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How it works: Linux audio explained

Apr 08, 2010, 22:02 (0 Talkback[s])

"There's a problem with the state of Linux audio, and it's not that it doesn't always work. The issue is that it's overcomplicated. This soon becomes evident if you sit down with a piece of paper and try to draw the relationships between the technologies involved with taking audio from a music file to your speakers: the diagram soon turns into a plate of knotted spaghetti. This is a failure because there's nothing intrinsically more complicated about audio than any other technology. It enters your Linux box at one point and leaves at another.

"If you've had enough of this mess and want to understand just how all the bits fit together, we're here to help - read on to learn exactly how Linux audio works!

"If we were drawing the OSI model used to describe the networking framework that connects your machine to every other machine on the network, we'd find clear strata, each with its own domain of processes and functionality. There's very little overlap in layers, and you certainly don't find end-user processes in layer seven messing with the electrical impulses of the raw bitstreams in layer one."

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