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Problems with /dev/dsp

I foolishly volunteered to produce a CD from a minidisc of my choir
singing in Peterborough Cathedral.  After much googling I discovered
that programs such as wavrec, sound-recorder or audacity ought to be
able to take the output from the minidisc connected to the soundcard
line-in and record the data in an analogue manner.  This all sounded
fine ... until I came actually to try to do it.

I'm using an iBook G4 (last November vintage) running a 2.4.23-pre5
version of Ben Herrenschmidt's kernel.  Unfortunately there appears
to be something dreadfully wrong with /dev/dsp: all three of the
above-listed utilities give errors, viz.

galletly@caius:~$ sound-recorder -c2 -s44100 -b16 -fwav -S 1:00 -q temp3.wav
Sound Recorder version 0.06 (Build on Mar 21 2004)
Copyright (C) 1997-2000 by B. Warmerdam under GPL.
This program is free software and comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY.

Setting recording limit to 60 seconds
Record from dsp (no cdrom support).
To end the recording press CTRL-C
Error opening device: /dev/dsp
Error during initialisation of soundcard.

galletly@caius:~$ wavrec -t 60 -s 48000 -S temp4.wav
Permission denied:
Opening audio device /dev/dsp

galletly@caius:~$ audacity
PaHost_OpenStream: could not open /dev/dsp for O_RDWR
PaHost_OpenStream: ERROR - result = -10000
PaHost_OpenStream: could not open /dev/dsp for O_RDONLY
PaHost_OpenStream: ERROR - result = -10000

(and when I try to record anyway it pops up an alert box which says
"Error while opening sound device.  Please check the output
device settings and the sample rate." and the command line errors
accrue an extra line which says "Host error".)

The permissions on /dev/dsp are:
crw--w--w-    1 root     audio     14,   3 Mar 14  2002 /dev/dsp

I am in group audio.

I downloaded the snd-data tar file, and tried catting endoftheworld to
/dev/dsp as recommended in the sound HOWTO; I get some cacophanous noise
and then the message

cat: write error: No space left on device

Unfortunately this situation isn't covered in the HOWTO!  /dev/audio appears
to behave as expected; it's just /dev/dsp which appears to be less than
optimally functional.

If at all possible, I'd rather avoid having to upgrade kernels, compile up
ALSA, or anything that is likely to be time-consuming and might run the
risk of X ceasing to work: I'm supposed to have these CDs done rather too
soon for comfort!

If anyone can suggest anything, I'd be pathetically grateful!


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