Can't share audio in ALSA

Reinhold Rumberger rrumberger at
Wed Aug 25 06:25:39 UTC 2010

On Wednesday 25 August 2010, Gerardo wrote:
> Reinhold Rumberger wrote:
> > Incidentally, I run Alsa exclusively, no pulse anywhere to be
> > seen. Skype often annoys the heck out of me because it insists
> > on beeping while I watch videos or listen to music.
> > 
> > @Gerardo: Try making sure that you're using only pulse or alsa.
> > Using both in parallel will result in more or less funny
> > errors.
> Right now, I have all Pulse packages removed, except for libpulse0
> that pulls a lot of packages if I try to remove it.

Same here. libpulse0 is only needed for kmix but a whole lot of 
metapackages depend on that, which is quite annoying.

> I used Alsa
> on Hardy and never had any problems.  BTW, I didn't upgrade from
> Hardy, rather I did a clean install.  Here's a short 20 sec.
> desktop capture of exactly what happens:

I hope reading your description will suffice, as I'm on somewhat of a 
budget as far as my donloads are concerned and acrobat managed to 
sneak-download an update yesterday, so I'll have to restrain myself 
for a couple of days...

The symptoms you describe are in themselves rather unusual. Normally, 
when some app blocks the soundcard, no other app can use it. In your 
case, the next app that comes along seems to steal the lock on the 
sound card, which is strange.
Can you verify that you have xine selected as backend on phonon and 
that your other apps like mplayer are configured to use alsa?
Also, can you open kmix and watch it when this happens? I'd like to 
know whether you can spot any strange settings or movements of the 
sliders when this happens.

Other than this I don't know enough about sound to have the slightest 
idea what might cause your symptoms. I only just know enough to have 
noticed the error in Basil's statement and also that he seems to be 
confusing your problem with a much more common one.


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