"Part 2 of "Webcams in Linux" is going to appear later, as there
are a number of kinks and roadblocks to work out. So today we're
going to dig into ALSA, the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture,
because I think it's the best tool for managing your Linux sound
devices. It's good for managing multiple sound devices, and it
works in all Linux environments including other window managers, or
no X Windows at all.
"Yes, I know that Gnome has ESD (Enlightened Sound Daemon), and
KDE uses aRtsd (analog Real time synthesizer daemon). Aside from
the annoying problem of having to cope with multiple sound
subsystems, both ESD and aRtsd introduce complications, such as
conflicts with ALSA and latency. Latency is the enemy of sound
quality, especially over a network. So when you're streaming audio
(either by itself or with video), using a software IP phone, or
playing online games the first thing to do is turn off ESD or aRtsd
and use only ALSA..."