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PulseAudio

PulseAudio

PulseAudio (formerly PolypAudio) is a cross-platform, networked sound server project. It is intended to be an improved drop-in replacement for the Enlightened Sound Daemon (ESD).

PulseAudio is a sound server, a background process accepting sound input from one or more sources (processes or capture devices) and redirecting it to one or more sinks (sound cards, remote network PulseAudio servers, or other processes).

One of the goals of PulseAudio is to reroute all sound streams through it, including those from processes that attempt to directly access the hardware (like legacy OSS applications). PulseAudio achieves this by providing adapters to applications using other audio systems, like aRts and ESD.

A sound server can serve many functions:

  • Software mixing of multiple audio streams, bypassing any restrictions the hardware has
  • Network transparency, allowing an application to play back or record audio on a different machine than the one it is running on
  • Sound API abstraction, alleviating the need for multiple backends in applications to handle the wide diversity of sound systems out there
  • Generic hardware abstraction, giving the possibility of doing things like individual volumes per application

 PulseAudio 5.0

Price
Free to download

Size
1.4MB
License

GNU GPL, GNU GLPL

Developer
Lennart Poettering, Pierre Ossman, Shahms E, King, and contributors

Website
www.pulseaudio.org

System Requirements
liboil
libsamplerate
libsnd
libatomic_ops 1.2

Optional:
X11
libcap
alsa-lib
glib 2.0
Avahi
jack
libasyncns
tcpwrap
lirc

Support Sites:
FAQ, Mailing Lists, HOWTO

Selected Reviews:

Features include:

  • Per-application volume controls
  • Extensible plugin architecture with support for loadable modules
  • Module autoloading
  • Compatibility with many popular audio applications
  • Support for multiple audio sources and sinks
  • Low-latency operation and support for latency measurement
  • Zero-copy memory architecture for processor resource efficiency
  • Ability to discover other computers using PulseAudio on the local network and play sound through their speakers directly
  • Ability to change which output device an application plays sound through while the application is playing sound (without the application needing to support this, and indeed without even being aware that this happened)
  • Command-line interface with scripting capabilities
  • Sound daemon with command line reconfiguration capabilities
  • Built-in sample conversion and resampling capabilities
  • "Zero-Copy" architecture
  • Combine multiple sound cards into one
  • Ability to fully synchronize multiple playback streamsing in files
Return to Audio Home Page

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Last Updated Tuesday, March 18 2014 @ 02:51 PM EST


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