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I have an old machine running Windows 98 and a brand new machine running Ubuntu 10.04 64-bit. I would like to pipe the audio from the Win98 box to the Ubuntu box.

Basically, I need an audio driver that sends the audio stream across the network where an app on my Ubuntu machine will play it. Is there an app that does this?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

PulseAudio is the sound daemon for the default Ubuntu desktop. There are Windows binaries available.

I also spotted an article from '08, "Streaming Audio from Windows to PulseAudio Server". The Windows PulseAudio builds weren't stable enough for that author, so he went another route, using something called LiveInCode and netcat or Cygwin's SSH as the transport layer. The author used a commercial software called Virtual Audio Cable to create a "virtual audio card", and uses that as the device to which his media player plays, and from which LiveInCode is capturing.

  • Server side configuration: add this to PulseAudio's startup options:
    -L "module-simple-protocol-tcp port=4712 rate=44100 format=s16le channels=2"

  • Client: LiveInCode via Netcat (susceptible to dying due to closed connection due to a bug in module-simple-protocol-tcp):
    linco.exe -B 16 -C 2 -R 44100 | nc.exe <host> 4712

  • Client: LiveInCode via SSH:
    linco.exe -B 16 -C 2 -R 44100 | ssh.exe <user@host> "cat - | pacat --playback"

I've not tested this solution, but it sounds reasonable. Note that more recent versions of PulseAudio may differ in some ways. Check your documentation.

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Unfortunately the compiled binaries are the server only; no one has yet built a PulseAudio driver for Windows. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Jun 20 '10 at 6:42
@ignacio: good point. i haven't played much with PulseAudio; maybe the server + Virtual Audio Cable is a workable solution? – quack quixote Jun 20 '10 at 18:15
VAC along with pacat.exe does look like a decent solution for now. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Jun 21 '10 at 0:08

I don't know why you would need to do this, but you don't need any thing special as long as the audio out is working on your old machine and the audio in (mic) and audio out is working on your new machine. You can plug one end of an 1/8" audio cord into the green audio out port of your old machine and plug the other end into the mic port of your new machine, then configure the mic input of the new machine to be out put through the audio out port. I have done this with vcrs and dvd players, should work the same with your old computer.

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running sound over a network instead of a wire is reasonable if (a) you're lacking in/out ports, (b) one of the systems is a VM, (c) wires are impractical to run (too far, etc). but wires are better if you care about (1) network usage, (2) sound quality, or (3) latency. – quack quixote Jun 20 '10 at 6:43

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