So just to try to get up to speed on this, is the current bug(s) that the alsa interface code is causing a hang/kernel panic? Is it just when mplayer is sending silence or are other situations causing it?
Are the bug reports published somewhere? I've looked at issues under git and can see squat.
The bugs are posted as issues on the firmware tree of guthub. e.g.
I think the kernel panic is fixed.
mplayer sends silence presumably because it thinks we are underrunning (however if I just ignore the silence calls the audio sounds fine, and the CPU remains low). My guess is the callbacks that update the read pointer are not as expected.
You sometimes get stalls (that need a control-c) when running mplayer.
Changing volume rapidly whilst audio is playing can cause polayback to freeze.