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Re: ALSA setup fails for user

I apologize if this message goes out twice. The only way I can post to
the debian-user list is via smtp, but I normally read it in the
newsgroup. Too overwhelmed with other problems to be able to turn my
attention to this issue. 

"a.list.address@gmail.com" <a.list.address@gmail.com> writes:

> Well, first off, I'm no expert, so take everything I say with a
> grain of salt.

Thanks for your willingness to help.

> Now then, AFAIK, ALSA doesn't care about /dev/dsp* entries.  Again,
> AFAIK, those are part of OSS, not ALSA.  If I understand how things
> work correctly, they kind of run parallel to each other, and are
> independant.

It's simple things like this that cause me to go off track. No wonder
I concluded that changing /dev/dsp0 had no effect ;-(. Do you know
what interface is being used? Perhaps the various files in /dev/snd/.

> So I'm guessing you have a problem with ALSA, not permissions.

So it seems, but the plot thickens.

> I recommend that you try these to fix it.  If one doesn't fix it,
> try the next.
> 1.  # dpkg-reconfigure alsa-base (might just need to reconfigure it)

Actually, the reconfiguration did the trick, partly, and I have had
the same experience as before. For some reason, perhaps with a reboot,
sound does not work until I reconfigure ALSA.

> 2.  # apt-get update; apt-get install alsa-base (might need to
> upgrade it) 
> 3.  Upgrade your kernel to 2.6.10 or higher.  I've never used 2.6.8,
> but I've never had any problems with 2.6.10 or higher.

My version of the packages is current for stable. I'm having other
problems that may be resolved if I upgrade my kernel, but can't risk
it yet.

At this point, I can get sound with these:

   $ gxine test.wmv $ aplay test.wav
but two issues remain. One is trying to play a midi file. I find that
aplaymidi and pmidi give about the same results, which is that I must
supply an ALSA output port. When I do

 $ aplaymidi -l
 Port    Client name                      Port name
 64:0    Audigy MPU-401 (UART) - Rawmidi  Audigy MPU-401 (UART)
 64:32   Audigy MPU-401 (UART) - Rawmidi  Audigy MPU-401 #2

I'd assume that 64 is the port (the :0 part optional), and so this
should work:

  $ aplayer -p 64 test.mid

but this just hangs. I could alsop define the environment variable
ALSA_OUTPUT_PORTS, but how? I have no ~/.asoundrc, and the only alsa
configuration file seems to be /usr/share/alsa/alsa.conf, but that
does not look like file meant to be edited.

The second issue is xmms. If I do:

    $ xmms test.wav
    Message: device: default
    Message: alsa mixer timed out

And no sound. In ~/.xmms/config I have:


What is the "default device"? The mixer (I've no problems with
alsa-mixer)? A /dev interface (and if so, which one?). Or the actual
card (Audigy MPU-401)? Or a mixer-card? Or what may be a device
inteface such as /dev/snd/pcmC0D0?

It may be simply that the config file needs modification, and after a
reboot I'm loosing the custom configuration I create by running
alsaconf. I suspect I need /etc/asound.conf or ~/.asoundrc. I'm not
sure what to put in them and their syntax.

       Haines Brown

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