Re: Pulseaudio vs ALSA
Pulseaudio can do things smarter. It does per-application volume controls (for instance, turn Empathy down when listening to DVDs), supports switching of sound sources on the fly as they get plugged in and unplugged, streams your computer audio across a network, And cleans up the "audio blocking" problems that used to exist on Linux.
Pulseaudio, as far as I know, can support multiple OSes. Alsa is Linux-only. An application developer can target Pulseaudio and the program will compile for BSD and Solaris as well as Linux.
I try to treat the cause, not the symptom. I avoid the terminal in instructions, unless it's easier or necessary. My instructions will work within the Ubuntu system, instead of breaking or subverting it. Those are the three guarantees to the helpee.