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Killing pulseaudio was not enough for me back then as it kept summoning itself through alsa. There's one file in /usr/share/alsa that you have to modify to completely disable it. I can no longer tell unless I search through the net what file it was since I'm no longer running PulseAudio.
I did use the kill command but it just comes back in a few seconds. This all started when I got this new usb dac and was trying to get it to work. My old one worked fine but this one seems to be recognized but I get an error when ever I try to play anything. I did find out that the pulseaudio thing goes away if I unplug it, but still I think it if very odd that it just keeps popping up like that for no reason I can figure out.
Oh yeah and I am running Ubuntu 12.04 now, I'll update my profile.
Pulse Audio is one of those things that improves stuff by adding an extra layer of complexity on top of something that already worked just fine, although I have to say it's not as annoying as it used to be.
And I wonder what is it exactly that PulseAudio tries to improve. My first impression of it was that it would be able to add volume control to every running application but it doesn't seem to really work like that.
Pulse makes it possible that more than one programm can use the sound device. With ALSA as the hardware layer of the soundsystem only one program is allowed to use the hardware. Now pulse grabs the hardware and every other programm sends their sounds to pulse which it pushes it through to the hardware.
PulseAudio allows much more than Alsa can deliver:
- per application volume control
- on the fly changing of input/output devices (for example when plugging in an USB audio device)
- sending audio over network
- probably much more