Alsa 1.0.9 has improved many things for me, due to dmix which is now enabled by default. Suddenly, movies play in sync, different programs can play sounds simultaneously without using a sound daemon like esd.
There are, however, programs that insist on using esd (like firefox). But since I updated to alsa 1.0.9, sound output via esd sounds just horrible, like a robot voice.
Uh ? that why sound play totally scrappy on my computer. I started to think that some libraries are broken.
I'm using esd in every programs. I'll try to disable it everywhere...
Yeeehaaa !! Now my sound is great !
To change the scrappy sound in firefox (I use mplayer plugin) I have changed the sound output driver in gmplayer preferences to alsa. Now it works. It also work with the flash player video (maybe it use mplayer ? It seems strange...).
I didn't know that a mixer is now integrated in alsa. It's just great !
So sound works for you in flash plugin? Strange, mine sound as all other applications sounded right after the upgrade.
The central points:
* IF commercial software vendors release Linux versions of their products, they are often years behind current software development. Helix player doesn't support ALSA, Flash player doesn't support ALSA, it took Adobe years to provide a usable Reader and even now with version 7 desktop integration is at best mediocre.
* Why doesn't esd work anymore with the new ALSA?
OK, there we go, new version 0.2.36 of esound solves the alsa problems.
* Any more or less smart program can output to ALSA directly, simultaneously with any other ALSA program.
* ESD is still needed for firefox, macromedia flash.
* Standalone applications that use OSS can be piped though to ALSA by using the aoss program. Realplayer for example: change the following line in /opt/realplayer/realplay.sh (near the end)
aoss $REALPLAYBIN "$@"