[xubuntu-users] Pulseaudio failure cripples videos

MR ZenWiz mrzenwiz at gmail.com
Tue Jan 28 17:38:59 UTC 2014

I had an interesting experience last night.  I was watching a TV
episode online and suddenly the sound failed, then the video froze.

At first I thought it was a browser problem (Seamonkey, but then
Firefox and Chrome also did the same thing).  This leaked out across
everything on my machine - all other links to that show, then YouTube
would play a video for up to 10-15 seconds and then freeze.  I could
restart it by clicking on the progress bar just ahead of the cursor,
and that would go for another few seconds and stop.

Then I tried mplayer, and it was mute as well, though I believe I was
able to stop it.

I tried to log out and back in, and the screen went black.  I was able
to log in on the secondary console (<alt><F8>) and log out, but still
no sound.

Finally I rebooted and poked around in the syslog, and apparently
pulseaudio had some kind of catastrophic failure that caused the
problems.  (Everything worked after I rebooted.)

Question: Is there a way, other than rebooting, to recover the audio
(and correlated video) problems in this case when pulseaudio dies?  Is
there a simple alternative to pulseaudio that "just works?"

I'm running Xubuntu Precise LTS (12.04) with the Raring kernel (3.8).
This may be part of the issue, but I expect the underlying kernel not
to be a problem with legacy apps and drivers.


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