best sound subsystem for freebsd for a desktop

Frank Shute frank at
Thu May 21 00:06:50 UTC 2020

On Tue, May 19, 2020 at 06:18:51PM , Polytropon wrote:
> On Tue, 19 May 2020 18:05:47 +0200, Ralf Mardorf via freebsd-questions wrote:
> > On Tue, 19 May 2020 17:38:39 +0200, Polytropon wrote:
> > >> 3. system noises like you'd expect from a desktop  
> > >
> > >Depends on the desktop environment you use, and how it is
> > >configured to entertain, erm annoy the user. I don't expect
> > >a desktop to make any noises, unless the head is banged
> > >onto it. :-)
> > 
> > The bell, aka as PC speaker beep, could be a useful desktop sound,
> > unless the user does run vi.

I'm afraid I'm with Polytropon on this one. I don't want any PC making noises
at me unless I instruct it to. Which is why I have:

# We really don't want a bell ffs!

in sysctl.conf

> In X, you can even configure what the bell sound should
> be (using something like "xset b 100 1000 15"). With xbiff,
> it says "You have mail!". And certain MUAs can even define
> their own media files for things they want you to hear.

Careless talk like that can cost lives, for heaven's sake!!

Somebody will have read that and are now programming 'Son of Clippy' to
inflict on an unsuspecting public. The horror! The horror!
> > Joking apart, desktop sound is not just an annoyance, it is also a
> > serious risk, especially if different sources could access audio output
> > at the same time.
> Programs, if configured properly, can deal with that. For
> example mplayer can have its own volume setting independent
> from other sounds. The master volume can be used as a
> "ceiling value", even if PCM is at 100.

I've always found the sound subsystem to be excellent on FreeBSD. I don't know
what it's like on Linux nowadays but 15 years ago it was well beyond hideous.

Nowadays, I tick the 'sndio' option for the ports I use. I think most of the
commonly used ports that can emit noise have that option nowadays.

> > Imagine you set the wanted level for the trash bin sound, after that
> > you watch a very silent video. You increase the volume of the amplifier
> > much, to listen to the video and after watching and listening the
> > video, you move it to the trash bin, without decreasing the volume
> > first. The trash bin sound could blow the speakers.
> And curious people can hear things they're not supposed
> to hear and to know:
> "Please enter your secret password."
> "Eytsh you en tee ee are two."
> Shhh!
> "You entered the password hunter two. Is that your password?"
> Um...
> "Please speak louder into the microphone. Is hunter two your
> password?"
> Yes?
> "You have confirmed your password hunter twelve. You are now
> logged in to Facebook. Now enter your credit card number and
> secret PIN to confirm your identity."
> Erm...
> ;-)

Then it's just one small step to:

"I'm sorry I can't do that, Polytropon."

Am I right or am I right?



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