This is What Linux Sounds Like

August 11, 2009

So what good is a system that has Amarok (if you don’t know what this is and you use Ubuntu/Kubuntu, stop now and check out the link) but doesn’t play sounds?  I’ll let you come to your own conclusions on that.  For me the answer is “pointless and rather annoying”.  A few days ago I had my first issues with my sound card.  Basically I would not be able to play songs on Amarok while watching a video on a site (read: YouTube).  It turns out that I was trying to route all of my sound through PulseAudio.

No clue why it only started causing problems a few days ago and not any time before.  Here is my ad-hoc solution.  System>Preferences>Sound.  Then in this menu change have ALSA manage the sound events and PulseAudio control the sound playback for videos and music. Everything else is set to Autodetect.  You’re almost done.  Now you just need to open up Amarok and go to Settings>Configure Amarok>Engine.  In this menu use the Xine Engine for your Sound System, for the Output Plugin select PulseAudio. “Problem solved”.

In addition to solving the above problem it also allowed me to preview music files with a mouse over.  Some people complain about this feature, but I really like it. Saves me the time of opening an actual media player.

I honestly spent about two hours searching around Google and the Ubuntu forums trying to find a solution to this.  However, nothing seemed to work; or my system was already configured as they recommended.  Don’t take this the wrong way, I LOVE the Ubuntu forums. In fact they have helped me solve most of my problems, such as getting my computer to not freeze up when I insert and SD card, but that’s a whole differnt story.

Well I am now somewhat more interested in learning more about PulseAudio and Xine, so I will probably spend some time reading those Wikipeia pages I linked at the beginning.  They should be a good place to start.  Maybe I will be able to find a better solution to suggest.  Who knows, maybe this is just a 64-bit problem, but I really doubt that.