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Bluez 5, PulseAudio 6, and ALSA 1.0.28


More and more distros are switching to Bluez 5, including Debian testing. One of the major blockers for us w r t switching to Bluez 5 has been the lack of HFP/HSP support, i e, no recording from headsets. However, support for this has recently started showing up on the PA mailinglist. The support comes in two forms, both with oFono as backend, and without external dependencies, like in Bluez 4.

The bluez 5 backend for HFP/HSP (ofono or native) will, as it looks now, be switchable at compile time. I suspect we want the ofono backend on Ubuntu Touch and native on the desktop (right?). We need to deal with this somehow.

PulseAudio 6.0 release cycle has not yet started, as we should first try to get the bluez 5 patches in. But hopefully we should start the release process within two months and then there is a release 1-2 months from that. (No guarantees.)

ALSA 1.0.28 contains a few minor fixes and improvements, e g better 2.1 surround support, some support for cards with > 4 HDMI devices. It's been out there for a few months.

So, what's the plan? I suggest we upload ALSA 1.0.28 in the beginning of the 15.04 cycle, as early as feasible. There shouldn't be anything stopping it, and some PA 6.0 stuff makes use of the stuff in alsa-lib 1.0.28. We could then wait for PulseAudio 6.0 to be relased, and after uploading that, switch to Bluez 5.

But I just wanted to give you a heads up about what's going on in the audio stack, and also gather your opinions/concerns in case you want to do things differently?

David Henningsson, Canonical Ltd.

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