Adjust for Audacious drop-outs?

John Hupp lubuntu at
Thu May 21 16:04:58 UTC 2015

On 5/20/2015 5:45 PM, Aere Greenway wrote:
> On 05/20/2015 03:29 PM, John Hupp wrote:
>> On 5/20/2015 4:34 PM, Aere Greenway wrote:
>>> On 05/20/2015 01:58 PM, John Hupp wrote:
>>>> On a 14.04.2 i386 desktop with a P4 @ 3.0GHz + Hyperthreading and 
>>>> 2GB, I find that Audacious skips/drops out a lot at the beginning 
>>>> of a CD track (or MP3), then after the first 30 seconds or so the 
>>>> problem decreases and is only occasional (perhaps 1-2x minute).
>>>> Starting from the default settings for everything, I increased the 
>>>> buffering from 500 ms to 1000, 1500, 2000 then 3000). There was 
>>>> some improvement but the problem did not disappear.
>>>> By contrast, playback by VLC Player (granted, a heavier program) 
>>>> was as smooth as butter from the first note on both CD's and MP3's.
>>>> Can I solve the Audacious problem with further settings changes?
>>> John:
>>> This problem is easy to solve, but it is not obvious to do what you 
>>> need to do.
>>> What you need to do, is within Adacious, get to its menu.
>>> Since I have the compact graphics 'skin' mode, I right-click on its 
>>> title-bar to get its menu.
>>> In that menu, select "Plugin Services", and within that selected 
>>> sub-menu, select "Play CD".
>>> If you play CDs that way, you get no drop-outs, at least, I get no 
>>> drop-outs using JACK.  I used to get the drop-outs you describe 
>>> before I learned this trick.
>> Thanks Aere.  I knew about Services: Play CD (there was an older bug 
>> in which pcmanfm failed to launch CD playback automatically, but 
>> simply opened Audacious; you had to click Services: Play CD from there).
>> But I have not tried JACK.  I'm using the default PulseAudio output.  
>> When I select JACK output, I get no output at all.  I suppose I need 
>> to install a package.  Do you know which one?
>> In the meantime, your prompt gave me the idea to try ALSA output, 
>> which is already installed.  In a one-track test, I got no dropouts, 
>> but the volume control had very little gradation -- went from too 
>> quiet to too loud in one step.
> John:
> The package I use for JACK (giving you GUI control) is:
> qjacktctl
> You may have to use its "Setup" button (it assumes the first audio 
> device otherwise).
> I just now did a test, where I set Audacious to use PulseAudio output, 
> and play the CD using the plugin service, and I got no drop-outs.  
> Here is info about my particular machine:
> -Computer-
> Processor        : 4x Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-2320 CPU @ 3.00GHz
> Memory        : 8194MB (568MB used)
> Operating System        : Ubuntu 14.04.2 LTS
> User Name        : aere (Aere Greenway)
> Date/Time        : Wed 20 May 2015 03:40:28 PM MDT
> -Display-
> Resolution        : 1920x1080 pixels
> OpenGL Renderer        : Unknown
> X11 Vendor        : The X.Org Foundation
> -Multimedia-
> Audio Adapter        : HDA-Intel - HDA Intel PCH
> Audio Adapter        : USB-Audio - LPK25
> Audio Adapter        : USB-Audio - M-Track
> -Input Devices-USB-Audio - M-Track
>  Power Button
>  Power Button
>  Microsoft Microsoft® SiderWinderTM X4 Keyboard
>  Microsoft Microsoft® SiderWinderTM X4 Keyboard
>  Dell Dell Multimedia Pro Keyboard
>  Dell Dell Multimedia Pro Keyboard
>  HDA Intel PCH HDMI/DP,pcm        : 3=
>  HDA Intel PCH Front Headphone
>  HDA Intel PCH Line Out
>  HDA Intel PCH Line
>  HDA Intel PCH Front Mic
>  HDA Intel PCH Rear Mic
> -Printers (CUPS)-
> HP-OfficeJet-7140        : <i>Default</i>
> -SCSI Disks-
> ATA ST31000524AS
> HP Officejet 7310
> I'm using the USB-Audio - M-Track for my audio output, because its 
> sound quality is noticeably better than the internal sound card, and 
> it doesn't get the hiss typical of sound cards inside the machine box.

Interesting that Audacious can play a CD without dropouts under 
PulseAudio on that superior hardware, but a Pentium 4 with 
hyperthreading @ 3.0 GHz + 2 GB seems to be insufficient for it.

But VLC Player does just fine on my hardware, which leads me to hope 
that an Audacious setting will solve the problem.

I would just use VLC Player for CD's, but on fat clients connected to a 
terminal server VLC suffers from an unidentified bug in which there will 
be no sound for 1, 2 or 3 *minutes* (in addition to some brief dropouts).

And though I have not done extensive testing on MP3's yet, the fat 
clients also have some dropouts under Audacious.

Running Audacious with JACK looks like it solves the dropout behavior 
(though I have not tested it on the fat clients yet), but I see that 
JACK and PulseAudio don't get along well together, especially on a 
machine with only one sound device:

So for a general-purpose desktop it looks like it would be much better 
if I could get things working with PulseAudio.

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