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Old 7th April 2010, 03:10 PM   #1551
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I think you are punching air. I *agree* with you wholeheartedly that it would be great if linux audio worked even better "out of the box"!

However, the world is full of compromises. The real world is full of corner cases and strange use patterns. There are a load of people frustrated with OSX and Windows audio, so don't assume that either of these is perfect either... All we can do is improve the status quo and make things better for as large a group of people as possible. Just because Windows works better for your use case doesn't make it best for mine!

Right now Linux audio is working out of the box *for me*. I don't dispute that it's not working for you, I just point out that I have different needs to you - nothing else. A large part of the basis of the linux community is that of choice, so don't feel you need to only use linux... Personally I use a mix of stuff here including Linux, Windows (XP -> Win7) and OSX - use the appropriate tool and all that

So given that opinions are 2 a penny and everyone has one.. My opinion is simply that the rate of change on this stuff on Linux is very great (and windows is progressing very slowly). I often think that people who cry that windows is best have either not used earlier versions of windows, or forgotten exactly what they had to go through before it all worked perfectly. Perhaps even you bought your machine with the software pre-installed (eg a pre-installed laptop) and hence you never needed to go through all the pain of finding the right drivers for your hardware?

I have a couple of home-brew machines here and they have all been at least a medium amount of pain to get all the drivers up and running. My audio card still clicks and stutters on my Vista machine (never bothered to figure out how to fix it). I have two win7 machines (32bit/64bit) running as virtual machines and both click and dropout the audio when the machine is loaded (eg booting up sounds horrible with lots of clicks and pops as it plays the annoying login noise). Also before Vista did you see the hoops you needed to jump through to avoid kmix resampling your audio for you? (usually very badly resampling it) High quality audio had a LOT of issues on XP (and check out the RME forums about the Fireface 400 before you tell me too much more about RME windows support being the bees knees...)

My Macbook Pro is fine for sound, but I do get lots of other random gremlins from screen flickers, suspend failures, lockups, bluetooth randomly stops working, network drives lock up, etc, etc...


I really don't want to argue that one OS is better than the other, but I will claim that:
- they are *all* less good than I would like!
- Linux has a very healthy pace of improvement, if we optimistically assume this will improve and extrapolate forward then the future looks good for having 3 great operating systems to choose for your next computer!
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Old 7th April 2010, 03:19 PM   #1552
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Look, the Linux "advantage" is more that you *can* customise it for the corner cases.

I really don't think we should spend time arguing the toss over the "average case" because that likely favours either windows or OSX and the exact choice will come down to what you need to do.

You can read about my setup on Main Page - DRC - basically linux audio has allowed me to integrate a bunch of stuff together that would not have been possible some years back on Windows and possibly still isn't easy to do (yes I can write code - if you can't then probably this option would not have worked for you - no argument there - but it was ok *for me* and let me do something that would have been extremely difficult/impossible on Windows)


Actually, thinking about it OSX is a great example in point of how (at least to my eye) it makes the average case as simple as possible, but at the expense of the corner case. eg Buy a Mac Mini and you have iTunes and apple audio working out of the box. However, now try and play some FLAC tunes on your box... Erk, ok, start recoding them. OK, now start shuffling the files around onto a NAS so that you can play them on other devices. Now try and integrate other non apple output devices, eg stream synced audio to a range of devices around the home...

I use a Macbook Pro as my main laptop and it does do the easy stuff nicely, but it drives me nuts trying to make the less common stuff work the way I want... Windows feels somewhere in the middle. And for me Linux tends to be the most tweakable, but sometimes the least easy to get stuff done out of the box.

Pick your tool and be happy!
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Old 7th April 2010, 03:55 PM   #1553
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Of course it is good to have different opinions, perspectives, background, intentions, etc. These "punching air" discussions I actually consider quite interesting and constructive.

However. You must be considered a hacker. I consider myself a hacker. And phofman and several others who contribute over here quite often will also join the club. We don't belong to the earlier discussed target group of Shuttleworths' mass market!
Start discussing your DRC page at AudioAsylum. This group will refer you to Thunaeu Allocator - More or less a Plug'n Play approach. They just won't touch the command line or any other rather complex or buggy solutions.

This discussion is not meant to be a complaint about Linux. It's meant to be a realistic view on what's there and some peoples very ambitious targets to address the mass market with what's there until Q3/2010.

In terms of audio shortages I am referring to people - simple straight forward users I am in contact with at Ubuntu forums, where I maintain sporadically an Alsa upgrade script for the community, and e.g. Audio Asylum.

Exactly this experience over there shows me what's wrong with Linux audio. One of the key issues is IMO the gap between availability of drivers at Alsa
and its final availability to Linux users. It's not enough that drivers are not developed at all or developed with a stripped down feature set years later then the OSX/MS pendants, no, if they are available they get to you as a normal user up to another year later, because they are tight to the kernel and distro cycles.

This would be the first thing I'd change, this is IMO unacceptable. Firefox gets updated every 2nd week. What's the issue to update a couple of modules every other month? There is IMO none.

I better leave it for now.

Cheers
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Old 7th April 2010, 04:56 PM   #1554
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soundcheck View Post
Start discussing your DRC page at AudioAsylum. This group will refer you to Thunaeu Allocator - More or less a Plug'n Play approach. They just won't touch the command line or any other rather complex or buggy solutions.

Blimey, if this is what the windows users are holding up as an example of an "easy to use" application then it should be pretty easy to beat...!

....I'm not even sure *I* know how to plug in all the params to that program?!!!

Certainly apart from the author choosing not to support Linux I see no great reason why this app *couldn't* be written very easily to work on Linux. He simply needs build it as a LADSPA plugin and your work is pretty much done in that it will work everywhere Alsa works (lets not debate that bit...).

I have contributed some code to a cross platform audio library and if you think that it's easier to program audio on windows than Alsa/Oss/Jack then you need to go out and research this some more... Actually, just for kicks go and release an audio application which relies on ASIO and see how many windows machines it works flawlessly on... (Or at least this is what I found a few years ago, perhaps it's suddenly improved a bunch in the last couple of years - point is still valid though). If your userspace application doesn't bluescreen at least a few of them then you were doing better than me...!



As an aside, with regards to your Alsa comment. Why do you say Alsa can't be upgraded weekly? The code is all public and if your distribution uses alsa in a modular fashion then someone like yourself could make regular builds of the alsa drivers from upstream and release them as a weekly updateable package for your target operating system?

I don't expect most users to need to do this, but I thought your point was whether it's possible? I certainly can't see why someone (say Canonical or yourself) couldn't do it if they thought there was some business model that made it beneficial?

In contrast (and again I think the whole premise is dubious, but...) try and do the same thing on Windows. ie update all the drivers for a whole class devices and publish those new drivers weekly... Hmm...

Anyway, there is no disagreement from me that Linux needs more work in this area, but do look less at where it is today and more at where it was a few years ago and the pace of progress between now and then. Just do something else for a year or two and check back - I think it's evolving at a very fast pace right now and probably much faster than the competition

OK, lets get back onto solving specific problems though. We seem to be punching air again
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Old 7th April 2010, 06:01 PM   #1555
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I hope you understand that you don't have to convince me about Linux audio - I
love it, since quite a while. And I am pushing it As much as I can.

I would actually like to see more people on Linux.

But I am not that narrow minded to ignore certain crucial issues which prevents people to give Linux a serious try.
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Old 9th April 2010, 07:29 PM   #1556
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soundcheck View Post
@ Rüdiger


Note: S32_LE format was required. Otherwise brutefir were not able to read the data from mpd.


Good luck.
Neither your proposal, nor any other config variation works on my machine. It's alway that 'broken pipe' error. Seems, if I ever want to use brutefir, I shall switch to another player. Which isn't good, because I find the client/server approach appealing, and am in fact organized to use mpd. So, no room correction or other fancy playground for me at the moment.

Rüdiger
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Old 10th April 2010, 08:27 AM   #1557
anbello is offline anbello  Italy
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I have this in my mpd.conf

Code:
audio_output {
        type            "pipe"
        name            "mpd-pipe"
        command         "/usr/local/bin/brutefir -nodefault /home/andrea/.brutefir_config.pipe 2> /home/andrea/DRC/brutefir.log
        format          "44100:32:2"
}
and this in .brutefir.config.pipe

Code:
input "lin", "rin" {
        device: "file" {path: "/dev/stdin"; };
        sample: "S32_LE"; # sample format
        channels: 2;
};
and it works

i think the -nodefault option and the full path to the .brutefir.config file are important otherwise brutefir search for this file and .brutefir_default in the directory where it was launched and when it is launched by mpd is not clear where it search for this files (at least to me)

ciao
andrea

Last edited by anbello; 10th April 2010 at 08:32 AM.
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Old 10th April 2010, 09:50 AM   #1558
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@anbello:
Your 32 bit config on the format parameter also worked when I tried it some time back. (I just looked it up on my old Wiki pages-I had described it over there)

Also very important on that pipe command is that you route the errors to 2>/dev/null or to a log file.


@ Juergen:

1.
Your chosen setup: Gentoo+2.6.33-rt and whatever Alsa you'll pretty much on your own over here and anywhere else I'd guess. That makes support not easier for most of the people around here. Gentoo is a Hacker-Distro, you need to have in-depth knowledge to get it under control.
However this might not be the actual reason for your problems.

You might also need to play around with the settings such as buffer sizes etc. You could also prelink the brutefir and associated binaries so that it starts up faster. You could also apply
realtime priorities to brutefir: schedtool -F -p 80 -e brutefir .....

Don't believe the things I am or others are writing up /or have written up are done in a minute.

A little project like the "mpd-pipe" issue took me hours of googling, posting and trying to get it working.

I am honestly not very motivated to install myself a MPD again to see how it is going nowadays.

SINCE:

2.
I am running SqueezeBox Server and Squeezslave (as daemon on my Linux machines) beside my Squeezeboxes in the network. I consider SBS much better then MPD - at least for my purposes. The only downside is that Squeezslave is just 44.1/48/16 for now.
You can easily integrate brutefir into SBS. As I mentioned earlier - there are not very many controllers for it - though with iPeng as remote I am 100% satisfied.


Good luck.
Cheers
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Old 10th April 2010, 12:15 PM   #1559
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Hi folks.

Is anybody aware of a little command line tool which converts volume in 64bit double precision and adjusts in db stepping?
Under windows you'll find more and more tools which run DSP work in 64bit throughout the entire DSP chain.

Sox is afaik 32bit.
Ecasound is 32bit.
brutefir is 64bit - at least the filters are doubles - but I guess the VC too?

I'd just need a simple offline tool which is able to handle .wav in 16/44.1 for testing.

THX
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Old 13th April 2010, 07:23 AM   #1560
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soundcheck View Post


@ Juergen:

1.
Your chosen setup: Gentoo+2.6.33-rt and whatever Alsa you'll pretty much on your own over here and anywhere else I'd guess. That makes support not easier for most of the people around here. Gentoo is a Hacker-Distro, you need to have in-depth knowledge to get it under control.
However this might not be the actual reason for your problems.
I case you are talking to me, I disagree. I choose gentoo on purpose, although it needs more learning, the returns are wealthy, because the available online information sources are comprehensive.

It took me a while to understand and set up a custom installation, but now I have a very fast and very stable system with no single unsolved driver issue (afaik).

Brutefir is running now (there were at least two mistakes in the mpd.config I posted), so I'm ready to go further with setting up RC-filters.

Btw, is there a simply wav-editor that doesn't need X-windows out there? I need it to cut ends and beginnings of captured analog sources.

Rüdiger
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