinions of Creative are better informed. Asus's move's interesting.. I've always had a special place in my heart for Asus, especially since I bought an Asus PDA and again at the launch of the EeePC. Thanks for the advise about the alternatives, will definately look into them for next time.

  6. #6
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    It's a shame that Creative isn't doing too well, they've made some good hardware.

    The only bad thing I have to say about Creative is that they never gave me good enough reason to upgrade from my Sound Blaster Live! Platinum to anything newer. I have near audiophile level stereo gear and while I can hear a clear difference between my Platinum and the on board audio, I can't hear any difference between the Live! and an X-Fi, M-Audio 192KHz 24-bit USB sound card, or any other Professional card.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tillin9 View Post
    I can't hear any difference between the Live! and an X-Fi, M-Audio 192KHz 24-bit USB sound card, or any other Professional card.
    Most people won't now days. Their hearing has been destroyed by portable music players. Plus if your listening to lossless media (ie ogg/mp3) the codec becomes the biggest limiting factor. Also if you are using digital out on these cards the final analogue quality is determined by the DACs and Opamps on the receiver. Now when you hook up via the analogue outs on the cards the difference in sound quality should be readily heard. The SB Live for example because of it's poor DAC's has severe high frequency roll off. Not only that but the processor on it also dithers everything to 16/48 no matter what the source is.

  8. #8
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    You mean lossy, things like FLAC are lossless (do not lose sound information form the source). ogg and mp3 are lossy (lose sound information from the source)

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    Quote Originally Posted by daniel of sarnia View Post
    You mean lossy, things like FLAC are lossless (do not lose sound information form the source). ogg and mp3 are lossy (lose sound information from the source)
    Yes that's what I mean

  10. #10
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    The major problem is that with faster cpus, lots of ram and forced _software_ emulated 3d audio (like within v) gamers don't need to get extra soundcards. EAX is just a hack currently which could be emulated too - if Creative wants it or not. Maybe it is possible to sell some special cards with more input/output connectors for musicans, but the soundcard market is definitely dying - just a matter of time. The decision not to support older cards is understandable, at least you could "force" a new buy for gaming freaks who like EAX until Asus or whoever releases a generic wrapper for all. Of course they have to try to sue the one or at least tell everybody that the qualitiy is below their solutions, but exept a little cpu time - which is no problem with multicore cpus - basically it can't be that difference. With the HDA (high definition audio) standard requirement for v basially every (onboard) sound has same specs on paper - maybe not always in reality

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