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Re: [Semi-OT] OSS audio vs ALSA



> While playing with "tinycore linux", I installed OSS audio drivers for 
> my onboard Intel HD audio. AMAZING IMPROVEMENT VS ALSA! With ALSA, I 
> have to max the volume to hear anything, with OSS 20% volume was a 

You have a set up problem of some kind then because they both talk to the
same hardware, which has the same registers and the same sound range. So
file a bug in the kernel bugzilla giving details of your exact setup and
probably one of the codec settings needs tweaking (or you've got
something like pulseaudio and a million layers of gnome desktop crap
mucking up your volumes).

> normal listening level. Everything that I tried sounded much better with 
> OSS. I'm seriously thinking of switching my media box from Fedora to 

"sounded much better". Its a 44.1/48Khz digital output to the chips
so it'll sound the same with any basic kernel driver. You put bits in and
you get the same output regardless. Now again things like pulseaudio
mixing outputs together so you can use multiple streams might be making
your sound poorer but while I despise the mountain of layers of crud the
desktop people use the pulseaudio mixing code actually looks pretty
decent.

> Can someone explain why OSS was rejected by the Fedora team? License 
> problem?

Long long history (predating Fedora by years)

OSS was a project which did some sound drivers then went proprietary.
Rather than have the kernel dependant on proprietary drivers Red Hat
funded people to sort out the open source OSS drivers. There was a
parallel project over a long time - ALSA - which started off as a better
driver for various chips like GUS and expanded to the point it was better
at just about everything. Some years ago the kernel team decided that
ALSA was the way to go so the kernel went ALSA and Fedora as it tracks
upstream follows.

After ALSA went into the kernel the OSS proprietary folks open sourced
some bits but nobody cared.

Anyway if you have a volume/quality difference its either in the megaton
of desktop plumbing or a funny in one of the AC97 or HDMI codec drivers
and in each case simply means you have some specific local configuration
thats either broken somewhere or an obscure system config specific kernel
bug.


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