audio crackling with multiple streams, sometimes during simple mouse cursor interactions with gnome desktop - AC'97

Bug #335955 reported by klerfayt on 2009-02-28
This bug affects 5 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
linux (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

presumably duplicate of bug #301755

what has been observed to create audio crackling:

switching between active window with mouse cursor while playing music in rhythmbox (not always)

playing video in mplayer, which gets more dramatic if rhythmbox is open or if video is higher quality

playing flash video in firefox while rhythmbox is playing

clicking play in rhythmbox after pause

while performing system upgrade I did not notice any crackling then rhythmbox played music, so it's not simply system load bug, because upgrade takes a lot of cpu power and causes intensive disk activity

same crackling happens with nv drivers, so it's not related to nvidia proprietary drivers

"pulseaudio -k" and then "pulseaudio -vvvv" gives error then crackling can be heard:
"D: protocol-native.c: Requesting rewind due to end of underrun."

updated bug description and title accordingly

description: updated
Daniel T Chen (crimsun) wrote :

Which Ubuntu release is this?

Changed in pulseaudio:
status: New → Incomplete

Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty, I've avoided using pulseaudio entirely in previous Ubuntu releases.

Audio was recorded with command "arecord -d 10 -f cd filename".

Daniel T Chen (crimsun) on 2009-03-04
Changed in pulseaudio:
status: Incomplete → Fix Committed
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

This bug was fixed in the package pulseaudio - 0.9.14-0ubuntu11

pulseaudio (0.9.14-0ubuntu11) jaunty; urgency=low

  [ Daniel T Chen ]
  * Reenable 0030_set_tsched0.patch, which re-disables glitch-free;
    too many users are reporting regressions and audio aberrations.
  * Adjust 0003_change_resample_and_buffering.patch to use linear
    resampler to work better with lack of PREEMPT in jaunty's
    -generic kernel config (LP: #207135, #322250, #332761, #335955,
    LP: #336965).
  * Last upload, specifically 0091_workaround_alsa_horkage, fixes:
    LP: #235990, #237443, #279847, #317997, #323185, #330814,
    LP: #334874.
  * sudo -H change in ubuntu6 fixed LP: #312505.
  * Closing old bugs fixed in 0.9.11+: LP: #187963, #193520, #211052.
  * Refresh 0006_regen-autotools.patch.
  * Add 0043_load_sample_dir_lazy.patch to cache
    /usr/share/sounds/ubuntu/stereo/* in
  * debian/:
    - control: Build against libcap2-dev (LP: #339448);
    - copyright: Update copyright from Debian's 0.9.14-2;
    - rules: Add DEB_OPT_FLAG = -O3 as per recommendation from
  * Refresh fixes from git HEAD:
    - 0038_handle_errno_properly.patch,
    - 0091_workaround_alsa_horkage.patch,
    - 0092_fix_null_pointer_access.patch.

  [ Luke Yelavich ]
  * Add a special case to prevent Pulseaudio from being started when the
    blindness accessibility profile has been enabled from the Ubuntu live CD,
    and for an accessibility install. Unfortunately Pulseaudio and speech do
    not currently work very well with each other, and its too late in
    the cycle to solve this problem any other way.

 -- Luke Yelavich <email address hidden> Tue, 10 Mar 2009 09:00:40 +1100

Changed in pulseaudio:
status: Fix Committed → Fix Released
Paul O'Keefe (pbokeefe) wrote :

Still seeing buzz/static click using pulseaudio (0.9.14-0ubuntu11). Mostly for me with web streaming media. System sounds always clear, along with Rhythmbox, but can hear static sound right now at idle with no media playing just by moving the mouse around.

00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) HD Audio Controller (rev 03)

On current update of Jaunty.

Ara Pulido (ara) wrote :

I get the crackling audio since the latest updates in Jaunty .

  Installed: 0.9.14-0ubuntu13
  Candidate: 0.9.14-0ubuntu13
  Version table:
 *** 0.9.14-0ubuntu13 0
        500 jaunty/main Packages
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status

Intel chipset - I will attach the my lspci output

Changed in pulseaudio:
status: Fix Released → New
Ara Pulido (ara) wrote :
Ara Pulido (ara) wrote :

Ocassions when I get the crackling noise:

* When playing MP3 list in totem, between songs (not always)
* When playing MP3 list in totem, and I get a system sound in pidgin (buddy logs in, for example)

Jamie Pietarinen (jpietari) wrote :

I get crackling when playing certain movies (avi)

David Rahrer (david-rahrer) wrote :

I get crackling, mainly from one channel, while for instance playing a local or streaming audio file, and during that my IM (pidgin) sound effect comes on. It will crackle during the time the IM sound plays, then taper off.

I'm on Jaunty Release, 0.9.14-0ubuntu20. LSPCI attached.

FYI, this was not an issue for me in Hardy, and I kept Pulse installed on that. I skipped Intrepid.

chuinker (corey-corlogic) wrote :

Same problem as David R. Intermittent crackles when pidgin does not have focus and receives an incoming message.

2.6.28-11-generic #42-Ubuntu SMP Fri Apr 17 01:57:59 UTC 2009 i686 GNU/Linux

Upgraded from intrepid, where this problem did not happen.

David Rahrer (david-rahrer) wrote :

FWIW, I think it has gone after changing System > Sound to "ALSA" for sound events (was on Autodetect). I've only noticed this issue on Pidgin notifications and those are working normally now. Changing to ALSA in Pidgin Prefs didn't make any difference, however. Not a fix but a workaround, seems definitely in Pulseaudio.

David Rahrer (david-rahrer) wrote :

I take it back, skip my last comment, the static/crackling is back in the same way.

I have the same issue, mostly occurs when emesene audio notifications are played.

Makes no difference which combination of auto / alsa / oss I select in the pulseaudio configuration GUI.

Daniel T Chen (crimsun) on 2010-03-05
affects: pulseaudio (Ubuntu) → linux (Ubuntu)

Still minor crackling in Ubuntu Lucid Lynx while playing local music collection with VLC, however I cannot reproduce it every time; most often happens during music track change, less frequently with other activities like newly appearing windows on the desktop or just browsing the web. With pure ALSA setup I have no such issues.

David Rahrer (david-rahrer) wrote :

FWIW, I have not had this problem since moving to Karmic (fresh install, but didn't try upgrade).

Jeremy Foshee (jeremyfoshee) wrote :

Hi klerfayt,

Please be sure to confirm this issue exists with the latest development release of Ubuntu. ISO CD images are available from If the issue remains, please run the following command from a Terminal (Applications->Accessories->Terminal). It will automatically gather and attach updated debug information to this report.

apport-collect -p alsa-base 335955

Also, if you could test the latest upstream kernel available that would be great. It will allow additional upstream developers to examine the issue. Refer to . Once you've tested the upstream kernel, please remove the 'needs-upstream-testing' tag. This can be done by clicking on the yellow pencil icon next to the tag located at the bottom of the bug description and deleting the 'needs-upstream-testing' text. Please let us know your results.

Thanks in advance.

[This is an automated message. Apologies if it has reached you inappropriately; please just reply to this message indicating so.]

tags: added: kernel-sound
tags: added: needs-kernel-logs
tags: added: needs-upstream-testing
tags: added: kj-triage
Changed in linux (Ubuntu):
status: New → Incomplete

~$ sudo apport-collect -p alsa-base 335955
Usage: apport-gtk <report number>

apport-gtk: error: no such option: -p

I have been thinking - if I could somehow record all the audio the moment I log in to GNOME and stop immediately after I get crackling event - would that be sufficient for a bug report? Or do I have to find a way to reproduce this every time to be considered a valid bug report?

Sure, the situation isn't as horrible as it used to be in Jaunty (alpha? beta? something), but it's still annoying enough (for me) reason to not use Pulseaudio and switch to pure ALSA setup. For example I heard two popping sounds in VLC during the time it took me to type this comment.

Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

"tail -f ~/.xsession-errors"

shows the following message then crackling happens in VLC:
"[0x9cea1a0] pulse audio output: No. of Audio Channels: 2"

and it keeps repeating like this:
[0x9cea1a0] pulse audio output: No. of Audio Channels: 2
[0x9cea1a0] pulse audio output: No. of Audio Channels: 2
[0x9cea1a0] pulse audio output: No. of Audio Channels: 2
[0x9cea1a0] pulse audio output: No. of Audio Channels: 2
[0x9cea1a0] pulse audio output: No. of Audio Channels: 2
[0x9cea1a0] pulse audio output: No. of Audio Channels: 2
[0x9cea1a0] pulse audio output: No. of Audio Channels: 2

What does it mean?

Architecture: i386
 **** List of CAPTURE Hardware Devices ****
 card 0: AudioPCI [Ensoniq AudioPCI], device 0: ES1371/1 [ES1371 DAC2/ADC]
   Subdevices: 1/1
   Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
 /dev/snd/controlC0: ryan 1262 F.... pulseaudio
 Card hw:0 'AudioPCI'/'Ensoniq AudioPCI ENS1371 at 0xb400, irq 5'
   Mixer name : 'SigmaTel STAC9721,23'
   Components : 'AC97a:83847609'
   Controls : 35
   Simple ctrls : 22
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 9.10
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 9.10 "Karmic Koala" - Release i386 (20091028.5)
Package: alsa-base 1.0.20+dfsg-1ubuntu5
PackageArchitecture: all
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 2.6.31-20.58-generic-pae
Uname: Linux 2.6.31-20-generic-pae i686
UserGroups: adm admin cdrom dialout lpadmin plugdev sambashare

Changed in linux (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → New
tags: added: apport-collected

I am marking this as fixed.


1) severe crackling was fixed before Jaunty release
2) minor crackles every now and then could be a different bug
) problems with VLC could be unrelated

Changed in linux (Ubuntu):
status: New → Fix Released

ok. this is interesting :-)





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