[pulseaudio-discuss] using pulseaudio with simultaneous playback from mutiple X sessions

Ben Bucksch linux.news at bucksch.org
Sun Nov 13 09:33:03 PST 2011

On 13.11.2011 15:40, Colin Guthrie wrote:
> 'Twas brillig, and Ben Bucksch at 12/11/11 20:56 did gyre and gimble:
>> The whole idea is that I can control from several clients, but the playback is done by the server. And it's *really* cool, esp. combined with an Android tablet.
> I'm fully aware of how it works and as far the control and input stages
> go, that's perfectly fine. That doesn't mean that it is architecturally
> perfect. and I feel that having a system-wide daemon outputting sound
> regardless of who is logged in is fundamentally the wrong approach.
> In the scenario I envisage, you'd still have the central mpd process,
> and you'd still have mpd clients connecting to select what is played.
> The only difference is that rather than the daemon process actually
> actively outputting sound, it is separated into an "mpd output agent"
> process. This process needs to run and connect with he daemon to do the
> output stage. Any client could still log in and do the control/selection
> stuff, and any active output agent will simply and dumbly output the sound.
> Each user on the system that agrees to let mpd play will run the output
> agent as their own user (and this includes the gdm user whose
> participation in the mpd setup is a system administrator choice). It
> then thus connects to their own PA daemon and all is well in the world.

This doesn't allow the situation where you just start the machine, no 
user logged in (because it's acting as server), and you can play music 
with your tablet, loudspeakers connected to the computer.

*That* is where the pulseaudio setup failed for my friend. It's *both* a 
squeezebox appliance (server, no user, no UI) and a desktop.
And that's also my setup, just that my pulse server is the HTPC, so I 
don't run into it.

Yes, this design is fundamentally at odd with that of pulseaudio as user 
daemon. But that doesn't mean the design of mpd is wrong. In my view: 
There's only one sound card (hardware), so there should be only one 
pulse server, which implies a system-wide pulse server should be used. 
That would be logical for me. You prefer different design, fine, but 
that doesn't mean the system-wide is broken.

I'm just asking that the system-wide setup of pulse is properly 
supported, not just a step-child where you don't care when it's hurting.


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