- May 29, 2010
Would JACK work better? I've heard it has less latency. And more features.
"[...] power consumption was definitely in favor of PulseAudio [...]" -- http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTA0MzY
Pulseaudio itself is fine for me here. But pavucontrol can do some horrible things when left alone for a few days, devouring more and more memory for no obvious reason.I've got pulse on my BeagleBoard with just 256mb of RAM and I've never noticed any such memory problem.
Not that my Beagle does a whole lot of sound stuff lately, it's just been an email server and IRC client for a few years.
There are specific Linux distros, like KXStudio, configured to use JACK on top of Pulseaudio.Whether the default audio system is a big deal IMO depends on the number of applications/use cases that are restricted in sound support to only one environment or may even refuse to start in different environments.
I don't think this will be a problem for games/emulators, because these will mostly have exclusive access to all major Pyra subsystems anyway and switching to the supported mode (loosing phone or proaudio functionality) while playing should be acceptable.
But I don't know the situation with general tools where audio is either crucial (e.g. a media player) or at least desirable (e.g. a 3D modeling tool providing valuable audible feedback). It would suck having to switch back to PA after I set up my connections in JACK just to watch a video in the browser. It would still be quite annoying having to restart the browser after switching audio environments.
Unfortunately I don't see a general solution besides having two separate sound devices in the hardware.
It is possible with ALSA, as I do it in my HTPC. But it is very cumbersome:When connecting a TV on HDMI but want the sound coming out from the headset port, how would that work with ALSA?
With Pulseaudio, it's just two clicks to route the audio either to HDMI or the headset.
You can even send the audio of a movie you're watching to your TV while getting notifications out of your Pyra speakers.
There's no easy way for that with ALSA, it's not even possible with some apps.
And it's probably the reason there's still no easy way to use a bluetooth headset with the Pandora.
With the idea of the Pyra also having phone features Pulse as default makes even more sense, the ability to redirect audio to speakers or headphones or bluetooth or to a recorded file at will without needing to restart the phone app is important.TL;DR: I don't use pulseaudio myself, but I can understand that it is a reasonable option for the default configuration of the operating system.