Apple does not include ASIO, Rewire or Soundflower either, so that means nothing. Coreaudio is the default sound server on a fresh OSX install.
Originally Posted by mrdelurk
That won't work half the time in Rewire, as audio can only travel one way, from a client app to a server app. Most of the time it will not work at all, as client apps cannot Rewire to each other. Also, you have to start the apps in the right order and there is no session management etc. This is why Rewire is little used outside of using one application as a 'plugin' in one single server application. This is what it is intended for, and it does it fine, but it's not an equivalent to Jack.
The pro music industry is doing real fine without JACK's current incarnation. You want to route audio from app to app in OSX or Windows? Here's the four steps to it with ReWire: 1. select any track in source app, 2. click menu which other app to send it to, 3. select any track in destination app, 4. pick the source from menu. Done!
Here's the two steps to do it with Ardour and Jack: 1 Click on a tracks input. 2 Select the output from the other app.
There 's none of this 'start ALSA and JACK manually, check a screenful of parameters in JACK, click Connect, click Add for every source and destination, draw Bezier curves between modules to be connected, watch for xruns, broken pipes, add the Challenger's lubar orbit in hex...' stuff. Yeah, sure you can get 5ms latency with JACK instead of OSX's 10. Who cares? So far, only a single person on Earth. And it's not me.
Apple has coreaudio, which combined with apps like Soundflower, is it's version of Jack. Windows has no equivalent, but people manage to get it working by installing third party applications/drivers like Rewire and ASIO, Virtual audio cable, ASIO4ALL, FXT etc.
Of course, (let's follow this thread to the end too...) if thousands of Linux volunteers, through blood, sweat and tears do transform JACK into something practical and elegant one day - then Apple will grandly include it in OSX. And Microsoft will copy it from Apple. And they'll both boast how inventive they are.
Pulseaudio is the equivalent of the Windows sound mixing/implementation (MME/DIRECTX/KMIX etc). It works, but like the built in Windows version, it is not suitable for professional use. Larger latencies, hidden sample rate conversion and bit depth reduction are acceptable and hidden from the user. This is what most people who are not recording music want.
If I'm wrong, why is the gist of Linux coding efforts so deftly channeled into JACK, PulseAudio and similar high-flight audio esoterica benefiting more audio-savvy OSX and Windows potentially (if they succeed) than writing a badly needed decent basic Linux audio/MIDI implementation, a "Linux CoreMIDI and CoreAudio" to cover the Linux community's own need?
Jack is the equivalent of ASIO+Rewire+coreaudio+Soundflower. It is sample accurate, synchronous and suitable for professional use. There is no hidden sample rate conversion or bit depth reduction. This is what people who are recording music professionally want.
I hope that clears things up a little.