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Re: Sound Problems (Sound is Often Gone)

On Mon, Jul 14, 2008 at 00:13:44 -0700, Marc Shapiro wrote:
> Hal Vaughan wrote:
>> On Sunday 13 July 2008, you wrote:
>>> Hal Vaughan wrote:
>>>> I'm using Kubuntu, but not the latest version, the one before it
>>>> (Gutsy, I think) and KDE 3.5.8 and have been using OSS.

I think it would be better to switch to ALSA (see below).

>>>> Many times I start a program and I don't get sound output.  Most of
>>>> the time I'm using either Amarok, Flash (from Firefox or
>>>> Konqueror), Kaffeine, and sometimes KMail (some message filters
>>>> trigger sounds for me).  I'm not using any big games that take up
>>>> the full screen, but I have a few like PySol or one or two that
>>>> work under Wine.


>>> Have you tried changing the Auto-suspend time?
>>> Control enter -> Sound and Multimedia -> Sound System -> General ->
>>> Auto-suspend
>>> I find that the default time is usually much too long for me.  The
>>> effect of this is that, sometimes, you can change from one sound
>>> source to another and find that the new source doesn't work.  But if
>>> you wait just long enough, the new sound source "magically" works.
>> It doesn't seem to make any difference.
>> Part of the problem isn't only programs working one after the other, 
>> but also programs not sharing sound output, which I don't think the 
>> timeout would effect.

All recent versions of ALSA support direct mixing of multiple streams
via Dmix. Software mixing should be enabled automatically for all sound
cards that do not support hardware mixing:

Sometimes people have to use a few additional tricks:

The sharing of audio devices worked out of the box for me (KDE 3.5.9 on
Sid/amd64). I am listening to a song played by amarok, the soundtrack of
a youtube video, and a KDE system sound simultaneously. As you can see,
the sound devices are shared without blocking:

# lsof $(find /dev -group audio)
artsd       342 florian  mem    CHR 116,24      4815 /dev/snd/pcmC0D0c
artsd       342 florian  mem    CHR 116,16      4797 /dev/snd/pcmC0D0p
artsd       342 florian   13r   CHR 116,33      4726 /dev/snd/timer
artsd       342 florian   14u   CHR 116,16      4797 /dev/snd/pcmC0D0p
artsd       342 florian   15r   CHR 116,33      4726 /dev/snd/timer
artsd       342 florian   16u   CHR 116,24      4815 /dev/snd/pcmC0D0c
artsd       342 florian   17u   CHR  116,0      4821 /dev/snd/controlC0
amarokapp 13710 florian  mem    CHR 116,16      4797 /dev/snd/pcmC0D0p
amarokapp 13710 florian   17u   CHR  116,0      4821 /dev/snd/controlC0
amarokapp 13710 florian   20r   CHR 116,33      4726 /dev/snd/timer
amarokapp 13710 florian   27u   CHR 116,16      4797 /dev/snd/pcmC0D0p
npviewer. 13813 florian  mem    CHR 116,16      4797 /dev/snd/pcmC0D0p
npviewer. 13813 florian   14r   CHR 116,33      4726 /dev/snd/timer
npviewer. 13813 florian   15u   CHR 116,16      4797 /dev/snd/pcmC0D0p

> I don't run KDE.  I have, in fact, purged all KDE apps from my system  
> specifically because of sound problems.  I had frequent bouts of no  
> sound due to conflicts between arts and anything else that wanted to use  
> sound.  I had to kill arts almost any time that I wanted to get sound  
> out of a non-KDE app.  I didn't use any KDE apps that were sound  
> oriented, either.  I used kate, and occasionally konqueror, but they  
> would start up arts and then other sound apps were unable to get a sound  
> device.

To keep artsd from starting, set "StartServer=false" in
~/.kde/share/config/kcmartsrc. If that file does not exist on your
system then you can create it as a simple two-liner:


> Possibly the auto-suspend time reduces the amount of time after  
> a KDE app uses sound and the time that arts releases the device?

That is indeed what it does. I had initially set this time to 5 seconds
to be on the safe side, but it does not really seem to matter anymore
(see above).

Regards,            | http://users.icfo.es/Florian.Kulzer
          Florian   |

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