Adjust for Audacious drop-outs?

John Hupp lubuntu at
Thu May 21 17:24:29 UTC 2015

On 5/21/2015 12:58 PM, Aere Greenway wrote:
> On 05/21/2015 10:04 AM, John Hupp wrote:
>> 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.
> John:
> I use VLC a fair amount, and I have not yet encountered the 
> up-to-minutes-long dropouts of the problem reported.
> When I don't have JACK running, I use VLC.
> I use Audacious a lot, practicing improvising music along with audio 
> files, and I use JACK because my music software needs the low-latency 
> it provides.
> I installed PulseAudio on my machines because the Java configuration 
> for (all) Ubuntu (variants) presumes PulseAudio is present (for the 
> Java Sound (Gervill) synthesizer).
> On low-spec machines, the Java Sound Synthesizer won't work, but on 
> those same machines, Qsynth (using JACK) works fine.
> I just thought about something that may be helping me 
> (configuration-wise) that you probably don't have.
> In the "/etc/security/limits.d" directory, I have a file named 
> "aere.conf" (my user name is aere).  Its name and contents are 
> user-name dependent.  In my case, its contents are:
> aere - rtprio 85
> aere - memlock unlimited
> I created this file at the suggestion of the Fluidsynth developers, to 
> allow Fluidsynth (Qsynth) to work on low-spec machines, and when I 
> made this configuration change, it made a major positive difference.
> I don't know if it has any affect on the Audacious audio drop-outs, 
> but is permanently in my system.

The minutes-long dropouts only occur in VLC when it is run on a fat 
client.  It's A-OK on a standalone.

When I installed qjackctl, debconf popped up a question about whether I 
wanted to set up realtime priority (involving /etc/security/limits.d), 
but the help note said that it was a bad idea in a multi-user 
environment because jack could monopolize all available physical memory 
-- and a multi-user environment is what I have in this case.

Concerning your note that you installed PulseAudio: I recall that it was 
not installed by default in earlier releases, but I think it is in 14.04 
-- unless I picked it up as dependency for something else I installed.

Before I resort to one of the exercises to try to make JACK and 
PulseAudio coexist, I would like to continue trying to make PulseAudio 
work better.  I return to the thought that VLC works fine on a 
standalone without JACK, presumably using PulseAudio, though I suppose 
it could be using ALSA directly.  So I'm likewise hoping that Audacious 
+ PulseAudio can work well for me on this hardware.

But just going a step farther into the JACK + PulseAudio scenario, do 
you just run JACK manually as needed via qjackctl, or have you 
implemented one of the coexistence options outlined at

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