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Re: ALSA setup fails for user

On 9/5/05, Haines Brown <brownh@hartford-hwp.com> wrote:
> > 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/.

AFAIK, the interface being used is ALSA.  :)  I don't think ALSA cares
about anything in /dev.

> > 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.

So if you reboot, sound doesn't work, but if you then reconfigure
ALSA, it does work?

> 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.

You need to create an ~/.asoundrc file.  The ALSA site has tons of
(almost too) detailed information on that.  :)  You can also find
sample config files with Google.

> 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:
>     pcm_device=default
>     mixer_card=0
>     mixer_device=PCM
> 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?

If you haven't already, you should install XMMS's ALSA output module. 
I think it's in apt, unless it's included with XMMS's base package, in
which case you just need to choose it in XMMS's preferences.

> 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.

That may be all it is, although the stock ALSA setup should at least
work.  Does it work properly after you run alsaconf?

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