[pulseaudio-discuss] [PATCH 07/13] loopback: Refactor latency initialization

Georg Chini georg at chini.tk
Thu Nov 26 11:42:57 PST 2015

On 26.11.2015 19:43, Tanu Kaskinen wrote:
> On Thu, 2015-11-26 at 09:55 +0100, Georg Chini wrote:
>> On 26.11.2015 08:41, Georg Chini wrote:
>>> On 26.11.2015 01:49, Tanu Kaskinen wrote:
>>>> On Wed, 2015-11-25 at 22:58 +0100, Georg Chini wrote:
>>>>> On 25.11.2015 19:49, Tanu Kaskinen wrote:
>>>>>> On Wed, 2015-11-25 at 16:05 +0100, Georg Chini wrote:
>>>>>>> On 25.11.2015 09:00, Georg Chini wrote: I am not really sure where
>>>>>>> this discussion
>>> is leading to. We are also mixing up different topics at the moment.
>>> The first one is a matter of the safeguards. As already said in a
>>> previous mail, in my opinion those safeguards only have to cover
>>> the most common cases and do not need to be perfect because
>>> the controller will take care at runtime.
>> Let's pick up the safeguard discussion again. Maybe there is a reasoning,
>> based on your calculations in the previous mails. As far as I can tell, we
>> are talking about 3 different cases:
>> 1) Interrupt driven alsa device
>> I would propose to accept that for this kind of device the buffer_latency
>> needs to be one default-fragment-size + some safety margin. This is a
>> value proven in practice and when I remember correctly you reason in
>> another mail that it could indeed fit in that special case.
> Our calculations yield the same result in the usb sound card example
> that we've been using, because your "average sink/source latency" is
> effectively the same thing as the maximum sink buffer fill level, and
> default-fragment-size in buffer_latency compensates for the missing
> maximum source buffer fill level in the total latency calculation.
> In my formula, the "baseline" for buffer_latency is zero. By that I
> mean that if there weren't any complications like rate errors,
> scheduling delays, latency measurement errors or "surprise latencies"
> (latencies in sinks and sources that are higher than the configured
> latency), then buffer_latency could be zero without any risk of
> underruns.
>> 2) timer based alsa device
>> I arrived at the conclusion that buffer_latency has to be 0.75 *
>> sink_latency.
>> Would it be reasonable to argue that we have to keep one configured sink
>> latency of audio around on the source side? If yes, it would make clear
>> where
>> that 0.75 factor is coming from.
>> The correct value for buffer_latency would then be
>> buffer_latency = configured_sink_latency - 0.25 * configured_source_latency
>> which gives 0.75 * configured_sink_latency if both are equal.
> None of this makes sense to me, sorry. The starting point for
> calculations is that the total latency has to be big enough to handle
> the case where both the sink and the source buffers are full at the
> same time. Once you have made sure that the total latency is at least
> "configured source latency + configured sink latency", buffer_latency
> doesn't have to be proportional to the sink latency.
>> 3) the general case, so none of the above
>> This is still unclear. As far as I understand, in this case there will never
>> be timer based scheduling. Am I correct? If yes, it can be distinguished
>> from case 1) just by checking the name of the device.
>> In this general case we probably have to choose very conservative
>> settings as we don't know exactly how the device will behave.
>> If source and sink are of different device type we have to take the
>> larger value.
> I think all three cases can be handled using the same formula, when
> "configured latency" is replaced with "maximum buffer fill level". If
> my formula gives an overly conservative result in some case, that must
> mean that the maximum sink or source buffer fill level is less than we
> think. In case of timer-based scheduling in the alsa devices, I believe
> it's correct to assume that the configured latency is the maximum
> buffer fill level, modulo some safety margin that the alsa code uses
> when configuring the wakeup timer.

No, after understanding what you mean, it matches exactly my
experience, so it seems your assumptions are correct.

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