Over the past year, I’ve read several disparaging comments regarding pulseaudio on some of the linux blogs that I follow. Granted, I’ve also read a few rebuttals to these but they were far fewer. Up until very recently I had a rule of keeping it off my system because of those naysayers. I honestly had no use for it, I haven’t had a problem using vanilla ALSA in years. Everything Just Worked TM.
Then I came across this which looked neat and required me to install pulseaudio to test the program.

At this point, I decided to just run with it and rebuild everything with the pulseaudio USE flag, just to see what the fuss was about.  Since then, the only issue I’ve had was with Firefox and flash (required reading the wiki or installing alsa-plugins) and VirtualBox (d’oh! forgot to set audio output to alsa).

If anything, things have been a little easier.  It didn’t Just Work like ALSA has for me out of the box, but the configuration changes were fairly minimal.  One plus that I’m hoping to look into relatively soon is hooking bluetooth to pulse so I can use my speaker/mic on the desktop as a headset for my cell phone.  From what I’ve read in the past, it should be far easier to do with pulseaudio installed, but we’ll see.

~ by praetor on March 6, 2010.

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