February 20, 2019

Making Linux Sing - page 5

The Drivers: OSS and ALSA

  • July 2, 2002
  • By Dee-Ann LeBlanc

There's something new out there that perhaps only audiophiles are even aware of, and that's USB-based sound devices. These external gizmos come from companies such as Creative Labs, Onkyo, and Yamaha. Some only offer the chance to plug in devices without having to get on the floor and fumble behind your machine's case. Others offer a much wider range of functionality, with built-in amplifiers and so on.

Unfortunately as yet there are no drivers that allow these devices to work with Linux. In fact, none of the companies even really seem to plan to provide Linux drivers in the near future. If you drool over hardware such as this, then let these guys know that Linux users like sound too! Or maybe you can find a team willing to build drivers for the community.

There are quite a number of sound tools available for the Linux world. The OSS and ALSA sites have plenty of links and pointers, so if you're looking for mixers, editors, and other such programs, be sure to spend some serious time surfing those pages. Many of the tools require compiling, so you may find that you have to try a few before you can get something to work properly on your machine. Fortunately there's so many out there that one item not working just isn't a big problem unless you are determined to use that particular program.

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