You are not logged in.

#1 2008-05-09 19:14:18

Dheart
Member
From: Sofia, Bulgaria
Registered: 2006-10-26
Posts: 955

OSS4 vs ALSA vs Pusleaudio vs Jack

I wonder which sound system is better? I used ALSA, resently switched to OSS4 and I seam to like it better.
I've also tried to get jack to work, but without any success... I haven't tried pulseaudio... So what are the user's impressions from each of these systems?


My victim you are meant to be
No, you cannot hide nor flee
You know what I'm looking for
Pleasure your torture, I will endure...

Offline

#2 2008-05-09 20:09:38

Hohoho
Member
Registered: 2007-06-23
Posts: 222

Re: OSS4 vs ALSA vs Pusleaudio vs Jack

more like OSS4 vs ALSA and Pulseaudio vs Jack, since the latter two use ALSA or OSS as their backend.
ALSA satisfies all my needs, and they arent really that much (sound comes out of my speakers, microphone works big_smile).
Jack is ment to be used for professional recording and mixing, main emphasis is on low latency.
Pulseaudio is meant to be universal and very functional at which AFAIK it succeeds (stuff like per-app volume control, etc).

Offline

#3 2008-05-10 00:31:01

venox
Member
From: Curitiba, Brazil
Registered: 2003-08-23
Posts: 137
Website

Re: OSS4 vs ALSA vs Pusleaudio vs Jack

I used OSS4 until alsa 1.0.16 came out and fixed all the issues I had with snd-hda-intel :-)
Before 1.0.16 I had lots of problems while using alsa (sound stuttering, freezes, etc). Also, OSS4 doesn't support my tv card.

Offline

#4 2008-05-10 02:52:37

luciferin
Member
Registered: 2007-05-10
Posts: 144

Re: OSS4 vs ALSA vs Pusleaudio vs Jack

I switched to OSS4 for the built in software mixing.  ALSA continually has problems for me with multiple programs accessing my hardware, and this was only compounded by PulseAudio/ESD since programs like MPD and MythTV access the hardware by it's address (/dev/dsp).  With OSS4 it just works.  However, now I can't use SPDIF passthru. 

So, in my opinion, they both are seriously lacking.  I'm hoping for either PulseAudio integration with ALSA or for OSS4 to pick up in development with open source hackers now that it's had a license change.

You also might be interested in this thread on a similar subject.

Offline

#5 2008-05-31 19:33:37

Shadowmeph
Member
From: West Coast Canada
Registered: 2008-05-19
Posts: 208

Re: OSS4 vs ALSA vs Pusleaudio vs Jack

OSS4 is the only one that works for my sound card

Offline

#6 2008-06-02 08:48:52

schivmeister
Developer/TU
From: Singapore
Registered: 2007-05-17
Posts: 971
Website

Re: OSS4 vs ALSA vs Pusleaudio vs Jack

I think PulseAudio and JACK will co-exist fine. Apparently PulseAudio can route anything now, so it can route ports to JACK too, which is something nice. However it cannot and will not replace JACK.


I need real, proper pen and paper for this.

Offline

#7 2008-06-02 15:41:16

Gullible Jones
Member
Registered: 2004-12-29
Posts: 4,863

Re: OSS4 vs ALSA vs Pusleaudio vs Jack

ALSA works for me. OSS4 makes my sound chip sound noisy and awful.

As for JACK vs. Pulse, the winner seems pretty clear if you need realtime support. If not... I've found JACK to be less of a PITA, but it also has no currently maintained support for OSS mixing, which makes it less useful.

(Annoyingly, ossmix still doesn't work for Wine and certain other things. If it did I wouldn't be bothering with sound servers.)

Offline

#8 2008-08-09 22:08:57

ConnorBehan
Trusted User (TU)
From: Long Island NY
Registered: 2007-07-05
Posts: 1,359
Website

Re: OSS4 vs ALSA vs Pusleaudio vs Jack

Pulse lets you route audio between various sinks and sources but as far as I know almost all sources are applications and almost all sinks are devices. JACK is better if you want the output of ardour to feed the input of hydrogen and the output of qsynth to feed the input of ardour and so on, plus it has lower latency (and it tells you what the latency is whenever you adjust a parameter). The only problem is applications have to be compiled specifically for JACK. Pulse on the other hand doesn't need explicit support, anything that works with ALSA should work with Pulse (However a few programs hard code the device as hw:0 rather than ALSA's default).

So what I do is run pulse with the jack-sink and jack-source. That way when I start pulse, JACK automatically starts too. I don't have alsa-sink and alsa-source running because I think you have to choose between jack and alsa in default.pa but that doesn't matter. Pulse can still pickup sounds coming from ALSA apps and connecting them to whatever speakers and microphones I have can all be done in JACK. I try to have all apps output to JACK first (which is why I recompiled VLC with --enable-jack), but if that doesn't work, I make them output to Pulse and then Pulse outputs to JACK.

I just started experimenting with this last month but I love the Pusle + JACK setup.


6EA3 F3F3 B908 2632 A9CB E931 D53A 0445 B47A 0DAB
Great things come in tar.xz packages.

Offline

#9 2008-08-09 23:28:53

SyXbiT
Member
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: 2008-06-28
Posts: 170
Website

Re: OSS4 vs ALSA vs Pusleaudio vs Jack

i know in debian there's a separate package to enable  programs like vlc to use pulseaudio.
i noticed that vlc in arch doesn't have the Audio Output Module for pulse audio. (wiki says you have to use vlc-nightly from AUR, what a pain..)

Offline

#10 2008-08-10 01:06:13

ConnorBehan
Trusted User (TU)
From: Long Island NY
Registered: 2007-07-05
Posts: 1,359
Website

Re: OSS4 vs ALSA vs Pusleaudio vs Jack

If you launch it with "padsp vlc" and select the OSS output module, the regular vlc should work with pulseaudio too.


6EA3 F3F3 B908 2632 A9CB E931 D53A 0445 B47A 0DAB
Great things come in tar.xz packages.

Offline

#11 2008-08-10 01:27:06

venky80
Member
Registered: 2007-05-13
Posts: 1,002

Re: OSS4 vs ALSA vs Pusleaudio vs Jack

how do u install oss4? I know i have ALSA how do u change th backend


Acer Aspire V5-573P Antergos KDE

Offline

#12 2008-08-10 02:57:55

iphitus
Forum Fellow
From: Melbourne, Australia
Registered: 2004-10-09
Posts: 4,927

Re: OSS4 vs ALSA vs Pusleaudio vs Jack

Kinda awkward comparison. They're not equals and can't be compared as such. And they can generally be used together too.

I generally use alsa. I've never had the apparent problems in sound quality that everyone complains about. Nor do I need realtime sound. dmix works well enough for my uses these days - so long as everything is set to alsa.

Offline

#13 2008-08-10 03:26:33

Gullible Jones
Member
Registered: 2004-12-29
Posts: 4,863

Re: OSS4 vs ALSA vs Pusleaudio vs Jack

Now that I've figured out how to get aoss working with jack, pulseaudio is basically out the window.

Granted, the alsa -> jack -> alsa -> aoss setup is kind of kludgy. I'd personally be much happier if OSS emulation supported dmix properly.

(There's also the OSS4 route; some distros, like Draco Linux, use OSS4 by default and simply skip ALSA... I'm pretty happy with ALSA though, it gives me good sound quality and unobtrusive software mixing with no configuration.)

Last edited by Gullible Jones (2008-08-10 03:28:11)

Offline

#14 2008-08-10 18:22:13

freakcode
Member
From: São Paulo - Brazil
Registered: 2007-11-03
Posts: 410
Website

Re: OSS4 vs ALSA vs Pusleaudio vs Jack

I see a lot of developers saying good things about OSS API - in fact, OSS API is so better that some of them use ALSA OSS emulation instead of ALSA own API, which is regarded as poorly documented and messy.

PulseAudio promisses a lot, but delivers little. There's a pile of Fedora and Ubuntu users reporting PulseAudio broken compatibility with everything else, that it make sound lags, and that uses too much CPU. Also, PulseAudio comes to fix a broken level below, that is ALSA's lack for native mixing and per-application volume levels.

OSS, on the other hand, is a good api, UNIX compatible (instead of ALSA that is Linux specific), with native mixing support and per-application volume levels. If you ever used FreeBSD, you may also know it's ridiculous simple to setup - if your soundcard is supported, you only load the driver, it just works. Finally, OSS is the main choice for third-party and commercial applications (like Skype, TeamSpeak, games like Quake 4, etc.), as they win UNIX compatibility (instead of only supporting Linux), and a better, more documented API to use.

Jack (which is awesome, btw) doesn't enter on the discussion, as I see it aiming more features for professional software (like low latency, input/output redirection), that most people won't use on daily basis.

Also, not to confuse ALSA and OSS (sound APIs) with PulseAudio and Jack (sound servers).

Last edited by freakcode (2008-08-10 18:24:13)

Offline

#15 2008-08-12 12:49:29

Themaister
Member
From: Trondheim, Norway
Registered: 2008-07-21
Posts: 652
Website

Re: OSS4 vs ALSA vs Pusleaudio vs Jack

Had some problems with ALSA in Ubuntu (PulseAudio perhaps ...), but when I went to Arch, ALSA's been perfect for me smile No configuring at all, was just pacman -S alsa-utils and everything worked o.O strange.

Last edited by Themaister (2008-08-12 12:50:23)

Offline

#16 2008-08-12 15:22:33

TecnoVM64
Member
From: Santiago, Chile
Registered: 2007-06-02
Posts: 45

Re: OSS4 vs ALSA vs Pusleaudio vs Jack

I use PulseAudio and it's fine for me, if any app doesn't have a native pulseaudio output I just use ALSA and it works, only app that doesn't work so far is pSX sad

Offline

#17 2008-10-01 20:03:03

ChoK
Member
From: France
Registered: 2008-10-01
Posts: 346

Re: OSS4 vs ALSA vs Pusleaudio vs Jack

Last year, I used alsa with my snd-hda-intel (nvidia nforce chipset)
After spending hours (well coming from gentoo I learned patience, but it's still really frustrating),

I found an asound.conf working with :
alsa apps (yes some users can't ..)
my mic
enabling oss emulation without monopolizing the device ( can't play UT2004 with sound otherwise)
glest (don't know why, it didn't work out of the box)
java ( if you read java faq, they don't want to support software mixing, /dev/dsp, that's all)
and a working spdif

now I'm in China and I bought a new laptop, snd-hda-intel too
I install Ubuntu because I wanted something working out of the box, (it's not like I can borrow my friends internet connection 'till 6am)
guess what, alsa didn't work, and I had tried my lisp alsa config (why should we learn lisp to make alsa works anyway?) , no luck either, I tested again and again ...

well, I came across articles about how great OSSv4 was, particularly, the development of HDAudio driver, so I gave it a go
nothing to configure except blacklisting the alsa drivers. it works out of the box!!
The sound is crystal clear ( Alsa with HDA was not very loud I recall), I can even distinguish the cracking sound of bad mp3 encode on my laptop speakers with no effort (actually maybe this is not nice)

now, sadly enough, kmix doesn't yet support OSS
and plug in an head set doesn't mute automatically the rest.
I don't now about the spdif, I'll test it later
Anyway I'm totally converted to OSS


Ah, good taste! What a dreadful thing! Taste is the enemy of creativeness.
Picasso
Perfection is reached, not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away.
Saint Exupéry

Offline

#18 2008-10-01 23:19:04

Rasi
Member
From: Germany
Registered: 2007-08-14
Posts: 1,912
Website

Re: OSS4 vs ALSA vs Pusleaudio vs Jack

ChoK wrote:

now, sadly enough, kmix doesn't yet support OSS

But you got it to work otherwise? Phonon simply does not show my oss4 devices... tried changing it to gstreamer, because i read that it helps.. but nothing


He hoped and prayed that there wasn't an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contradiction involved here and merely hoped that there wasn't an afterlife.

Douglas Adams

Offline

#19 2008-10-02 07:04:19

ChoK
Member
From: France
Registered: 2008-10-01
Posts: 346

Re: OSS4 vs ALSA vs Pusleaudio vs Jack

Oddly it works for me with the Xine backend in phonon so I didn't bother to install gstreamer (in kubuntu)
I'm installing archlinux now OSS is installed but I don't have yet a desktop. I'll keep you informed

output from lshw
description: Audio device                                                             
             product: 82801I (ICH9 Family) HD Audio Controller
            configuration: driver=oss_hdaudio latency=0 module=oss_hdaudio

For alsa the card is Realtek ALC888, phonon shows ALC883 ( under Alsa and OSS weird ... but it works ... well)


Ah, good taste! What a dreadful thing! Taste is the enemy of creativeness.
Picasso
Perfection is reached, not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away.
Saint Exupéry

Offline

#20 2008-10-02 13:55:48

Rasi
Member
From: Germany
Registered: 2007-08-14
Posts: 1,912
Website

Re: OSS4 vs ALSA vs Pusleaudio vs Jack

ChoK wrote:

Oddly it works for me with the Xine backend in phonon so I didn't bother to install gstreamer (in kubuntu)
I'm installing archlinux now OSS is installed but I don't have yet a desktop. I'll keep you informed

output from lshw
description: Audio device                                                             
             product: 82801I (ICH9 Family) HD Audio Controller
            configuration: driver=oss_hdaudio latency=0 module=oss_hdaudio

For alsa the card is Realtek ALC888, phonon shows ALC883 ( under Alsa and OSS weird ... but it works ... well)

hmm this is VERY odd, since the xine backend has no oss support... and ineed i got it to work with gstreamer now, but xine still shows nothing

Last edited by Rasi (2008-10-02 13:56:31)


He hoped and prayed that there wasn't an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contradiction involved here and merely hoped that there wasn't an afterlife.

Douglas Adams

Offline

#21 2008-10-03 09:14:40

ChoK
Member
From: France
Registered: 2008-10-01
Posts: 346

Re: OSS4 vs ALSA vs Pusleaudio vs Jack

Actually at the start of KDE I have a notification from phonon that say :
Phonon can't connect to HDA Intel ALC883, switching to HDA Intel ALC883 ( maybe he switch to gstreamer backend automatically)
This is with KUbuntu (Note that Phonon detects 2 instance of my sound card, while lspci and lshw only one)

with Archlinux and KDEmod I don't have sound with phonon although mplayer, wesnoth works.

Last edited by ChoK (2008-10-03 09:16:48)


Ah, good taste! What a dreadful thing! Taste is the enemy of creativeness.
Picasso
Perfection is reached, not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away.
Saint Exupéry

Offline

#22 2008-11-17 00:10:07

Rasi
Member
From: Germany
Registered: 2007-08-14
Posts: 1,912
Website

Re: OSS4 vs ALSA vs Pusleaudio vs Jack

http://4front-tech.com/hannublog/

sad:(

That is very, very sad....


He hoped and prayed that there wasn't an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contradiction involved here and merely hoped that there wasn't an afterlife.

Douglas Adams

Offline

#23 2008-11-17 02:28:59

Gullible Jones
Member
Registered: 2004-12-29
Posts: 4,863

Re: OSS4 vs ALSA vs Pusleaudio vs Jack

Yeah... Bad news, and I feel sorry for the guy.

Perhaps the FreeBSD devs (or Net, Open, etc.) could take up the slack? OSS was available under a BSD license among others.

Last edited by Gullible Jones (2008-11-17 02:29:45)

Offline

#24 2008-11-17 12:17:58

Army
Member
Registered: 2007-12-07
Posts: 1,784

Re: OSS4 vs ALSA vs Pusleaudio vs Jack

Oh noooooooooooo :'-( I started loving oss4 just a few days ago and now this?!?! So alsa bullcrap will stay the default forever ... Damn f***ing sh**, really!!! Does BSD have a better soundsystem? They need to have a different one, alsa is incompatible with it.

Offline

#25 2008-11-17 12:53:23

allbluedream
Member
Registered: 2008-04-06
Posts: 155

Re: OSS4 vs ALSA vs Pusleaudio vs Jack

Just tried OSS4 today. Not able to get the mixer up and running (no device or something...) but mpd with OSS worked. However, sound quality was no better, and sometimes there were noticeable distortions, which never occurred with ALSA...

Offline

Board footer

Powered by FluxBB