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Re: SoundBlaster Live!, /dev/audio, and bad sound quality

Lo, on Sunday, March 3, Rick Macdonald did write:

> On Sun, 3 Mar 2002, Richard Cobbe wrote:
> > Greetings, all.
> > 
> > New sound card (actually, new computer).  It's a SoundBlaster Live!, so
> > I've compiled in support for the emu10k1 module.
> > 
> > Up-to-date potato, kernel 2.2.20, SMP.
> > 
> > In general, everything works fine, except that sending .au files to
> > /dev/audio has really lousy sound quality.  You can hear the sound, but
> > there's a loud hissing or static sound on top of it.


> I wonder if it's meant to work. "cat english.au > /dev/audio" on my system
> also sounds horrible, but the same file sounds fine when played with
> xanim, esdplay or "play". I actually don't know where "play" came from.
> "bplay", from the bplay package, sounds horrible just like cat does.

You're apparently right -- play works quite nicely on the same file.

I'd be interested in learning the differences between play and catting
to /dev/audio, but I'm not going to worry about it too much.  I have a
quick way of playing .au files, and that's really all I'm after.

> I think cat'ing the file _used_ to sound OK on the old sound card (SB16)
> that I had before the the SBLive.

Yeah, the same file sounded good on the sound hardware in the previous
machine.  I'm a little unclear on details, but I think it was a cheap
SB16 knockoff.  (Exact modules info elsewhere in the thread.)

Thanks for the advice,


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