Audio on Unix is a little zoo, there are so many acronyms for projects and APIs that it's easy to get lost. Let's tackle that issue! Most articles are confusing because they either use audio technical jargon, or because they barely scratch the surface and leave people clueless. A little knowledge can be dangerous.
In this article I'll try to bridge the gap by not requiring any prerequisite knowledge while also giving a good overview of the whole Unix audio landscape. There's going to be enough details to remove mysticism (Oh so pernicious in web bubbles) and see how the pieces fit.