I have a MacBook (2,1) w/ Ubuntu Studio on it, Sno Leopard, and XP.

On XP and Leopard, all I have to do to record is plug in a recording device to the line in, launch audacity, and hit record.

In Ubuntu, and other linux variants, after every patch, I have to go fix the audio subsystem so my Intel audio drivers will load. Then I have to tell Pulse Audio how to talk with an Alsa driver. Then I have to tell Pulse audio which hardware to use. Then I have to tell Audacity which place to record from. Once that's all done, the recording sounds terrible, compared w/ XP and Mac. Why so many hoops for such a simple task?

I found the same issue w/ my AsusTek Whitebox pc that has a SoundBlaster Live card. The only step removed was dinking w/ the actual sound driver itself.

I still have to go into Alsa's mixer to change settings at each boot. (APparently storing and restoring the mixer settings even w/ sudo is broke.) Then I have to tell Pulse how to use Alsa. Then I have to tell audacity how to use Pulse. EVERY Time. Nothing retians any settings across a reboot. (Reloading hasn't helped, upgrading hasn't helped, different versions of Linux haven't helped.) In fact I find many of my Audio problems would probably go away, if I could find a way to do away with Pulse audio. Except every time I install a MultiMedia app, it gets reinstalled, and if I remove Pulse, then alot of times, my entire Xubuntu desktop environment gets yanked. (Even though there is no real requirement for pulse to be present to use Xubuntu)

These issues are preventing me from builing a cost effective digital studio for my church. I want something I can setup once, and then train other people how to use it. But the audio breaks at almost every boot on 9 out of 10 systems I have here at the house.

The one it doesn't break on only runs MacOS, not ubuntu. (Wife's PC).

If I could afford to donate a Mac, I probably would. I refuse to donate a PC w/ Windows on it, because I don't want all the support calls caused by viruses/spyware, inability of windows to recover properly from a power outage, etc.

Any suggestions, aside from a distro that requires you build everything from scratch?