On 1 Apr 2014, at 23:10, Kevin Oberman <rkober...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Audio output is pretty system dependent, but I had little problem getting
> my audio to auto-switch to headphones when I plugged them in. The setup is
> a bit ugly,but I only had to check the available PINs (ugly, ugly) and set
> up stuff once. It just works. If you want my example set-up, I can post it
> somewhere or you can look in the archives for it as I have posted it in the
> past.

It would be good to have this in the handbook (and to see what we can do to 
improve it).  FreeBSD audio typically works out of the box and it's great when 
it does[1], but it can be underdocumented black magic to make it work when it 
doesn't.  For example, I believe it's possible to tell pcm that when it 
receives a stereo stream it should redirect the left channel to the front and 
rear left, and the right channel to the front and rear right, but I haven't yet 
worked out how to do this - I'd have thought it was the kind of default that 
we'd want to have.

The use case that PulseAudio was [over]designed to fix was plugging in USB 
headphones (or connecting a Bluetooth headset) and having existing audio 
streams redirected there.  This should be possible with the existing sound 
stack, but there are some bits of plumbing missing.  We already do in-kernel 
mixing and resampling, which are the hard bits.  Duplicating streams and 
redirecting them are trivial by comparison.


[1] Although I had a slightly embarrassing moment when I spent an hour hunting 
for docs to tell me how to configure my media centre box do 5.1 output and then 
decided to just try it and found it worked out of the box.
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