> The 'PA chews CPU when doing nothing' bug (actually a feature implemented
> in a CPU-chewy way) was fixed in PulseAudio 0.9.7, released nearly a year
When I said "Doing nothing", I do mean that I was playing a DVD at the time. PA was doing "nothing", in the sense of "adding no value", not in the sense of "being idle". I suspect you are right that killing off resampling would have solved the problem - but I didn't know that, and the default settings were wrong. It seems fundamentally daft to have a daemon handling sound at all.
> alsa with dmix obsoletes the concept of a sound server iff you have only
> one machine or never ever want to produce sound on any other machine, and
> have only one set of speakers, and don't care about per-application
> volume restoration or compatibility with things like esd. Some of us
> care about that.
Actually, that's what drove me mad about PA. I already have a nice setup, with most sounds routed to the default onboard soundcard (/dev/dsp), which connects to the monitor speakers. One or two applications are permitted to use /dev/dsp1, which connects via a USB soundcard to a hi-fi. PA makes it extremely hard to choose specific devices at the application level. For example, I play the BBC's listen-again real-audio streams by using this shell-script: