The thing it'll be really good at is streaming media. Imagine a future Linux kernel where something like RTAI and ABISS work together to keep your video or audio player streaming despite all manner of other disk thrashing (e.g., VMWare suspend to disk, or ripping a CD at x48 speed...). Those are my simple needs.
But other folks want to use Linux to *record* audio and video, and this will be a huge boon to those apps. Last thing you want while recording is a dropped block of samples - no way to get it back.
Another poster mentioned GRIO. What I read about that is quite a few years old now, but it sounds like the goals were the same. I very much look forward to this new capability in Linux.
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