[pulseaudio-discuss] A pulseaudio appliance

Jim Carter jimc at math.ucla.edu
Wed Oct 3 09:48:12 PDT 2007

On Wed, 3 Oct 2007, Matthieu Baechler wrote:

> I'm currently looking for an appliance that would offer the same
> feature as AirTunes from Apple, but obviously, using free software,
> and thus pulseaudio.
> 1/ be small
> 2/ be pretty (as in "it must be accepted by my wife")
> 3/ be power efficient (less than ~10W, ~1W in standby)
> 4/ be silent (no moving part)

For a related application I've considered the Linutop: 
http://www.linutop.com/  Others have pointed out that this is not the only 
machine of this type, and considerable cost saving could be realized by 
putting a micro-ATX mobo in a project case, but it probably wouldn't 
satisfy requirement #2 above.  Anyway, a general purpose machine is the
way to go; you then put on the software for your specific application.

Things to watch for:  

The AMD Geode in the Linutop is x86 family, but more typical of small
machines is ARM, and isn't there some issue with PulseAudio on ARM because 
of multithreading?  (For me, PulseAudio on the Nokia 770 or N800 would be 
great.  They use ESD now.)

The last time I tangled with wireless + USB + Linux, several years ago, it 
was a nightmare, and just recently a USB wireless NIC on Windows Vista 
performed so unreliably that I *almost* got my wife to convert the box to 
Linux (we went with wired Ethernet instead).  You should give your USB NIC 
a multi-day test in your desktop machine, before trusting it to play a key 
role in your entertainment infrastructure -- which is supposed to be fun, 
after all, not a system administration time sink.

James F. Carter          Voice 310 825 2897    FAX 310 206 6673
UCLA-Mathnet;  6115 MSA; 405 Hilgard Ave.; Los Angeles, CA, USA  90095-1555
Email: jimc at math.ucla.edu    http://www.math.ucla.edu/~jimc (q.v. for PGP key)

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