[pulseaudio-discuss] Moving sources and sinks

Tomas Carnecky tom at dbservice.com
Sun May 4 11:04:23 PDT 2008

Nikolai Beier wrote:
> Oh, now I looked at the bug reports and got confused again. Is this
> the key points? (Ses below:)
> == Wine and the alsa plugin for PulseAudio (alsa pulse plugin) ==
> PulseAudio normally takes control of the hardware through the device
> driver/ALSA. Thereby the hardware "device" in ALSA is blocked for
> other clients like Wine.

PA blocks access to the hardware. Therefore users are advised to create 
~/.asoundrc and add 'pcm.!default { type pulse }' to the file. Doing so, 
all applications which use alsa magically start using the alsa pulse 
plugin. Unfortunately the alsa pulse plugin has bugs, so some 
applications don't work. Wine is one of those applications.

> Perhaps Winealsa (the output driver for ALSA) needs direct hardware
> access? Or it is/was just coded that way, but does not need to be. Or
> it was never a problem?

Wine should not need hardware access. Maybe it mistakenly did in the 
past. But it should not. If it still does, then it needs to be fixed.

> Winealsa is now (may 4. 20008) fixed, so it uses the alsa device
> "default" instead of "default:0" (or like numbers), and does not
> require a volume control called PCM but uses the default volume
> control.

Yes, that is correct. This part of the Wine alsa driver should now be fixed.

> Finally there are the delay problem(s).
> * "wereHamster" noted that the ALSA pulse plugin might set Wine in an
> endles loop. http://www.pulseaudio.org/ticket/198#comment:8

FYI, I'm wereHamster. I have a fix for that. I'll submit the patch after 
I figure out how to use mercurial.

> * Some have notices large delays (like one second), which is tracked
> back to some delay calculations in the ALSA pulse plugin.

I haven't come across this problem. Are there bug reports that track 
this issue?

> If a gamer wants lowest possible latency, and does not need any other
> app to play sound (like voice chats like "Teamspeak"), then they
> should use pasuspender.

Yes, pro-gamers most definitely want to do that. But for normal users 
the alsa pulse plugin should 'just work'. In my (subjective) tests, 
running World of Warcraft, I haven't found the PA latency to be much 
bigger then dmix.


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