OSS or ALSA?
Which one of the sound drivers is "better"? I've got OSS working now - but not 100% reliably. Should I bother trying to get ALSA to work, should I buy the commercial version of OSS? What do people think are the best?I have an nForce2 based motherboard.
What do you mean that OSS isn't 100% reliable? I've never had any stability problems with it.
Of course, ALSA is better and probably more capable, but in the current situation, I don't really understand why to go through the trouble of installing it. I mean, it's not like OSS doesn't work.
Anyway, I would _not_ use the commercial OSS version. Why use anything that's proprietary when there is a just as good free alternative?
Well when I start up KDE sometimes the sound server starts and sometimes it doesn't. I've an issue that I can't play two PCM streams at once (i.e. Xine and Xmms), or in fact the KDE sound server & xine / xmms.
I know that the OSS driver for the SB Audigy does this in it's sleep (because it's a well written driver :-) ) because I used to have one and it worked fine with OSS. However I think the OSS driver for the nForce2 isn't quite as well done - hence my thought that perhaps the ALSA driver would be better, or that the commercial OSS one would be.
Also does anythone think that aRts would help? I see that that's an output plugin option in xmms. Isn't that the KDE sound server?
Indeed, arts is KDE's sound multiplexer, but the thing is that both arts and esd give pretty crappy sound in comparison to using the OSS device directly.
The thing is that sound cards based on the emu10k chipsets, like the SB Audigy or SB Live, can multiplex several sound streams in hardware. That's why the drivers for them are capable of having their DSPs reused. I don't know if that nForce chips are also capable of hardware multiplexing? If you know that it is, do try the ALSA driver instead; it just might work.
I think it's likely that the nVidia sound chip is less capable than the emu10k. I've now configured xmms and xine to use aRts, and aRts uses the Intel ALSA driver. I couldn't get the xmms-alsa plugin to compile, so I gave up (too quickly probably...)
Anyway - it works now, and to be quite honest, I can live with less than perfect sound :-)
Maybe nVidia will release a better OSS driver, maybe not...