Monday, 1 February 2010

Ensure sound is routed through the Pulseaudio server with padsp

Padsp is a Pulseaudio OSS sound wrapper that can be used in front of a command in the terminal to ensure that OSS output is routed through the Pulse Audio sound server. A typical use would be to make sure that wine outputs through Pulse, which it is not able to do by default.

I happened upon the use of padsp while attempting to research a fix for Wine games, which would play sound if no other program was outputting at the same time, and simply not work if there were. The issue was that Karmic is heavily reliant upon the Pulseaudio server, and Wine was attempting to output straight through Alsa, bypassing the server. This would work as long as nothing else was playing, however if there was, Pulse would take precedent and sound output from Wine would cease.

The solution? Simply add padsp in front of a start command, and tell wine to output as OSS in itss configuration menu.

For example:

The start command for World of Warcraft in Wine is:

wine "/home/sam/.wine/dosdevices/c:/Program Files/World Of Warcraft/Wow.exe" -opengl

Changing this to:

padsp wine "/home/sam/.wine/dosdevices/c:/Program Files/World Of Warcraft/Wow.exe" -opengl

Routes the OSS audio output through the appropriate sound server, and ensures smooth sound playback while listening to music at the same time.

This will work with any application capable of outputting sound via oss that is not already detected by Pulse. I have found this command necessary to use for Emesene also.

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