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Skype drops support for ALSA

In a Skype blog post yesterday, the announcement was made that the latest version of Skype has dropped support for the ALSA sound system and that Linux users are expected to use PulseAudio exclusively from now on.

Boo Hoo Microsoft, for killing this itsy bit of Linux compatibility in your closed-source product.

I guess for Slackware users it is game over for Skype calls. Time to find out if we can come up with a solution that bundles private libraries for PulseAudio so that we do not have to pollute the system directories with it.

Eric

Comments

Comment from Robby
Posted: June 19, 2014 at 08:09

I’d replied to Willy’s tweet yesterday on this exact issue. Hopefully there won’t be any changes in Slack over the short term to break v4.2 – not ideal but if that’s all we can do …

Comment from Schmatzler
Posted: June 19, 2014 at 08:57

Skype is getting more and more bad. Microsoft just decides to have the monopoly and can do whatever they want.

The same thing happened with Chrome and NPAPI. We should learn that being dependent on a big company is never a good sign.

Didn’t Microsoft decide do drop the 3rd-party-API in Skype a while ago? That would make the next version unusable, even WITH alsa support.

Comment from Jen
Posted: June 19, 2014 at 14:54

Ugh. One of the big reasons I stick with slackware is because it isn’t dependent upon pulseaudio. I’m a composer who does a lot of computer music. Maybe it’s just coincidence, but I’ve never had audio work properly on a system that required pulseaudio (even if it isn’t being used.)

First questionable privacy issues WRT Microsoft and skype, now this. Yep, not using it. My nieces can pick up a phone, or I can hold my nose and do facetime on one of the macs.

Comment from Brad R.
Posted: June 19, 2014 at 18:33

Did the previous version of Skype stop working? I saw the news about the new pulseaudio requirement, and just decided not to “upgrade.”

Comment from Me
Posted: June 19, 2014 at 22:09

It’s time to look at replacements for skype.
I don’t trust skype anymore with servers under american laws and cloud integration.
But i do like “share desktop” function in skype.
Is there an good replacement for skype?
I need audio calls, text chat and share desktop.

Comment from Me
Posted: June 19, 2014 at 22:11

I forgot to write that audio calls i need is client to client no landlines.

Comment from yonaton
Posted: June 20, 2014 at 14:59

M$ could screw up a wet dream.

Comment from gianco
Posted: June 20, 2014 at 22:42

I’m just waiting for this: http://tox.im/

I never liked Skype, I’m forced to use it on the job.

Comment from Me
Posted: June 21, 2014 at 02:35

@gianco Thanks for the tip.

Comment from LoneStar
Posted: June 21, 2014 at 11:56

we can all despise Skype, but if we need to communicate with other people who uses only that, we must cope

Comment from Hussam Al-Tayeb
Posted: June 27, 2014 at 15:31

There is no 64bit linux skype client and I don’t wish to install 32bit libraries on my 64bit linux installation. Too many reasons not to be using skype to begin with.

Comment from rfringuello89
Posted: June 28, 2014 at 10:31

Time to find out if we can find another application. Since when Microsoft bought skype it sucks both on Linux and on Android (since 4.4.0 on my Nexus 4 it is impossible to use it: crashes, reboots and so on), I had also some bad news about IOS.

Comment from Regnad Kcin
Posted: July 6, 2014 at 17:16

I had recently totally reworked my oiNKpod and installed a fresh new Slackware-64 -current and got kde -current up-to-date. After installing the 32-bit-multilib-packages for current, the old skype packages install and work just fine. I do get business contacts via Skype, so it is important.

Comment from Regnad Kcin
Posted: July 11, 2014 at 07:44

What are the issues with PulseAudio? I haven’t tried it and am a bit leery of doing so because I am not wanting to have to clean out my system back to scratch just to get rid of it.

I am not sure that ALSA is all that great, so I am wondering what is so wrong about PulseAudio.

Comment from Feri
Posted: July 11, 2014 at 18:32

Hi,
I’ve managed to add the pulseaudio using the sbo packages for both 64-bit and also created the compat32 packages, however for best experience i had to rebuild alsa-lib and alsa-plugins(sbo) packages.
Now this thing works, and i can do video calls over skype on my multilib system, however hwdts and hwac3 output from mplayer does not work and also the sound for any DTS or AC3 videos are crap using digital out/passthrough.

All in all it is inconvenient, but can be done.

Comment from Reason
Posted: July 13, 2014 at 18:39

@Regnad Kcin: there are many problems with pulseaudio. It is a failure in that it is supposed to be simple and “black-box” but its not – I always have to dig in some configuration to make it work. It is also a failure in that it is supposed to simplify things, but it also makes it complicated; because it tries to guess what you want, is very intrusive, and when you change configurations it often doesn’t know what to do. Lastly, it is painfully slow by design. It resamples every single audio “manually”. You literally have to choose between quick resampling or a good resampling. If you like to do anything computationally intensive while listening to music, give up. You can’t. That’s pulseaudio.

Comment from Regnad Kcin
Posted: July 15, 2014 at 00:33

Thanks for the comment. Not sure what you mean by “black-box”. Your description reminds me of microsoft, though.

Comment from Drakeo
Posted: July 22, 2014 at 08:36

I moved over to google talk for my long distance phone calls.
keeping old skype. 4.3 now in slackbuilds is pretty much broken
for voice. With out pulseaudio and pavucontrol.
As for pulseaudio install pretty much breaks everything I have set up for DJing. Like skype call in etc. ALSA is in the kernel so there are many eyes on it. I believe they have set a standard.

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