Re: [linux-audio-user] new computer woes

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Subject: Re: [linux-audio-user] new computer woes
From: Mark Knecht (
Date: Sat Dec 21 2002 - 05:19:13 EET

On Fri, 2002-12-20 at 18:43, Anthony wrote:

> Its one thing to get an xrun and say something is not right, its
> another to have corrupted audio and yet not be informed. My guess is
> it all boils down to buggy hardware and the difficulty of writing code
> for it.
> --ant

   Actually you make a good point. I hadn't been watching the output of
jack very closely. In my case it is reporting an xrun when I get the
click, so I guess it's operating more or less normally. I can probably
mess with the buffer sizes or something and get rid of my clicks.

   The other 'issue', if you will, is that I'm trying to get this all
set up to really be usable as my main machine and not just a DAW. If I
start jack as root, then when I try to run alsaplayer as a normal user
it doesn't connect. I presume that when I start jack as a normal user
that I cannot get real-time response, so maybe the clicks and pops will
be more likely to happen, and they do.

   I'm actually having good luck with jack and my hardware when using
Ardour, but forgive me for saying it, Linux/Alsa seems to really s*&k
for being easy to use for normal audio apps in an everyday sense.
(playing CDs, mp3 and wave files)

   The following 'rant' is just me talking like a dumb, normal world
user and not specifically saying anything except I'm frustrated.


I want to click on icons for mp3 and wave files and get sound. If I'm
running jack, I need to start alsaplayer one way, and if I'm not I need
to start alsaplayer another way. Therefore my file associations have to
change, based on whether jack is running or not. Not good.

If I start jack as root, to be ready to run Ardour, then I can't connect
any application to it when clicking on an icon because that is happening
in my user space.

If I give up running alsaplayer automatically, and try to only run it
from a terminal, then when I make a 'mistake' and click on an mp3 icon I
get some other audio app starting which then seems to block alsaplayer
from running later until I kill something.

No combination of things I've tried so far even lives up to the
real-world performance I get from Windows sound in terms of 'seeming'
robust. I do get lower latency with jack (I think) but there are just
too many weird little things that go 'wrong' from a user perspective.

Again, I'm having great luck with running jack and Ardour as root. No
xruns at all, as for as I've noticed.


   Probably this is just me since I'm not smart about how to do all this
stuff, so we do share the fact we are frustrated even if it is about
different aspects of using this.

   And ARDOUR and JACK together are really AMAZING. They are truly
great. But how do I get to a totally usable machine?


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