ESD, aRts, ALSA, OSS, and GStreamer


Recently there has been a lot of talk about GStreamer replacing ESD and aRts as the primary media framework. Now I had been seeing this discussing from the sidelines from the beginning itself and find it extremely interesting. But the problem is that I am a bit confused regarding the relative positions occupied by ESD, aRts, ALSA, OSS and GStreamer with respect to each other.

I do know that ESD is GNOME based just as aRts is KDE based; that ALSA multiplexes the /dev/dsp device allowing multiple applications to use the sound-card simultaneously, while OSS does not. Now if ESD and aRts are desktop environment specific why is ALSA not so? I mean what is the fundamental difference? Does not aRts and ESD also allow multiple applications to use the sound-card?

FAQ at the GStreamer project page says : "Streamer is not a soundserver. GStreamer does however have plugins supporting most of the major soundservers available today, including ESD, aRTSd, and to some extent Jack. Support for MAS is also planned". If that is so, then how can it replace ESD? Are they not entirely different things? Would it not be better to replace aRts and ESD by ALSA and improve GStreamer support for ALSA, resulting in a single well-polished sound architecture.

Looking forward to your replies,

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