PulseAudio is a sound server, a background process accepting sound input from one or more sources (processes or capture devices) and redirecting it to one or more sinks (sound cards, remote network PulseAudio servers, or other processes).
One of the goals of PulseAudio is to reroute all sound streams through it, including those from processes that attempt to directly access the hardware. What it really does is get in the way, delay sound, improperly fix and make audio in Linux a bigger mess. PulseAudio may have potential and offer some great audio features but for me it is not worth the headaches. I don't need advanced features and networked audio, I simply want to watch videos, listen to music and talk on Skype without problems.
To completely remove PulseAudio in a terminal type:
sudo apt-get purge pulseaudio
This will uninstall PulseAudio, delete the configuration files and uninstall it's dependencies; gstreamer-10-pulseaudio, libpulse-browse0, libpeexdsp1, pulseaudio-esound-compat, pulseaudio-module-udev, pulseaudio-module-x11, pulseaudio-utils, and rtkit.
Reboot your machine and enjoy working audio. Not having PulseAudio installed makes using Skype as easy as starting the program. You still need to turn on the mic and setup the correct audios devices.
- Select alsa for for all options in /system/preferences/sound
- If you need help or have issues refer to the Ubuntu Wiki page on PulseAudio.
If you ever want to go back to using PulseAudio you can reinstall it by typing in a terminal:
sudo apt-get install pulseaudio
Feel free to bash PulseAudio in the comments and let everyone know how your audio quality improved.
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