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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Hardware » Audio
Audio problems in modern PUPs need developer's attention
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greengeek


Joined: 20 Jul 2010
Posts: 4721
Location: Republic of Novo Zelande

PostPosted: Sat 10 Sep 2016, 20:07    Post subject:  

jamesbond wrote:
Thirdly - which one is the first output? This boot you have HDMI as first output, next boot you get analog output as the first output. There is no certainty.
I am interested in pursuing why this occurs. 99% of the time I boot into a 32bit puppy that has no savefile and is absolutely and utterly identical at every boot.

Yet circumstances within the hardware obviously change because occasionally my mouse and touchpad do not work correctly. I can only assume that conditions change from boot to boot at hardware level - but other than battery state/ACPI what else can it be???

And the problem of different audio cards being detected first must be related to a similar issue - hardware conditions are not 100% the same at every boot - even when we think they are.

I could understand it if different usb devices were plugged in as that could alter which driver is loaded, and alter bus timing etc - but what if there are no extra devices plugged in - why should one boot be different from another??

Now that I am sporadically booting 64 bit Puppies I am starting to see different audio card behaviour - I can't tell yet if it is just that newer hardware includes a greater number of audio interfaces (ie not just one soundblaster style card) or if there is something unstable within the init of Puppy. Or maybe it's just early days for 64bit puppies...
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Billtoo


Joined: 07 Apr 2009
Posts: 3266
Location: Ontario Canada

PostPosted: Sat 10 Sep 2016, 20:34    Post subject: udio problems in modern PUPs need developer's attention  

This is puppex-Slackware64 installed to a 32gb usb-3.0 flash drive, it
is connected to the 32" TV with a HDMI cable plugged into the HDMI port
on nvidia graphics card and the HDMI port on the TV.

video-info-glx 1.5.3 Sat 10 Sep 2016 on PuppEX Slack64 6.3.2 Linux 4.7.2-x86_64-puppex x86_64
0.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation GF108 [GeForce GT 430] (rev a1)
oem: NVIDIA
product: GF108 Board - 1071v1p1 Chip Rev

X Server: Xorg Driver: vesa
X.Org version: 1.14.3
dimensions: 1920x1080 pixels (707x392 millimeters)
depth of root window: 24 planes

direct rendering: Yes
server glx vendor string: NVIDIA Corporation
server glx version string: 1.4
OpenGL vendor string: NVIDIA Corporation
OpenGL renderer string: GeForce GT 430/PCIe/SSE2
OpenGL core profile version string: 4.3.0 NVIDIA 367.35

Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU E8400 @ 3.00GHz
Core 0: @2003 1: @2003 MHz

The sound setup in the screenshot uses the TV speakers when running
Firefox, running vlc or smplayer need sound settings in the preferences
for each application to get sound from the TV speakers.
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stemsee

Joined: 27 Jun 2013
Posts: 2000
Location: In The Way

PostPosted: Sun 11 Sep 2016, 05:31    Post subject:  

So to me it seems that the only thing that needs doing is to write a script to add preferred entries to /etc/alsa.conf

This are the hardware and config settings on my JLH.
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anikin

Joined: 10 May 2012
Posts: 963

PostPosted: Sun 11 Sep 2016, 05:41    Post subject:  

I think these two preliminary steps should be taken before we proceed any further:

1) Make sure the alsa-utils package is *fully* installed in woof-ce.
http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=901611#901611
It's unbelievable, that all these years Puppy had a broken, crippled alsa-utils package!
Finally, jist is trying to push it through ...
https://github.com/puppylinux-woof-CE/woof-CE/pull/746
However, the gatekeepers don't seem to be overly excited and enthusiastic.
It should be added here, with all due respect, there's no need to have that Multiple Sound Card Wizard.
Alsamixer already has this functionality baked-in! Just hit F6 and it will be staring right in your face!

2) Let's ditch MSCW as well as Retrovol. They are misleading and confusing applications. They bring no value to the user. The whole Linux world uses the proper audio tool - *alsamixer*, why shouldn't we?
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Sailor Enceladus

Joined: 22 Feb 2016
Posts: 1291

PostPosted: Sun 11 Sep 2016, 06:44    Post subject:  

anikin wrote:
2) Let's ditch MSCW as well as Retrovol. They are misleading and confusing applications. They bring no value to the user. The whole Linux world uses the proper audio tool - *alsamixer*, why shouldn't we?

You're suggesting that we all do everything inside the alsamixer terminal application inside urxvt with the keyboard, and remove the fancy looking GUIs and clickable buttons that match with the interface? What about switching to a text browser to match?
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anikin

Joined: 10 May 2012
Posts: 963

PostPosted: Sun 11 Sep 2016, 08:24    Post subject:  

Sailor Enceladus wrote:
anikin wrote:
2) Let's ditch MSCW as well as Retrovol. They are misleading and confusing applications. They bring no value to the user. The whole Linux world uses the proper audio tool - *alsamixer*, why shouldn't we?

You're suggesting that we all do everything inside the alsamixer terminal application inside urxvt with the keyboard, and remove the fancy looking GUIs and clickable buttons that match with the interface? What about switching to a text browser to match?
Are you guys familiar with DebianDog (or Debian Live)? It has neither retrovol, nor mscw and unlike Puppy, neither does it have any audio issues. The thing is, once you've setup the sound, there won't be any need to run alsamixer again. As for the fancy looking GUI - that's a different story and Linux proper has a much, much better alternative. It is called <volumeicon-alsa>.
https://packages.debian.org/jessie/volumeicon-alsa
For the sake of this post, I fired up a test install of DevuanDog (an upgrade from DebianDog Wheezy) and typed the following command in the terminal, because it still had an older version of volumeicon:
Code:
root@debian:~# apt-get install volumeicon-alsa
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
Suggested packages:
  alsamixergui aumix-gtk kmix gnome-alsamixer notify-osd xfce4-nofityd
  notification-daemon
The following packages will be upgraded:
  volumeicon-alsa
1 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 299 not upgraded.
Need to get 34.4 kB of archives.
After this operation, 67.6 kB disk space will be freed.
Get:1 http://auto.mirror.devuan.org/merged/ jessie/main volumeicon-alsa i386 0.4.6-2.1 [34.4 kB]
Fetched 34.4 kB in 1s (28.2 kB/s)   
(Reading database ... 25131 files and directories currently installed.)
Preparing to replace volumeicon-alsa 0.4.6-1 (using .../volumeicon-alsa_0.4.6-2.1_i386.deb) ...
Unpacking replacement volumeicon-alsa ...
Processing triggers for menu ...
Setting up volumeicon-alsa (0.4.6-2.1) ...
Processing triggers for menu ...
localepurge: Disk space freed in /usr/share/locale: 0 KiB
localepurge: Disk space freed in /usr/share/man: 0 KiB

Total disk space freed by localepurge: 0 KiB

root@debian:~#
see the attached picture
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Keef


Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Posts: 869
Location: Staffordshire

PostPosted: Sun 11 Sep 2016, 15:12    Post subject:  

anikin may be on to something...
I have installed volumeicon on the latest slacko out of interest. Not had any major problems with retrovol, but recent browsers are not playing sound on some sites - this is with html5 I believe, I can get it using Flashplayer (if used). All working ok now. Easy to change volume with the mouse wheel over the icon. I'll try it on Tahrpup as well.
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gcmartin

Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 6730
Location: Earth

PostPosted: Sun 11 Sep 2016, 15:47    Post subject:  

@Anikin or @Keef: Are either of you in use of HDMI as primary device from the PC to a TV?

Curious to your findings with the distros you are testing.

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Keef


Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Posts: 869
Location: Staffordshire

PostPosted: Sun 11 Sep 2016, 15:54    Post subject:  

gcmartin

No, just using a 10 year old laptop with internal sound.
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gcmartin

Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 6730
Location: Earth

PostPosted: Sun 11 Sep 2016, 17:42    Post subject:  

Just returned from my local BestBuy store I frequently visit for technology.

An observation:
They have no PCs/laptops on display that have an old VGA adapter. Seems the PC industry now is HDMI, and DVI with a smattering of USB-C connections built-in on their motherboards. When asked, the salesman says "Oh no ones uses that old stuff anymore." as he proceeds to share advantages from his perspective. (Younger people reminds me of when I was young too.)

All of the TVs have HDMI connectors with ONLY 1 that had a DVI, too. Seems that TV industry is merely HDMI with NO emphasis at this time on DVI, or USB-C inputs. This includes 1K/2K/4K/8K TVs ranging from 32in to 100+. (My old eyes benefit from the larger screens and the real estate they present. Of course display flicker and display radiation may be a concern when sitting up close when used on my desk.)

This is the world of selections that is presented to us by industry.

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Pete


Joined: 02 Mar 2014
Posts: 675

PostPosted: Sun 11 Sep 2016, 18:01    Post subject:  

One can still get TV's with VGA, DVI, HDMI and even composite video inputs
but as gcmartin wrote, they are the exception.

I recently bought a LG 48" LED TV that has VGA, HDMI, composite and component inputs.

Computers these days certainly do mainly only have HDMI outputs and the HP laptops and monitors also have DisplayPort,
which can easily be converted to HDMI via appropriate relatively low cost adapters.

There are also adapters to convert from VGA to HDMI and vice versa.
These support resolutions up to 1920X1200 and have audio support.
The VGA to HDMI has a separate stereo audio input which then gets embedded into the HDMI stream, whilst the HDMI to VGA has a audio de-embedder
which then comes out at line level on a stereo 3.5mm connector.

Interestingly, if one has DVI with the analog RGB pins, then it will also support VGA.
There are several "standards" of DVI, namely DVI-D which does not support VGA and DVI-A and DVI-I which do.
In all cases, there is no support for audio which HDMI does have.
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gcmartin

Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 6730
Location: Earth

PostPosted: Sun 11 Sep 2016, 18:36    Post subject:  

Thanks, should have mentioned that some of the TVs also have composite wire options. I found it hard to determine if any provide HDMI output but all support HDMI input.

Separate note:
I have been looking for an KVM switch which uses HDMI versus VGA. They did not have one on their shelves.
    Has anyone seen such anywhere in the wild?
    Anyone have any experiences with using one of these?
Thanks in advance if you have.

Those who may be unfamiliar with what a KVM switch is, it allows 1 monitor+keyboard+mouse (and sometimes speakers) to be used to controlled multiple PCs, selectively. Typical home-use offerings are in both 2-port or 4-port offerings.

My needs for a KVM would be HDMI and USB for key-mouse needs. Preferring 4-port, but would settle for a 2-port. My current models are VGA strictly.

Last edited by gcmartin on Sun 11 Sep 2016, 18:49; edited 1 time in total
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Pete


Joined: 02 Mar 2014
Posts: 675

PostPosted: Sun 11 Sep 2016, 18:46    Post subject:  

@gcmartin

Have a look on amazon, they have a few to choose from, just search for kvm+hdmi.
Just keep in mind that depending on the HDMI frame buffer (or lack thereof) in the KVM and in the TV/monitor, it can take up to 2 or 3 seconds for the newly selected HDMI source to appear on the screen.

It is especially bad on some Samsung TV's (taking up to 5 seconds for the picture to appear even though the KVM switches immediately).
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Pete


Joined: 02 Mar 2014
Posts: 675

PostPosted: Mon 12 Sep 2016, 05:45    Post subject:  

gcmartin wrote:
.... I found it hard to determine if any provide HDMI output but all support HDMI input.....


Never seen a TV with HDMI output, not to say that they don't exist.
Normally one would use a HDMI splitter before the TV if an extra (buffered) HDMI port is required.

What I have seen is TV's with composite video (and audio) output.
Nice thing about this is that it will give you whatever you feed in on HDMI (and composite) on the video output.
However keep in mind that composite video only supports SD (standard def.) so whatever is coming in as HD on the HDMI will only be available on the composite output as SD.

If you use the analog audio output, be aware that on some sets, it will be slightly out of sync with the HDMI input.
If you need to extract analog audio from HDMI (to feed into an old audio amp), then it's better to use a HDMI splitter, feed one output to the TV and the second output you feed to a HDMI to composite video and audio converter and simply use the audio output only.

If you are lucky, the converter will have 6 analog audio outputs (for 5.1 surround sound), but most will just provide stereo outputs.
The very fancy converters will even have an optical PCM sound output.

One important point about any HDMI gear (splitters, converters etc) that you buy, make sure that they are HDMI 2.0 and NOT 1.4 or lower.
Version 2.0 supports 4K at 50 - 60 fps and 12 bit colour whereas 1.4 only supports 4K in some frame rates and only 8 bit colour.
Versions lower than 1.4 do not support 4K at all.

Even if you don't currently use 4K, it's best to make any new gear as future proof as possible.

As a side note, the last olympics were filmed in HD and also 8K.
Currently there is no HDMI gear commercially available that supports 8K
but no doubt that will change to extract even more money from the public once they have all bought 4K stuff. Wink
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