Re: [orca-list] ALSA Card Ordering [Was: I hate pulse]

Hey guys and girls,

I believe both approaches are awesome and good to know for advanced linux users.
Some 10 to 13 years ago when pulseaudio was entirely new thing, alsas device ordering was the only usefull setup for these kinds of configs. I happily used that and it worked. I can imagine Janina is setting up her devices this way even for many more years.
Pulseaudio changed this in a way that ordering is no longer important. It allows us to choose the default audio device and it then allows using other devices for different purposes by moving streams from the default to the desired devices.
Currently I'm using laptop with its built-in loud speakers as the default and I also use bluetooth headset to listen to the sound output of speech-dispatcher. Pulseaudio remembers my choice that I wish to play speech-dispatcher audio through the headset so whenever it's connected it respects my choice. When the headset is disconnected I am not left with no speech-dispatcher audio as pulseaudio is smart enough in this particular case that it keeps speech-dispatcher audio playing through the default audio device.
I'm not sure how would I go about setting this with alsa exclusivelly. Just to make this discussion even more interesting, do you know if something like this would be doable? Is alsas dmix a way to go? If two devices are sharing the same audio path in order to allow stream routing like I have just described, are multiple devices playing the same sound when they are all connected?
Janina, can you plese explain a bit more of your setup. Are you using up to 5 devices simultaneously or are you switching between them?
I would understand 2 or perhaps 3 devices: one for music, movies and general audio, second for accessibility aka TTS, third for phone calls for example.

I'm sorry for drifting a bit off topic here however audio and its setup has always been interesting for me.



Dňa 19. 8. 2017 8:40 PM používateľ "chrys" <chrys linux-a11y org> napísal:

sorry but that is just bullshit lol. Also PA does not choose an random sound card. it uses that one that you defined as default.
You also can set output devices and prioritys by scripting or configuration like in alsa... so that argument is just wrong.
 cheers chrys
Am 19.08.2017 um 20:24 schrieb Janina Sajka via orca-list:

For me this is yet another reason to stay away from pulse. The last
thing I need with 5 sound cards is having some bot deciding which ones
should do what, and in what order. I have no use for machines that
ignore my specified configurations to make up their own.

In other words, this is just another way for things to break.


Michał Zegan writes:
actually from what i know, pulseaudio does not go by ordering, but it
prioritizes cards based on type like internal card vs usb card vs
whatever... etc

W dniu 19.08.2017 o 19:56, Janina Sajka via orca-list pisze:
Hi, John:

I noted one comment in your post re pulseaudio that I want to respond

John G Heim writes:
... you can never guarantee that hardware
devices are discovered in the same order. ...
No, but you can control the card order they're assigned, e.g. via
/etc/modprobe.d/alsa.conf using vid= and pid= params for multiple USB
sound cards.

The best on line summary of available approaches I've found to date is

I'm currently working through the above as I have a nagging problem
every time I'm forced to reboot, e.g. after installing a new Linux

My problem is that my hda device isn't always discovered. This morning I
ran a system update and had to reboot some 30 times before my Intel-810
hda device was discovered. I've looked in the logs. The problem is the
system is literally not seeing the device on most boots, yet once
loaded, it runs perfectly for days and weeks.

According to the above referenced article, there are approaches I might
try to resolve my problem without rebooting. And, it seems my current
ordering config code could be updated, too.

Nevertheless, I offer my current code because it does work to reliably
order my 5 sound devices. The always come up in the order defined below.
My only issue is whether, or not card 0 has been found, else the
remaining devices are shifted by 1--which doesn't help my situation as I
need the headset to match my configured FreeSwitch config, just as one

<begin config file code>
alias snd-card-0 snd-hd-intel
options snd-card-0 index=0
options snd-hda-intel id=PCH index=0
alias snd-card-1 headset
options snd-card-1 index=1
options snd-usb-audio index=1 vid=0x1395 pid=0x3556
alias snd-card-2 cmedia
options snd-card-2 index=2
options snd-usb-audio index=2 vid=0x0d8c pid=0x000c
alias snd-card-3 ice
options snd-card-3 index=3
options snd-ice1724 index=3
alias snd-card-4 hdsp
options snd-card-4 index=4
options snd-hdsp index=4
<end config file code>

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Log bugs and feature requests at

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