[Ekiga-list] call recording / ekiga too tightly on ALSA?

Damien Sandras dsandras at seconix.com
Tue Sep 12 14:34:30 UTC 2006

Le mardi 12 septembre 2006 à 15:01 +0200, Viktor a écrit :
> Hello,
> I read the "call recording" thread three days ago with great interest,
> as I'm crawling the net how to do this for some hours now. I see various
> possibilities, however no one has worked for me. Attention, this is a
> longer posting ;-)
> (1) vsound (using Ekiga with OSS)
> Doesn't work, Ekiga can't get the sound ("Could not open audio channel
> for audio reception"). Probably vsound is only suitable for capturing
> audio *output* anyway - we want both output and the input from the
> microphone.
> (2) Direct recording from the ALSA system
> Apparently, this has worked for someone:
> http://lugwash.org/linux-users/200603/0030.html
> and he has created a podcast with ekiga.
> However, I wasn't able to reproduce this, probably because I lack deep
> understanding of ecasound and the ALSA system.
> (3) Sniffing the VoIP packets
> "Voipong" was mentioned in the thread three days ago; I didn't try this,
> because I hoped to find something less intrusive and more connected to
> the audio system. And, well, there wasn't a convenient Debian package
> ready ;-)
> (4) JACK
> I was very impressed by seeing the JACK audio connection system. In
> fact, apparently people can record Skype using that:
> http://internet.newsforge.com/comments.pl?sid=44854&cid=108262
> Connecting a recording software to an audio output is very easy and even
> graphical. However, I wasn't able to make Ekiga speak to JACK. I tried
> two ways:
> (3a) Attaching a "pcm.jackdump" device to the ALSA c
> as described e.g. here:  
> http://www.nabble.com/Alsa-device-to-Jack-ports--t850073.html
> This works well on the command-line, I can say
> aplay -D jackdump myfile.wav
> and it's played and shown as a JACK connection inside qjackctl.
> But ekiga doesn't show that new ALSA device, it only lists hardware
> devices and doesn't let me enter my own (maybe for a good reason,
> however some people say that software generally shouldn't do that (in
> the nabble.com thread above)).

A good library (like ALSA) should report the new device in the list of
available devices.

I suggest you, if you are using JACK, to redefine the DEFAULT device
usable in Ekiga. That works well.

> (3b) Using artsd connected to JACK and artswrapper starting ekiga and
> speaking to artsd

Never do that, artsd will introduce a huge latency.

> Now we have yet another intermediate level, but still, ekiga remains
> silent: No test sounds are played. I think artswrapper is a wrapper for
> OSS only, nonetheless I tried Ekiga with both OSS and ALSA - without
> success.
> So, finally, might it be that Ekiga uses ALSA a little bit too tightly?
> I can, for example, play music from Amarok and XMMS at the same time,
> I'm using a recent ALSA (which includes dmix) and have both programs set
> to use ALSA.
> But if I'm playing music from XMMS and start Ekiga/ALSA, I get "Could
> not open audio channel for audio reception" when a call arrives. (By the
> way, Ekiga works perfectly if it's the only ALSA client, not that you
> start to think that my installation is messed up ;-)
> This leads me to the conclusion that Ekiga uses ALSA in quite a
> "blocking" way. Or are there people having Ekiga accepting connections
> while they are e.g. listening to music? If that were possible, I think I
> could manage recording the conversation via JACK (and write a howto).
> Thank you for reading - I couldn't make it shorter, it's that
> complicated! - 
> have a nice week,
> Viktor.
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 _      Damien Sandras
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