One huge problem in a standard Ubuntu install is that not all programs are actually using the PulseAudio daemon but instead still use ALSA. This is especially true with the flashplugin. Since PulseAudio and ALSA can’t use the hardware device at the same time, they block each other which leads to hangs and maybe even… Read More »
The default soundcard to be used with ALSA is that with the index 0 in /proc/asound/cards. Usually this is the first found sound device. If you want to change this order, you have to find out the name of the kernel module used for that card and then add the desired index to it in… Read More »
A nice collection of all available siren sounds in a NYPD police car can be found at the NY Times. The “Air Horn” sound going through a horn loudspeaker should give the typical horn sound of ambulances.
The tools you need are described on blog.joff3.com. There’s also the nice youtube-dl package. One thing I noticed: the ffmpeg command there re-encodes the audio which might loose some quality. To just dump the audio off the Flash video, use: This is for 240px videos. All larger ones use AAC format. Use this: If you… Read More »
I recently found this table which lists different audio formats and the bitrates where you’d reach similar quality.
Simultaneous playback The festival text-to-speech synthesizer seems to use normal ALSA playback instead of PulseAudio. This leads to it failing when there’s already something playing. E.g. if you’re listening to music with Rhythmbox, festival fails with this message: To make it use PulseAudio, we can re-route the audio through the pacat utility as proposed on… Read More »
Instead of playing music through usual audio players, there is the possibility of using the mpd – a daemon which runs in the background and plays music. The great advantage is: You can choose between various interfaces and always control the same player with the same playlist(s) – even via TCP/IP from another PC or… Read More »
The default tool for CD ripping under Gnome is Sound Juicer, found under Applications → Sound & Video → Audio CD Extractor. But this tool had severe problems recognizing my custom configuration for LAME encoding (I changed vbr-quality from 6 to 2 but the tool ignored it) also you had to restart it for every… Read More »
The “Roger” beep after transmissions from Space missions is @ 2475 Hz for 250 ms. According to everything2, there should be a pre-transmission tone @ 2525 Hz for 250 ms. They are called Quindar tones.