Home Linux Community Forums Hardware Multimedia ALSA vs OSS Digital sound cards

ALSA vs OSS Digital sound cards

Link to this post 26 Jun 09

I would like to know what your guys takes on this is ALSA Drives is on all of the big players distros like Ubuntu & Open Suse and the dont come with a OSS driver at all and i think this is bad as OSS has better support for Digital sound cards than ALSA dose at the moment. Just post back what you think ALSA vs OSS when it comes to digital sound

Link to this post 28 Jun 09

OSS is the older Linux sound system, and is on a usage decline at the moment.
ALSA is the current standard, and seems to work pretty much universally. I have the same nvidia high def mcp51 setup as you do in the other thread, and remember having to wait until drivers arrived in order to get sound on a MSI AMD64 mobo I have at home. And by the way it runs alsa fine. Maybe your laptop has special needs.
PULSEAUDIO seems to be the future, when the bugs are finally ironed out. From what I read, many are still having problems with pulseaudio and are reverting to alsa to get their sound working.
I really don't use audio to a great extent on my computer. I am older and still have record players, 8-tracks, etc. for that. Maybe someday I'll set up a media center, but right now it's to easy to insert a cd into a player next to the computer, than inserting a cd into the computer.

Link to this post 28 Jun 09

I'm an older coot as well (60+) and I do like to use my computer to play audio. I rip all my CD's to 192kbps mp3 files and store them on my NAS array so I can play them on my desktop, laptop, or wherever. Also, I can stream our local NPR and Jazz radio stations during the workday without needing to futz with a radio.

8-track tapes? Don't they (and the player) belong in a museum somewhere? :-)

Link to this post 28 Jun 09

LOL Rubberman, yes the 8-tracks do belong in a museum, but as long as my old Panasonic CD-4 (circa-early 70's) system keeps on chuggin' along I'll keep using it. System has four separate channels and four speakers, the only album I've ever found to make use of those 4 channels is a 'Best of the Doors' album, but it has each member of the group on a separate speaker, quite unique. That album isn't an 8-track, but a Frank Zappa/Capt. Beefheart live album on 8-track is worth keeping this museum piece on my shelf. (Yes, Poofter's Phroth Wyoming plans ahead). I bought a usb turntable to try to move my album collection over to the computer, but haven't found the right settings for the Audacious mixer yet. One of these days.....

Link to this post 30 Jun 09

Ah! Another Beefheart/Zappa fan! Lick my decals off, baby! Ain't the postman groovy? :-)

Link to this post 08 Aug 09

Alsa vs OSS... that's not easy to compare.
First there was OSS. 4Front-Tech did the development and had its own closed-source commercial driver plus a gpl'ed crippled version in the vanilla kernel source.
Support was flaky, and for new hardware often not available.
So, enter Alsa. After a bit of a bumpy start, things were starting to look better and better. more and more hardware was supported.
Alsa seems to have become the de facto standard these days.
Still, the closed source version of the OSS driver is superior to alsa in quality.
Now the good news. 4Front-Tech has decided to release the whole OSS driver under the GPL. (
This is very good news because the OSS driver has matured for quite some time and performs in a lot of cases better than the alsa equivalent.
So the battle for the sound-driver has just started :)

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