[MPlayer-dev-eng] [patch] prefer ALSA over OSS

Uoti Urpala uoti.urpala at pp1.inet.fi
Sat Apr 28 22:56:08 CEST 2007

On Sat, 2007-04-28 at 18:04 +0200, Adrian Bunk wrote:
> On Sat, Apr 28, 2007 at 05:04:37PM +0200, Reimar Döffinger wrote:
> >...
> > Alsa 0.5 certainly shouldn't be preferred over OSS.
> This makes sense (although ALSA 0.5 is so ancient that I doubt it matters).
> Updated patch below.

Using ALSA by default could make sense, but I think there are still
issues about ALSA setup and how to do the transition.

ALSA device to use: by default -ao alsa in current MPlayer uses device
"default". That's a software device which supports mixing multiple
inputs (at least unless you've changed ALSA configuration). Is this what
we want to use by default in MPlayer? On my machine that has less
accurate sync (reporting of current audio play position) and doesn't
support pause. Using a hardware device gives millisecond-accurate sync
and supports pause. I think we should at least inform users that they
might get noticeable improvement by using a hardware device instead.

OSS emulation seems to work like a hardware device (accurate sync and
reserves the output preventing any other audio source from working), but
it doesn't support pause. The functionality of an ALSA hardware device
is strictly superior compared to OSS, but moving from OSS to the
"default" ALSA device gives inferior sync.

Changing the default is likely to trigger problems for some people (even
if it helps more people than it hurts, the number in both directions is
probably nonnegligible), so I think users should be notified when the
default changes. Something like "default audio out has changed, if you
encounter new problems try using '-ao oss' to go back to the old
version". Any ideas how to do that? A note on the homepage, something in
the program output, anything else? 

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