Unable to playback in MuseScore

Bug #292391 reported by Nathan R. Hale on 2008-11-01
This bug report is a duplicate of:  Bug #484006: Musescore Does Not Work In Karmic. Edit Remove
This bug affects 3 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
mscore (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Binary package hint: pulseaudio

1) Using Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex
2) PulseAudio 0.9.10-2ubuntu9
3) Wanted playback from MuseScore (mscore)
4) It didn't happen.

Terminal output:
> Alsa_driver: the interface doesn't support mmap-based access.
> init ALSA audio driver failed
> init ALSA driver failed
> init audio driver failed
> sequencer init failed

Daniel T Chen (crimsun) wrote :

Is this symptom still reproducible in a daily-live image (http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/daily-live/current/) of jaunty?

Changed in pulseaudio:
status: New → Incomplete

Thanks for the email...I currently don't have jaunty installed on my
system, but I'd be happy to download and test in a virtual machine if
that would help.

Just let me know!

~Nathan R. Hale
Rom. 12:2

------M y __W e b s i t e s--------------------------------
http://nathanrhale.com - personal site
http://productivelinux.com - get stuff done w/Linux!
http://linuxmusicians.com - create music freely

On Mon, Jan 12, 2009 at 5:34 PM, Daniel T Chen <email address hidden> wrote:
> Is this symptom still reproducible in a daily-live image
> (http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/daily-live/current/) of jaunty?
> ** Changed in: mscore (Ubuntu)
> Sourcepackagename: pulseaudio => mscore
> Status: New => Incomplete
> --
> Unable to playback in MuseScore
> https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/292391
> You received this bug notification because you are a direct subscriber
> of the bug.

Nelson Chan (nelson-bigmouth) wrote :

Just got musescore to do playback. You need "jackd" to run with musescore.

Check this URL for solution:


Nelson Chan

Toby Smithe (tsmithe) wrote :

On Sat, Jan 17, 2009 at 3:23 PM, Nelson Chan <email address hidden> wrote:
> Just got musescore to do playback. You need "jackd" to run with
> musescore.

No - you don't. It's helpful, certainly not necessary. Because of ALSA
and hardware mixing and the mess that I'm sure Dan would be able to
opine forever about, in many cases only one application can use the
soundcard at once. In desktop Ubuntu, this is often PulseAudio, or
JACK, or MuseScore: clearly these three things compete.

Because Pulse is started first, the wrapper scripts for JACK and
MuseScore check to see if it is running, and then disable it: this is
why programs like Rhythmbox appear to stop working. If MuseScore
notices JACK is running, it uses that.

A further complication arises because MuseScore, naturally, tries to
open the "default" card. In some situations in Ubuntu, this can be a
virtual pointer to the PulseAudio software. If Pulse is suspended
(because MuseScore's start-up has noticed it running), then the
default device won't open and MuseScore will assume there is no sound
output support, and disable synthesis. (This line in output is
symptomatic of this problem: "Alsa_driver: the interface doesn't
support mmap-based access").

Of course, if you have an ALSA-registered hardware/software synth (eg
emu10k1, fluidsynth, timidity, etc), MuseScore can also use ALSA MIDI
commands for output.

JACK is helpful, but is often a pain to set up and use. As a result, I
do not recommend it for most users, especially casual MuseScore users,
who likely are not in need of its advanced features or
configurability. ALSA MIDI is another option, but the UI for that is
non-intuitive, and there are few common hardware synthesizers.

In the last case, MuseScore also supports using the PortAudio library
for output. As you can see when using Audacity, that does not directly
support PulseAudio. I'm slowly writing a back-end for this case[1],
but my time has many pressures on it, and so "slowly" means

I hope this has been helpful.

 - Toby Smithe, mscore maintainer

[1] https://code.launchpad.net/~tsmithe/+junk/portaudio.pulse

Anthony Fok (foka) on 2009-08-08
Changed in mscore (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Confirmed
Anthony Fok (foka) wrote :

Many thanks to the hints from Tony Smithe, by changing the ALSA Audio Device setting in MuseScore from "default" to "hw:0", I was able to listen to playback using MuseScore's internal synthesizer. Many thanks!

Perhaps a note in README.Debian about this issue with a pointer this bug report would help? Or perhaps patching MuseScore to try a few sensible defaults like "default" and "hw:0"? Or perhaps changing the ALSA Audio Device text entry line into a pull-down menu with detected audio hardware like in Skype? Just some random ideas.


Anthony Fok

Toby Smithe (tsmithe) wrote :

Hi Anthony,

ideally I'd rather the bug be avoided than a note be added to README.Debian. That file is not particularly discoverable, and I try to reserve it for information specifically regarding the packaging (as opposed to the operation) of the software. However, you may be pleased to hear that since May 10, my packages have enabled PortAudio output by default. In conjunction with the suspension of PulseAudio, this hopefully means that audio /should/ just work.

What version of the package are you using?



Pavlo Bohmat (bohm) wrote :

Ubuntu 9.10, pulseaudio 0.9.19, mscore 0.9.5 + 120mb soundfont = not working :-(

Toby Smithe (tsmithe) wrote :

Hi - can you read the comments to check if any are applicable to your situation, and also post the output of mscore -d on the terminal? Many thanks.

Changed in mscore (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Incomplete
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