Sound crackling in Ubuntu 16.04

Bug #1739310 reported by Marlon Pavanello
This bug affects 8 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
speech-dispatcher (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Sometimes, when i’m watching videos in youtube or facebook, the sound is distorced with a “static sound”. After searching the web for a solution, i found this site (maybe it’s the same problem, with better explanations in english):

Always when i start the service “speech-dispatcher” for the first time while playing something with sound, the bug occurs. So, i think maybe the problem is with this “speed-dispatcher” service. When i restart pulseaudio everything becomes normal again… This problem happens in ubuntu 17.10 too. It’s a annoying bug and i don’t know the best way to report it.

My specs:
GPU: Nvidia GTX 950
Motherboard: Gigabyte 78LMT-USB3 (Rev. 6.0)
CPU: AMD FX 8300

P.S: I'm using Xubuntu now but this bug occurs in all ubuntu 16.04 "family". Sorry for the bad english.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 16.04
Package: speech-dispatcher 0.8.3-1ubuntu3
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 4.10.0-40.44~16.04.1-generic 4.10.17
Uname: Linux 4.10.0-40-generic x86_64
NonfreeKernelModules: nvidia_uvm nvidia_drm nvidia_modeset nvidia
ApportVersion: 2.20.1-0ubuntu2.13
Architecture: amd64
CurrentDesktop: XFCE
Date: Tue Dec 19 20:50:34 2017
EcryptfsInUse: Yes
InstallationDate: Installed on 2017-11-13 (36 days ago)
InstallationMedia: Xubuntu 16.04.3 LTS "Xenial Xerus" - Release amd64 (20170801)
SourcePackage: speech-dispatcher
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)

Revision history for this message
Marlon Pavanello (mplife2012) wrote :
description: updated
Revision history for this message
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in speech-dispatcher (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Revision history for this message
Robin Preiss (rpreiss) wrote :

I have the same issue on Xubuntu 18.04 and Debian Stretch. It occurs on a fresh install while watching a video in Firefox. Restarting Pulseaudio does fix the issue for me as well.

I observed that when the problem occurs, I can see multiple instances of speech-dispatcher in Pavucontrol. Whenever I select a different output device for all of them, the crackling disappears. If one of them has the same output device selected as Firefox, the crackling comes back.

I could fix the issue by uncommenting the last line (DisableAutoSpawn) in /etc/speech-dispatcher/speechd.conf.

I hope it might help.

My system:
Xubuntu 18.04
CPU: Intel i3-4160
Motherboard: Gigabyte H97-D3HM
GPU: Nvidia GTX 1060 3GB

Revision history for this message
giffel (xgiffel) wrote :

Affects also Xubuntu 18.10, while playing MP3 in Audacious (no other application playing any sound). I discover 3 instances of speech-dispatcher in Pavucontrol, when distortion/crackling occurred. Stop playing, wait 10 seconds and resume playing helps to recover normal sound, but speech-dispatcher instances are still there.

Revision history for this message
Kevin Freeman (kevinfreeman1101) wrote :

tI've had this problem for a number of years on a range of Ubuntu distros; I'm currently working from an Ubuntu install that I switched over to Xubuntu after some graphics issues with the standard window manager.

The problem can usually be triggered when I have too many tabs open while one of them is playing Youtube audio in a background tab. Because of this, I suspect there could be a memory allocation issue; tried increasing available browser memory, but since I really have no idea what the problem is, I figured I would post here as well. Let me know if you would like any diagnostic outputs or something similar.

Attaching some hw info. Please let me know if you would like a different diagnostic output.

Revision history for this message
Marlon Pavanello (mplife2012) wrote :

I never used this feature, so I just uninstall with "apt-get remove speech-dispatcher". It's not a problem to me, but I reported the bug for 2 reason:

- Some people maybe need this feature;
- Maybe basic users couldn't find a solution for this annoying bug and can "go away" from "linux world".

Thanks for replying

Revision history for this message
Daniel Novotny (daniel-novotny) wrote :

I was haunted by this bug for several years, yet I was not able to google the solution, because I am not a native English speaker and I did not know the English world "crackling" (shame on me) and I was not able to describe the sound degradation properly to Google.

Today I was inspecting the processes on my system and I was suspicious, because of the speech dispatcher processes: I thought they were malware, because I don't want nor need any speech synthesis on my system, so I was wondering why they run under my account.

Solved this by uncommenting DisableAutoSpawn in /etc/speech-dispatcher/speechd.conf

Revision history for this message
Peter Petrakis (peter-petrakis) wrote :

Still present in the 21.10 daily build. The "fix" is to kill the process and uninstall the package.

killall speech-dispatcher

sudo apt-get remove speech-dispatcher

To post a comment you must log in.
This report contains Public information  
Everyone can see this information.

Other bug subscribers

Remote bug watches

Bug watches keep track of this bug in other bug trackers.