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In my embedded system I have this configuration file in /etc/asound.conf:

pcm_slave.sl2 {
        pcm "hw:0,0"
        rate 48000
        channels 2
        format S16_LE
}

pcm.rate_convert {
        type plug
        slave sl2
}

pcm.!default rate_convert

I noticed that since this file was placed in the system, aplay -L and arecord -L cannot list the PCM devices anymore. aplay -l and arecord -l are instead working as expected.

If this file is not placed in there, the list is correctly returned. What is this doing exactly? Why is this preventing aplay and arecord from listing PCM devices?

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