[pulseaudio-discuss] Why no 'default device' option?

Colin Guthrie gmane at colin.guthr.ie
Wed Nov 25 10:48:17 PST 2009

'Twas brillig, and Vadim Peretokin at 25/11/09 17:14 did gyre and gimble:
> It's great that /pavucontrol/ offers a fallback device option. But why 
> doesn't it offer one for selecting which device would you like to be 
> default?

Because it doesn't :) Patches welcome.

> My use case: I'm on a laptop and have a wireless usb headset. I prefer 
> that everything is played/recorded via the headset, when the headset is 
> connected to the laptop.

This is a not uncommon request. I'm trying to convince Lennart that this 
is indeed something we need to expose in the UI.

For KDE users this is now possible with PA 0.9.21 and KDE 4.4, but no 
Gnome UI/interaction exists for this.

> Currently with PulseAudio, every new app that I start will use the 
> onboard sound card. I have to manually go to pavucontrol, and change the 
> streams to my headset. PA will also, at some point later in time, 
> randomly forget that and reset back to the soundcard, but I haven't 
> found the reliable pattern for that to report it.

It's quite predictable actually.

PA will always remember what your app has chosen. So if you play 
something with an app for the very first time, it is assigned to the 
fallback device (we know no better).

Once it's played for the first time, we save that choice. When the app 
is started next time, it tries to use the same device as last time, and 
then it uses the fallback.

So the "randomly" forgetting is just using said app with the headset not 
plugged in. This overwrites your previously saved device.

The logic is quite simple, but I have to agree with you that I'd like 
more predictable results and preferences.

An ordered list of priorities per role is what I'd like to see (it's 
what I've implemented in module-device-manager) with the option to 
overrule that general choice but with a simple UI to "forget" the choice 
and revert to the priority-per-role list.



Colin Guthrie

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