I keep noticing in forum comments that many people using Linux seem to hate Pulseaudio, the default audio subsystem in most modern Linux distributions. I seem to be in the minority with my sentiment toward it, but I actually think Pulseaudio has been the best thing to happen to audio in Linux in a long time. Before Pulseaudio, I was always having problems with one program grabbing the audio device and other programs not being able to play sounds. How stupid is that? I know that there is some kind of mixer plugin for ALSA, but it was hardly ever working or set up on distributions I tried before Pulseaudio was adopted. Pulseaudio finally provided a sane way to share audio devices and mix audio streams so several programs could have access to audio at the same time, including the ability to set audio levels for each program separately.
December 10th, 2010