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18 December 2012, 16:36

PulseAudio 3.0 now better with mobile and wireless

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The PulseAudio developers have released version 3.0 of the open source audio framework. PulseAudio 3.0 includes support for Bluetooth sources out of the box, ALSA Use Case Manager (UCM) support, configurable device latency offset and several optimisations and infrastructure improvements. PulseAudio is used by the majority of Linux distributions to handle audio input and output and interface desktop software with the underlying stack that directly manages the hardware drivers.

PulseAudio 3.0 can now be used to connect a laptop or other Bluetooth-enabled computer to a mobile device in a headset role. In this case, PulseAudio will automatically loop back the audio signal to the computer's sound device. This enables users to record output from a phone or make phone calls with audio hardware connected to a computer. Support for ALSA's UCM allows the framework to support a variety of hardware that PulseAudio does not ship configuration files for. While PulseAudio generally supports most audio hardware found in laptop and desktop computers, this new feature enables it to better support phone and tablet type devices, a use case that has become more and more prevalent for the framework.

Other new features include the ability to change parameters on LADSPA filters on the fly via a basic D-Bus interface and a configurable device latency offset. On devices that PulseAudio can not currently query for latency, configuring the offset manually can help fix problems such as drifting lip synchronisation in videos. A list of all improvements and various architecture changes in PulseAudio 3.0 is available in the release notes.

PulseAudio is licensed under the LGPLv2.1 or later and more information on the project is available on the web site.


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