Pulseaudio Nightmares - Pure ALSA to the RescueJun 27, 2009 · 1 minute read · Comments
In the latest stable Ubuntu (9.04), pulseaudio still does not work reliably on my hardware (intel HDA with digital SPDIF out). I upgraded to 9.10 and had even more problems. Sound always worked on boot, but often broke down after a while. And I could not find easy ways to make it work other than rebooting… Killing/restarting pulseaudio, looking at the processes using snd did not work.
One thing works wonderfully, pure ALSA. To have multilple apps sharing ALSA, I just use dmix. As I use digital out, there is no mixer, but ALSA can provide one through softvol. It works really well. ALSA is already not that simple to configure/setup properly, but with pulseaudio on top, welcome to your worst configuration nightmares.
Here is the .asoundrc I use:
pcm “amix” #redirect the output to dmix (instead of “hw:0,0”)
name “PCM” #override the PCM slider to set the softvol volume level globally
slave.pcm “softvol” #make use of softvol