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[ANNOUNCE] New Mixer Handling in PA 0.9.16/F12



Heya!

I'd like to draw your attention to the new mixer handling logic in PA
0.9.16/F12. It includes a number of improvements:

- We now support input and output "ports". i.e. switching between
  Mic/Line-In resp. Speaker/Headphones. Only one of those ports can be
  active per sink at a time.

- we merge a number of low-level mixer controls into a single
  slider. This has various advantages: we become less dependant on
  correct mixer initialization done by "alsactl init"; we get a better
  hardware volume granularity and range; we can make use of ALSA's
  surround volume controls ("Front", "Rear", yadda yadda). 

- We support semi-pro/pro sound cards much better and can wrap more
  than just one channel of them (Currently done for two Native
  Instruments Audio4DJ cards)

- The supported profiles and what to do with the alsa controls are no
  longer hard coded in PA, but can be changed without recompiling via
  the config files in /usr/share/pulseaudio/alsa-mixer/

In the F11 cycle there has been some criticism on how g-v-c was
presenting a new minimal volume control interface. Most issues raised
back then should now be fixed, except for a few which we consider
strictly out of focus for us.

I'd like to ask everyone to test this new volume logic. If you don't
raise your voice now that some output port is not properly detected or
audio is too faint then later on you won't have any right to complain.

You should particularly pay attention to the new "Hardware" tab in
g-v-c, where you can now choose the hardware profile (i.e. stereo
vs. 5.1, and so on) which you want to use. And then on the
Input/Output tab you may or may not find an additional dropdown menu
for selecting the port you want to use (only shown if you have more
than one).

When you test this, please make sure to run version 0.9.16-4.test3 of
PA and 2.27.5 of gnome-media at least. Both are still stuck in Koji,
aren't in Rawhide yet.

Please note that it is our intention not to wrap obsolete mixer
controls such as "CD", "PC Speaker", "MIDI" and so on. If you file a
bug asking for those to be wrapped we will disappoint you and
close the bug WONTFIX.

gst-mixer is not longer listed as default in comps now.

Without too much effort it is now possible to change the way PA sees
the alsa mixer, for an explanation how to do that, consider reading this:

https://tango.0pointer.de/pipermail/pulseaudio-discuss/2009-June/004229.html

That mail also goes a bit into detail on the technical background of
these changes, might be an interesting read for everyone.

Lennart

-- 
Lennart Poettering                        Red Hat, Inc.
lennart [at] poettering [dot] net
http://0pointer.net/lennart/           GnuPG 0x1A015CC4


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