[alsa-devel] idea: a reserve alsa plugin

David Henningsson david.henningsson at canonical.com
Thu May 2 12:55:05 CEST 2013

Just had an idea which I'll write down here before I forget it 
again...and I'm not saying I'll implement this anytime soon either, but 
here goes:

There is a device reserve protocol between PulseAudio and JACK2 - when 
JACK needs the sound card, it'll send a dbus message to PulseAudio and 
grab a name in D-Bus.

However, there are plenty of applications who like to access ALSA 
directly, without going through JACK2 or PulseAudio. By making a 
"reserve" plugin, we could have this functionality for those apps too.

In practice, if the app usually opens "plughw:0" or "hw:0", it could 
instead open "reserve:plughw:0" or "reserve:hw:0" to also reserve the 
device from PulseAudio usage while the device is open. Meanwhile, 
PulseAudio is free to use other audio devices (which is not the case 
when using e g pasuspender).

How does that sound?

David Henningsson, Canonical Ltd.

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