I have not yet had time to investigate this further, for synchronization accuracy, but the claim is that it is perfect. I really think PulseAudio (http://pulseaudio.org/
) is a viable option for multi-room audio playback. There are many features which could be desirable to LinuxMCE users:
- It will output synchronous audio to multiple networked computers
- It will output synchronous audio to multiple sound card outputs in a single computer
- It will output individual sound sources to different sound card outputs in a single or multiple computers (this allows it to operate like a matrix switch without latency issues with multiple sound card outputs from a single pc)
- It allows you to use remote inputs (microphones) as local devices (baby monitor?)
- It uses a timer based method of synchronizing audio across networked pcs
- It is already incorporated as the default sound system in (k)Ubuntu 8.04 and up
- It uses zeroconf (avahi) for auto-discovery of networked pulseaudio systems (easily discoverable like remote shares...)
- It has a command line interface for all functionality (looks fairly easy to interface with...)
Why re-invent the wheel? It is already the default sound system in Ubuntu...
Example: From the PulseAudio FAQ (http://pulseaudio.org/wiki/FAQ
Is PulseAudio capable of providing synchronized audio playback over the network for movie players like MPlayer?
Yes! Unless your network is congested in some way (i.e. transfer latencies vary strongly ('jitter')) it works perfectly. ...
I'm still working my way through understanding the entire system but my understanding is that a device template could be written to use PulseAudio sinks (outputs) similar to how squeezeboxes are implemented. I don't know how this would be done.
Many linux distros use PulseAudio (windows support as well) XBMC also uses PulseAudio now. Many options for network capable audio players open up by incorporating PulseAudio support.
My 2 cents.