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LPC: The past, present, and future of Linux audio

Oct 16, 2009, 15:02 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jake Edge)

"Davis's talk ranged over the full history of Linux audio and gave a look at where he'd like to see things go, while Poettering focused on the changes since last year's conference and "action items" for the coming year.

"Davis: origins and futures

"Davis started using Linux as the second employee at Amazon in 1994, and started working on audio and MIDI software for Linux in 1998. So, he has been working in Linux audio for more than ten years. His presentation was meant to provide a historical overview on why "audio on linux still sucks, even though I had my fingers in all the pies that make it suck". In addition, Davis believes there are lessons to be learned from the other two major desktop operating systems, Windows and Mac OS X, which may help in getting to better Linux audio.

"He outlined what kind of audio support is needed for Linux, or, really, any operating system. Audio data should be able to be brought in or sent out of the system via any available audio interface as well as via the network. Audio data, as well as audio routing information, should be able to be shared between applications, and that routing should be able to changed on the fly based on user requests or hardware reconfiguration. There needs to be a "unified approach" to mixer controls, as well. Most important, perhaps, is that the system needs to be "easy to understand and to reason about"."

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