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

“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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