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Does anyone still use OSS4?

PostPosted: 2017-12-31 18:02
by kedaha
There were no replies :( to my topic, which I posted back in August, but I'm nevertheless curious to know if there are still any audiophile nonconformists—apart from myself—who still use Open Sound System OSS4 instead of, and in preference to, the ALSA—Pulseaudio default in Debian. I'd also be interested to know if anyone might be interested in trying it.

Re: Does anyone still use OSS4?

PostPosted: 2017-12-31 18:58
by debiman
do you have any experience with it?
how does it differ from ALSA?
is it more popular in other distros?

Re: Does anyone still use OSS4?

PostPosted: 2018-01-01 13:59
by kedaha
Hi debiman,
Thanks very much for your reply.
debiman wrote:do you have any experience with it?

I've used OSS4 exclusively since the year 2010 and posted about how to get it up and running in Debian 6 "Squeeze" either by installing it from the official repository as detailed here or by compiling it from upstream source, as detailed here; however, both these howtos are out of date for current stable.
debiman wrote:how does it differ from ALSA?

I think that one has to try it in order to form one's own opinion; for me, sound quality is far superior to ALSA, so much so that I prefer not to listen to music without OSS4, but a lot may depend on one's system and sound card. There is a lot of useful documentation available; for example, see: wiki.archlinux.org and the ossnext.trueinstruments.com/forum/.
debiman wrote:is it more popular in other distros?

From what I've read about it, ALSA—hilariously alluded to as "a dog's breakfast"—in this old forum topic with PulseAudio has become the homogenized default for most, if not all, distros, similar in a way to systemd. Although FreeBSD, like other BSDs, has its own implementation of the OSS API, I got OSS4 to work fine back in 2013 as I posted—as "woodman"—at forums.freebsd.org/threads/40033/.
OSS4 packages are no longer available in current stable so I again had to build from source as detailed at viewtopic.php?f=6&t=134126.
I think that switching from ALSA to OSS4 involves quite a lot of time, effort and configuration but it's one well worth making. And then it takes some time to get used to it. The first step is to find out if the sound device is supported.

Re: Does anyone still use OSS4?

PostPosted: 2018-01-02 20:08
by debiman
from what i understand, all ac97 devices and almost all mobo onboard chips are supported.
development seems active (if not hyperactive).
i guess i should just try it, there's a well groomed AUR package ready for my arch desktop...

Re: Does anyone still use OSS4?

PostPosted: 2018-01-03 13:56
by kedaha
I'll be interested to know what you think of it.
From what I've read, it seems OSS4 wasn't included in current stable because of some issue with systemd; nevertheless, it works fine on my desktop computer. I would really like to see it back in testing but I'm inclined to—as the Spanish saying goes, piensa mal y acertarás, think the worst and you'll be right—that OSS4 may cease to be available in the form of official Debian packages in future stable releases.

Re: Does anyone still use OSS4?

PostPosted: 2018-01-04 20:29
by tynman
The statement,
for me, sound quality is far superior to ALSA
, suggests you are simply doing something very wrong with ALSA configuration. And typically if you do something wrong in ALSA configuration you get no sound at all (not degraded sound quality).