[pulseaudio-discuss] Network Audio with Pulse

Matt Patterson matt at v8zman.com
Mon Apr 7 15:59:39 PDT 2008

I played with something similar but my goal was an audio multiplex 
switch all on the same machine to the rtp lag issue was less apparent. 
As for controlling it, I just wrote a simple python app that connects to 
the unix socket (same thing pacmd does) and I issue commands to load 
modules, mute inputs, etc so things can be controlled. I then wrote a 
php wrapper around the python app so my web based audio control could 
come about.

To go this route you have to make sure the command line interface is 
available either via TCP or Unix socket (I chose unix socket). If you 
like I would be happy to send my hacktastic python code to help get 
things moving.

I believe that using the tunnels allows you to have the sync feature 
where rtp doesn't, so maybe play around with getting them working???


Jim Duda wrote:
> There was a similar thread, back around New Year's regarding Network 
> Audio.  I've read the entire thread a few times.  I'm having similar 
> problems, yet different.
> I'm looking for some advice as to how best to use network audio with pulse.
> I have multiple linux computers in my house, four to be specific.  One 
> operates as a file server, one as a desktop, and the other two as 
> diskless think clients which basically operate as media players.
> I use these computers in a home automation network in my house using the 
> misterhouse home automation software (misterhouse.net).
> All machines are running stock fedora 8.  The two thin clients, are not 
> running the full suite of services which a desktop would.  For example, 
> they are not currently running avahi or hal (but could if necessary).  I 
> can certainly turn on what needs to be running.
> I'm hoping to perform the following using pulseaudio.
> Let's call my machines A, B, C, D.
> Let's assume that some stream is started on machine A, playing in the 
> living room.  I would like to be able to have that same stream play on 
> machines A and B simultaneously.  I don't care if I have to go to stream 
> A and say send to machine B now, or, go to machine B and ask B to fetch 
> a stream from machine A.  I can make both work.  I want to be able to 
> drop the stream to B at anytime.  I realize that if the source stream 
> stops, then all streams would in essence stop too.
> I need to be able to access the controls to switch streams using a 
> command line application which I can call from perl using the system 
> call.  I've seen the stream switch in pavucontrol.  I've seen the 
> move-sink-input in pactl (but failed to get it to work, I guess I don't 
> understand how the params work as I always get some error message).
> At some other time, I may want to have machine C join in the stream with 
> machines B, C.
> How is this best to accomplish?
> 1) Should I use combine_sink on the source machine?
> 2) Should I use rtp?
> 3) Should I use tunnel_sink?
> I've played with rtp.  Although it works, the audio isn't synchronized. 
>     Maybe it should be synchronized, but I haven't found that to be 
> true.  I can hear latency delay between multiple machines.
> I know how to play across the network, using the pulseaudio alsa plugin.
> I'm now trying to play with the network options in the paprefs 
> application.  On my main server and desktop, all the network audio 
> options in paprefs, configure local sound server, are all grayed out.
> Each machine has these modules installed from FC8.
> sudo yum list '*pulse*'
> Installed Packages
> akode-pulseaudio.i386             2.0.2-4.fc8            installed
> alsa-plugins-pulseaudio.i386      1.0.15-3.fc8.1         installed
> pulseaudio.i386                   0.9.8-5.fc8            installed
> pulseaudio-core-libs.i386         0.9.8-5.fc8            installed
> pulseaudio-esound-compat.i3       0.9.8-5.fc8            installed
> pulseaudio-libs.i386              0.9.8-5.fc8            installed
> pulseaudio-libs-devel.i386        0.9.8-5.fc8            installed
> pulseaudio-libs-glib2.i386        0.9.8-5.fc8            installed
> pulseaudio-libs-zeroconf.i386     0.9.8-5.fc8            installed
> pulseaudio-module-gconf.i386      0.9.8-5.fc8            installed
> pulseaudio-module-jack.i386       0.9.8-5.fc8            installed
> pulseaudio-module-x11.i386        0.9.8-5.fc8            installed
> pulseaudio-module-zeroconf.i386   0.9.8-5.fc8            installed
> pulseaudio-utils.i386            0.9.8-5.fc8             installed
> Available Packages
> audacious-plugins-pulseaudio.i386 1.3.5-3.fc8            fedora
> fluxbox-pulseaudio.i386           1.0.0-2.fc8            updates
> gstreamer-plugins-pulse.i386      0.9.5-0.4.svn20070924. fedora
> kde-settings-pulseaudio.noarch    3.5-38.fc8             updates
> pulseaudio-module-bluetooth.i386  0.9.8-5.fc8            updates
> pulseaudio-module-lirc.i386       0.9.8-5.fc8            updates
> Both the avahi and gconf modules are loaded as displayed in the Modules 
> section of the Paprefs Manager display.  What else is necessary?
> I have auth-anonymouns=1 loaded for both native-protocol-unix and native 
> -protocol-tcp.
> I've read all the documentation on the pulse wiki many times.  I've 
> browsed through all the postings on the mailing list over the past 6 months.
> I'm just playing now with the server and desktop which have full blown 
> stock fc8 installs, just to figure out how all this works, then I'll 
> incorporate the thin clients later.
> The whole package is rather complicated and I haven't had much success 
> in putting it all together.
> I've done my homework.  I just cannot get it working ...
> Thanks,
> Jim
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