I was given a Raspberry Pi for my birthday last week, and I’ve already got it up and running, doing what I intended it to do: be an audio sink for iPhone and my laptop – which has terrible speakers.

I knew it would be a PulseAudio sink for my laptop. There’s also neat piece of software called shairport that will act as an AirPlay sink – and people are using it on Raspberry Pi’s.

By default, the common Linux Distribution “Raspbian” for this tiny computer uses ALSA for sound. This is fine for basic stuff, but I was reminded that when two things ever try to play sound at the same time, contention issues arise. It reminded me of a earlier day in Linux history, before the advent of PulseAudio and the magic it imparts.
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