Re: Phonon and audio systems in general
On Sat, Mar 13, 2010 at 5:19 PM, Michael Schuerig <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Sound works for me in KDE, so there's no pressing problem that needs
> solving. However, my understanding of how and why things work is rather
> limited. KDE apps use phonon for sound, which uses a xine-based backend
> to output sound to ALSA.
> Apparently, apart from the xine-backend, there are others (gstreamer,
> pulseaudio?). I have no idea what reasons there might be for choosing
> one over the others.
The available phonon backends are:
- directshow (for windows)
- quicktime (for mac)
The preferred backend for use in KDE is xine, but there are cases
where you might want to try the gstreamer one to avoid some xine bug.
The vlc and mplayer backends are under development and are not yet
available. And of course directshow and quicktime are not relevant for
Those are mostly multimedia APIs and not sound systems, so each one of
them can use one of the several underlying sound systems:
> Also, since I've become aware of phonon, I've been wondering whether
> it's only relevant for applications that have been developed with it
> explicitly in mind, or, say, whether there's a way to output sound from
> any app to a virtual phonon device for Notifications, Music, or
> Communication and have phonon route it to the real device selected in
> the Sound and Video Configuration.
Yes, phonon is just a multimedia player API and is only relevant for
applications that have been developed with it. It is not a sound
system like arts used to be in KDE 3. Pulseaudio provides a system
like that, where it creates virtual alsa/oss devices so that
applications that are not aware of it can output sound via the
pulseaudio server and it has controls for different categories of
applications, as well as separate volume control for each application,
> As for the Debian-connection: Is there any preferred way for audio on
> Debian systems?
Afaik there is only confusion... I am happy here with ALSA, which
works out of the box on linux systems. Others prefer pulseaudio, but I
only have heard bad comments about it, so I am not very willing to try