Why does Pulse Audio get so much negative criticism?

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carum carvi
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Why does Pulse Audio get so much negative criticism?

Post by carum carvi » Sat Aug 18, 2018 1:11 pm

Since I have had some (2) issues with sound, I researched my sound settings and looked around on this forum what others knew about pulse audio software. I was rather amazed to find out that many had criticism on the standard pulse audio software for linuxmint. Why is there so much criticism directed at pulse audio software ? And is there a much better alternative out there that is easily applicable for newbies?
Last edited by carum carvi on Mon Aug 20, 2018 4:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

gm10
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Re: Why does Pulse Audio get so much negative criticism?

Post by gm10 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 1:19 pm

Because it's the default sound server in very many distributions these days and people always hate on the standard. Also, to be fair, it was rather problematic during the early days. Unless you've got a problem that you cannot solve with pulse audio, I see no reason for you to go looking for an alternative.

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dave8671
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Re: Why does Pulse Audio get so much negative criticism?

Post by dave8671 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 1:46 pm

Heads up for those using Linux users will need it cause Firefox only supports Pulse audio now not Alsa unless they changed and I do not know.

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Flemur
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Re: Why does Pulse Audio get so much negative criticism?

Post by Flemur » Sat Aug 18, 2018 1:54 pm

I don't like pulseaudio because it's completely unnecessary (depending on your sound card) and it always seemed to cause some problem, usually minor, but....it's unnecessary. It's an extra layer of potential problems that isn't needed.

How to run FIREFOX without pulseaudio, by using "apulse"
viewtopic.php?f=48&t=275197
Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] if/when it is solved!
Your data and OS are backed up....right?
Mint 18.3 Xfce/fluxbox/pulse-less
Xubuntu 17.10/fluxbox/pulse-less

carum carvi
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Re: Why does Pulse Audio get so much negative criticism?

Post by carum carvi » Mon Aug 20, 2018 4:29 pm

Thanks for the explanation gm10 and Dave. I understand what you guys are saying. Flemur thanks for your detailed link to an alternative, in case pulse audio would really start troubling me I could use your helpful alternative.

Since I damaged my ears listening to loud music I get easily irritated by certain frequencies in harsh sounding compressed videos. Often those harsh sounding frequencies are found in compressed youtube videos, which I watch regularly. Since another forummember mentioned that pulseaudio made his youtube videos sound awful, I was hoping that there was a simple tweak available in pulseaudio (equalizer) with which I can filter out the harsh sounding frequencies in my youtube videos (sharp nails on the schoolboard, that kind of idea of harsh sound...).

I have read that ALSA does have a system wide equalizer which would set the sound for ALL programs. But is there a similar tweak available in Pulse Audio?

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Re: Why does Pulse Audio get so much negative criticism?

Post by xenopeek » Tue Aug 21, 2018 7:25 am

In the adoption phase of PulseAudio (10 years ago) there certainly were some issues with it. That's been a while. I haven't seen anybody messing up their audio blaming PulseAudio for it in a long while. If you have, possibly people holding a grudge from past problems? Or they're running their systems with a very old (and long obsoleted and end of life) release of their operating system, with a very early PulseAudio version? Unless you work with audio professionally (in which case you're likely using JACK in front of PulseAudio), PulseAudio does everything a modern desktop system needs and it adds a stack of sound serving features on top of ALSA (the kernel's interface to the audio hardware).

Back to your question, there are at least 3 different equalizer implementations for PulseAudio. I'd suggest to try with PulseEffect first. It can do a whole lot more than equalize but this one is the most actively maintained. See https://github.com/wwmm/pulseeffects/wi ... an--ubuntu for installation instructions.
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carum carvi
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Re: Why does Pulse Audio get so much negative criticism?

Post by carum carvi » Wed Aug 22, 2018 3:54 pm

Wow. Pulse Effects is impressive stuff Xenopeek. Just installed it and I am now playing Simple Minds "Sparkle in the Rain" album on youtube. Without added equalizer effects those youtube music videos sound awful, but with Pulse Effects it sounds awesome. Added some extra reverb too, although Simple Minds dont need that really lol.

Thanks a lot Xenopeek for that tip. You made my day!

Got some troubles getting it working at first though. For other newbies, like me, who wanna try it out, it needs some adjusting in the sound settings before the right sound output is selected. First there was no sound at all, after installing it. Dont know exactly what I have changed, but starting up several times and selecting Firefox and Vlc to start playing music eventually did the trick: it sounds splendid!

I got confused also about how to install the software though. Might be important for others too, who want to install this impressive equalizer software. Below is how I tried to install it:

I followed your link. Copied the terminal code on that page. But then it still couldnt find Pulse Effect. It gave a missing software message for Pulse Effects in the terminal. So I decided to download Pulse Effect from software management. Then it did work. All ends well...

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Schultz
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Re: Why does Pulse Audio get so much negative criticism?

Post by Schultz » Wed Aug 22, 2018 8:13 pm

Why does Pulse Audio get so much negative criticism? One reason is because one of the developers of it is Lennart Poettering (and rightly so IMO).

carum carvi
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Re: Why does Pulse Audio get so much negative criticism?

Post by carum carvi » Fri Aug 24, 2018 3:43 am

I wanted to add that I found an additional solution to my problem with harsh sound in youtube vidoes:

a simple firefox add on called "Audio Equalizer". Works perfect. I just select "Full Bass" in the preset menu and all the harsh sounding youtube videos are sounding smooth again.

However, both the addon ¨Audio Equalizer" and the linux software "Pulse Effects" dont seem to be able to play certain embedded video files on Tumblr. No sound at all, or the same harsh sound as before.

Well, in the end I am very glad that I now know two splendid equalizers. One small and handy, one large, with very impressive features.

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Re: Why does Pulse Audio get so much negative criticism?

Post by oldgranola » Sat Aug 25, 2018 1:41 am

have read that ALSA does have a system wide equalizer which would set the sound for ALL programs. But is there a similar tweak available in Pulse Audio?
This has been quoted many times before so I don't know the source but..
Stop comparing ALSA to PulseAudio

If I had one request of the Linux community, it would be this: Please stop comparing ALSA vs PulseAudio. Continuing to do so is like comparing the Linux kernel to Apache. The comparison simply doesn’t fit. ALSA is what makes your sound card play audio. Just like OSS (the Open Sound System for Linux) before it. PulseAudio is a sound server that allows casual users to send audio streams from specific applications to different audio playback devices like sound cards or USB solutions. PulseAudio offers the same benefits with input manipulation.
comadore, pcDOS, hpux, solaris, vms-vax ....blah blah blah..
Yet I'm still a fn nooob

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