The Polypaudio sound server

Mike Hearn m.hearn at
Thu Sep 9 15:57:41 EEST 2004

Lennart Poettering wrote:
> Hi!
> I am currently working on the polypaudio sound server. It is a modern
> drop-in replacement for esound. I am trying to push it into the next
> releases of both Gnome (2.10? 3.0?) and KDE, since both environments
> are currently looking for a suitable replacement for esound
> resp. arts. A common sound server would be a great asset.

What does using this give people over JACK, which is the choice of pro 
audio users? Why is it better than just raw ALSA with the right 
mixing/resampling plugins loaded?

I can see it has esound protocol compatibility, which is interesting, 
and presumably means it's network transparent.

The thing is, that there are already bazillions of sound servers. What 
is the rationale behind having a sound server as opposed to ALSA plugins 
which do the same thing (and for other platforms, it would be delegated 
to their native audio layers).

> What are the features required for a common sound daemon for all Linux
> desktop environments?

Well I guess the most important is backwards compatibility with 
everything. Unless you throw in ALSA userspace mixing as well with dmix 
or whatever any sound server will block the audio device so it *has* to 
be able to be used with any apps, even older apps without plugins for 
instance, by using LD_PRELOAD tricks like aoss or esddsp (?).

After all, most people want a sound server for mixing, so if it doesn't 
mix everything together, it's not really fulfilling its mission.

thanks -mike

More information about the xdg mailing list