[alsa-devel] default alsa pcm improvement

Takashi Iwai tiwai at suse.de
Fri Jan 22 11:40:00 CET 2010

At Wed, 20 Jan 2010 21:20:40 +0200,
Aleksandar Kostadinov wrote:
> Hello,
> >From some time now ALSA is a real pleasure to use. Namely it works by
> OOB and has lots of predefined useful PCMs so one doesn't need to be a
> guru to do advanced operations.
> I think that a small improvement in how default PCM is defined can
> help users with multiple sound cards that like to use pure ALSA and
> not some of the many available sound servers.
> I want to be able to switch the default sound device easily in
> asoundrc but the way the default pcm is defined makes this not very
> straightforward. I like to use the definitions of default:<CARD> but
> if I define "pcm.!default" in .asoundrc I lose the "default:<CARD>"
> definition. I now can rename the "default" definition in default.conf
> to someting like "defaultorg" and then reference it asoundrc but that
> requires root as well change can possibly disappear after an alsa-lib
> package upgrade. Or I can use the dmix and dsnoop predefined PCMs to
> put together PCMs that I can later reference in my "pcm.!default"
> definition but in this case one needs to know if the card needs
> dsnoop/dmix and probably other tweaks that default.conf contains.
> Additionally this needs to be done for every sound card one owns.

That's true.

> So I would suggest the "default" PCM as defined now in the
> default.conf file to be renamed to something like "alsadefault". Then
> "default" PCM should be an alias to the alsadefault pcm. This will be
> backwards compatible to what users have now and owners of multiple
> sound devices can define their "default" pcm in asoundrc referencing
> the alsadefault pcm benefiting from the good work already done and not
> have to mess with a complex asoundrc file or make changes to the
> system configurations files.

Agreed, I've had also the same idea.  But, a good name didn't come to
my mind, so I didn't actually implement it.

"alsadefault" PCM also sounds somewhat a system-wide default, thus
might be a bit confusing.  Basically it should be a default PCM
definition for each card.  Well... a good godfather / godmother is
wanted ;)



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