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+% At minimum, give your name and an email address. You can include a
+% snail-mail address if you like.
+\author{Casper Wilstrup}
+% This makes the Abstract go on a separate page in the HTML version;
+% if a copyright notice is used, it should go immediately after this.
+\chapter*{Front Matter\label{front}}
+% Copyright statement should go here, if needed.
+This software is licensed under the PSF license - the same one used
+by the majority of the python distribution. Basically you can use it
+for anything you wish (even commercial purposes). There is no warranty
+% The abstract should be a paragraph or two long, and describe the
+% scope of the document.
+This package contains wrappers for accessing the ALSA api from Python. It
+is currently fairly complete for PCM devices and Mixer access. MIDI sequencer
+support is low on my priority list, but volunteers are welcome.
+If you find bugs in the wrappers please notify me on email. Please
+don't send bug reports regarding ALSA specifically. There are several
+bugs in this api, and those should be reported to the ALSA team - not
+\section{What is ALSA}
+The Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA) provides audio and MIDI
+functionality to the Linux operating system.
+Logically ALSA consists of these components:
+ \item A set of kernel drivers.\\
+ These drivers are responsible for handling the physical sound
+ hardware from within the Linux kernel, and have been the standard
+ sound implementation in Linux since kernel version 2.5
+ \item A kernel level API for manipulating the ALSA devices.
+ \item A user-space C library for simplified access to the sound hardware
+ from userspace applications. This library is called \textit{libasound}
+ and is required by all ALSA capable applications.
+More information about ALSA may be found on the project homepage
+\section{ALSA and Python}
+The older Linux sound API (OSS) which is now deprecated is well supported
+from the standard Python library, through the ossaudiodev module. No native
+ALSA support exists in the standard library (yet).
+There are a few other ``ALSA for Python'' projects available, including at
+least two different projects called pyAlsa. Neither of these seem to be under
+active development at the time - and neither are very feature complete.
+I wrote PyAlsaAudio to fill this gap. My long term goal is to have the module
+included in the standard Python library, but that is probably a while of yet.
+PyAlsaAudio hass full support for sound capture, playback of sound, as well as
+the ALSA Mixer API.
+MIDI support is not available, and since I don't own any MIDI hardware, it's
+difficult for me to implement it. Volunteers to work on this would be greatly
+Note: the wrappers link with the alsasound library (from the alsa-lib
+package). Verify that this is installed by looking for /usr/lib/libasound.so
+before building. Naturally you also need to use a kernel with proper ALSA
+support. This is the default in Linux kernel 2.6 and later. If you are using
+kernel version 2.4 you may need to install the ALSA patches yourself - although
+most distributions ship with ALSA kernels.
+To install, execute the following: \\
+$ python setup.py build
+And then as root: \\
+# python setup.py install