ALSA Bombing Audio & Video

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Snorkasaurus
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ALSA Bombing Audio & Video

Postby Snorkasaurus » 07 Nov 2014, 04:43

Greetings Earthlings,

I setup a VirtualBox VM with Wheezy and no DE. After install I apt-get'ed xdm/xorg/openbox and some miscellaneous apps like xfce-panel and thunar to make myself what is essentially a scaled-down homebrew DE. I setup my audio by apt-get'ing "alsa-base alsa-utils alsa-oss alsamixergui". SeaMonkey and non-free Flash are working fine, as are mplayer & smplayer for video.

Sometimes I have this problem where videos play very fast (maybe 4X or 6X speed) and there is no sound, which makes sense since sound at that speed would not be worth listening to anyways. If I use aplay in a terminal window to play a .wav file it shows the status line indicating that it is playing the file, but no noise is heard. If I open WinDates in wine and click "Test" on the configuration page for the notification noise, nothing is heard. Essentially all sound dies, and video is shown at high speed. I have found that a reboot will make the problem go away but it eventually returns. I was able to watch at least three or four hours of videos today before it died. In screwing around I tried a few things but when I tried

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sudo alsa force-reload

it actually made sound work again, and video played at normal speed. Unfortunately it killed SeaMonkey in the process (which meant I had to retype this post).

Anybody have any thoughts on how I might be able to reset ALSA without killing SeaMonkey or better yet, not having the problem happen in the first place? Perhaps an idea of what is actually happening?

S.

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viking60
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Re: ALSA Bombing Audio & Video

Postby viking60 » 07 Nov 2014, 12:13

Seamonkey includes an alsa lib on install so if you force a reload it makes sense that Seamonkey gets fubared since alsa lib is a required dependency.
I think that is why it happened there.
The workaround is obviously to shut down Seamonkey before you do the reload.

Are you sure the flash player is OK?
Maybe this is worth a try:
If you deleted the --disable-webm option from your mozconfig, your SeaMonkey can play most youtube videos without the need for the flash plugin. To enable this, go to http://www.youtube.com/html5 and click on 'Join the HTML5 Trial' (needs cookies enabled).

http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/blfs/vi ... onkey.html
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Snorkasaurus
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Re: ALSA Bombing Audio & Video

Postby Snorkasaurus » 07 Nov 2014, 20:29

viking60 wrote:Seamonkey includes an alsa lib on install so if you force a reload it makes sense that Seamonkey gets fubared since alsa lib is a required dependency.
I think that is why it happened there.
The workaround is obviously to shut down Seamonkey before you do the reload.

I am not actually make'ing my own SeaMonkey, but rather wget'ing ftp://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/seamonkey/releases/2.30/linux-i686/en-US/seamonkey-2.30.tar.bz2 as well as

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sudo apt-get -y install alsa-base alsa-utils alsa-oss alsamixergui
sudo alsactl init

... to make sound work.
viking60 wrote:Are you sure the flash player is OK?

For Flash I am

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echo 'deb http://cdn.debian.net/debian/ wheezy main contrib non-free' | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get -y install flashplugin-nonfree


Is there a better way to do this?

S.

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viking60
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Re: ALSA Bombing Audio & Video

Postby viking60 » 08 Nov 2014, 11:39

Flash looks ok - it is a as good as it gets I guess. (Flash is on it's way out and Html5 is on its way in but not quite "there" yet, so we are in an awkward phase right now).
Even if you are not making Seamonkey yourself it does have alsa-lib as a requirement so it will depend on it to work. restarting or reloading it will affect Seamonkey.
Other than that Alsa does provide drivers for your sound card - so you could check here if your card is supported:
http://www.alsa-project.org/main/index.php/Matrix:Main

If you have inxi you can find your card with

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 inxi -A
if you have inxi installed.
If not; I guess you can find your card with

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cat /proc/asound/cards


You might benefit from installing alsa-firmware that contains third party products and alsa-plugins (if not installed).
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Re: ALSA Bombing Audio & Video

Postby Snorkasaurus » 09 Nov 2014, 01:04

Oh the sound card quite certainly shows up...
Image
And it works just fine... I just don't seem to be able to keep it working for more than a few days. :-(

S.

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dedanna1029
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Re: ALSA Bombing Audio & Video

Postby dedanna1029 » 28 Dec 2014, 22:28

Highly recommended: https://wiki.debian.org/PulseAudio

Install pulseaudio, pavucontrol, etc. to give alsa that extra "layer", or " boost" if you will, the "holding cell" so to speak for your sound if you're still having this issue, reboot, and post the content of /etc/pulse/default.pa

Thanks.
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