Sound server observations

Hello all,

As someone who use both GNOME and KDE a lot I have had quite a fair
amount of experience from an user's POV regarding EsounD and aRtsD. To

EsounD : low performance hit (~ 3%). Requires programs to support
outputting sound to it
aRtsD    : higher demand on CPU. Sometimes forces itself on other
programs if not suspended first

aviplay totally unusable on my P2-333 if aRtsD is enabled, but weirdly
XMMS can bypass aRtsD if it's output is set to OSS.

CPU usage for XMMS: 
    running using OSS: < 1%
    running under esd:  < 5%
    running using aRts: > 10% (max. buffer) - 15% (standard settings)

I have since reverted to using no sound server at all, since - this
might be because I'm using ALSA 0.9 beta 3 - I can play multiple sound
files at the same time, without modification (i.e. XMMS using OSS
plugin, and play to play another wav file concurrently).

If this is a fairly typical experiment, can GNOME be modified perhaps to
support running *without* sound server? Since GNOME 2 will probably have
aRts support, adding another option should not be too difficult. KDE
already supports running without sound server by using the option 'use
external program' to play sound - thanks KDE developers :)


Michel Salim

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