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Date:      Sun, 24 May 2020 18:05:25 +0200
From:      Ralf Mardorf <>
Subject:   Re: best sound subsystem for freebsd for a desktop
Message-ID:  <20200524180525.17d51260@archlinux>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <> <> <>

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On Sun, 24 May 2020 12:49:46 +0100, tech-lists wrote:
>I didn't know jack was something for low-latency, accurate work.
>Maybe i'll try that.


assuming I should understand your needs correctly jack doesn't do what
you want.

A lot of apps can't be build with jack support at all. Broadly speaking
jack is aimed to keep audio routing streams in accurate sync. You don't
need this, unless you are doing audio productions. It does not "make"
low latency audio, the user needs a system more or less optimised for
low latency audio work to run jack. It doesn't provide sample-rate
conversion, so all apps need to use the same sample rate or a
workaround doing the required resampling. Good apps with jack support
don't auto-connect, the user has to manually connect the apps with
jack. Those odd apps that automagically connect with jack are usually a
PITA to use with jack. Firefox is probably the only browser with jack
support. If you can't get a binary with jack support, you need to build
Firefox yourself. Firefox is bloated. It takes way longer to build
Firefox, than even building a bloated kernel. Each time a vulnerable
gets fixed by a Firefox update, you need to build Firefox again. Jack
was designed for pro-audio apps, not for averaged desktop apps.

Pulseaudio is aimed for John and Jane Doe. Averaged desktop apps with
different sample rates can connect to pulseaudio and the audio streams
are automatically converted to the audio devices sample rate and
automatically mixed. IOW (almost) everything is done automagically.

Without using a sound server at all, only one app can connect with the
audio device. Workarounds could allow to use several app
simultaneously, even without using a sound server.

I'm running a Linux (real-time audio) DAW. I never ever would install
pulseaudio. However, for desktop audio I'm using plain ALSA and the PC
speaker beep. The real PC speaker, no beep via the audio device. I
don't use a workaround, so I can only connect one app with the audio
device. For audio productions I'm using jack with the ALSA backend.
Very seldom I'm using jack with desktop apps, such as Firefox, too.

My guess is that for your needs neither jack, nor no sound server at
all is the way to go. You probably want pulseaudio or another sound
server aimed for averaged desktop usage.


PS: No, my PC speaker isn't constantly beeping, I neither have got
things such as a desktop with a trash bin and even if I would use a
desktop with a trash bin and other bits and bobs, I wouldn't allow
those bits and bobs to beep.

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