Multimedia applications and the realtime priority


Article from Issue 65/2006

Linux provides tools and patches for speeding up the priority of multimedia applications. So if you're not getting the performance you expect, try shifting into overdrive.

Despite the presence of multiple Gigahertz clock speeds and multiple Gigabytes of memory, TV on the computer screen sometimes doesn’t work as smoothly as you might like. In some cases, the slow performance of a multimedia application may result from the priority assigned to the application. Actually, one of the biggest advantages of Linux often causes problems when it comes to prioritizing multimedia. Because Linux is designed as a multi-user operating system, the emphasis is on keeping many different applications running concurrently. By default, Linux does not assign the full power of the system to a single program. Today’s Linux computers, however, often belong to a single user, and that user can sometimes benefit from dialing up the priority for resource-hungry multimedia applications.

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