Posted by: patdavila | December 29, 2009

My plan for fixing the current audio mess in Linux

So sound issues STILL plague Linux in general. I think we can all agree that the decision to make Pulse Audio the default sound daemon in Linux has resulted in mixed results at best. While the creator of Pulse Audio has repeatably claimed the issue was entirely the fault of Linux distribution maintainers for not implementing it properly it still continues to be an eyesore more than 3 years since it was first introduced. Anybody remember Linspire? They were a commercial Linux distribution that was squarely targeted at new Linux users coming over from the Windows world. Linspire took a lot of heat from the F/OSS community for including a bunch of proprietary codecs and software to help ease the transition for new users. I reviewed the release of Linspire 1.0 back in 2005 after running it on an 800 mhz workstation and a 1 ghz celeron laptop. I remember that the audio just worked with a variety of different applications with absolutely no issues whatsoever. Guess what sound server was being used? JACK. That’s right the same sound sound server that’s currently used by Linux audiophiles was successfully implemented by an uber noobie-centric Linux distribution in 2005!! My plan is simple. Scrap pulse audio entirely and make JACK the default sound server in Linux. Mark Shuttleworth should hire Paul Davis, the programmer who wrote JACK and Ardour. I guarantee the current audio issues in Linux would be resolved in under a year and for good. The only major challenge would be implementing a simplified configuration out of the box that 98% of users would be happy with. The remaining 2% could go to the “advanced” settings and do their multi-track recording.


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