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Old 11-23-2007, 03:50 AM
"D. Michael McIntyre"
 
Default A friendliness thought about asoundconf

I just completed an upgrade to Gutsy while continuing to use my KDE session to
do stuff. It was ugly, but I suffered worse on a more frequent basis back
when I was running Sid, so I'm more or less impressed.

One casualty of this process was that my soundcard order got jumbled somehow,
even though I'm still running the kernel from Feisty at the moment, and
nothing has changed in my QJackCtl config either.

Turned out I had to run asoundconf set-default-card Live to set things right,
and now it seems like everything is in order. I'm not sure why that was
required, but it does get me thinking.

It's not that unusual for someone to have more than one soundcard these days.
This asoundconf trick is very helpful, but I only learned about it myself in
fairly recent memory. I've been an ALSA user since 0.5.x and so on, but I
still don't know what an .asoundrc is really for, and don't want to have to
learn if I can help it.

So I finally come to the blasted point already. What if Ubuntu Studio
detected the presence of multiple soundcards, and asked users what to do
about putting them in a persistant order across boot cycles. This
interactive script or whatever could then handle the ugly asoundconf business
without anyone having to be aware of how it worked.

What I especially have in mind is that life has been a lot easier since I put
my old SB Live! back in, and set it up as the default card for all the stupid
OSS apps, like the nonfree Flash plugin. Even having a crappy builtin
soundcard in this role might still be helpful, since it seems getting the
dmix plugin to work on an ice1712 is a bit of a fantasy for all but a lucky
few.

So this script should be slanted toward encouraging people to wind up with
that kind of configuration. Cheap junk first up, more expensive stuff last,
with JACK pre-configured to aim for the expensive stuff out of the box.

It seems it might be helpful for the guy who has lots of soundcards because he
has lots of inputs too. You want to know where what is, so you can record it
without a lot of futzing around to find where the signal is.

--
D. Michael McIntyre

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Old 11-29-2007, 09:11 PM
Toby Smithe
 
Default A friendliness thought about asoundconf

On Thu, 2007-11-22 at 23:50 -0500, D. Michael McIntyre wrote:
> I just completed an upgrade to Gutsy while continuing to use my KDE session to
> do stuff. It was ugly, but I suffered worse on a more frequent basis back
> when I was running Sid, so I'm more or less impressed.
>
> One casualty of this process was that my soundcard order got jumbled somehow,
> even though I'm still running the kernel from Feisty at the moment, and
> nothing has changed in my QJackCtl config either.
>
> Turned out I had to run asoundconf set-default-card Live to set things right,
> and now it seems like everything is in order. I'm not sure why that was
> required, but it does get me thinking.

I wrote an application to handle this kind of thing in the GUI. It's
called asoundconf-gtk and it's been in the repository since Feisty, with
the Gutsy version supporting PulseAudio (ie; if you have PulseAudio
installed, it will route ALSA sound through that by default).

However, it is very simple, and doesn't handle interesting things like
funky software mixing, or fancy plug-ins. And it only makes changes for
the user, as opposed to system-wide (which would involve writing
to /etc/asound.conf).

When I have some time again, it is on my To Do list to add this kind of
thing to asoundconf-ui[0] (the natural continuation of asoundconf-gtk),
and get that in the repo to replace asoundconf-gtk.

[0] http://launchpad.net/asoundconf-ui

--

Toby Smithe
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