Choppy Sound Dell Mini 10

I bought a dell mini 10 off someone for £20 as it had xp on and it was eol. I thought Uuntu Mate would be a perfect fit. But when I play music files it’s choppy. I tried the latest puppy linux on a USB stick and the sound works fine on that. Anyone have any ideas how to fix it?

I have tried Mate in the pass on single core processors (intel) and found it to preform poorly.

I would like to hear a success story myself.

You could try playing to ALSA directly, in case the almighty PulseAudio is the culprit (the software daemon that allows multiple streams to be played at once) - ALSA is the default sound system on Puppy Linux.

A quick test case:

1… Close any open audio programs.
2… Stop the daemon from respawning:

sudo nano /etc/pulse/client.conf

Uncomment the line that reads:

; autospawn = yes

to say:

autospawn = no

Then press CTRL+X to save these changes.

3… Stop the existing PulseAudio daemon from running:

pulseaudio --kill

4… Now try playing an audio file from a media player of your choice. This will play directly to the hardware, but will mean only one program can play sound at a time.

To revert: Comment the line again (with a ;), and type pulseaudio into the terminal to start the daemon again.

If this improves the choppy sound, then PulseAudio is the problem and we can suggest some possible fixes.

1 Like

There’s a desktop 3.0 Ghz Pentium 4 (with HyperThreading) in my household running Ubuntu MATE 14.04, and it plays sound just fine. It may well be the sound hardware that’s in the Dell Mini 10 that isn’t well supported.

The two times I tried were on slower and no HT processors. Good to know.

Apologies for the late reply, and thanks for the answer. I did as above and the sound now works. So it is definitely a pulseaudio issue. Is there any a solution?

Also, when you say multiple streams what exactly does that mean, as I can open up two different applications (VLC and Rythmbox) and play music (sorry for the noob question!)

No problem, glad to hear it’s working normally again. :thumbsup:

The easiest solution would be to continue using ALSA and forget about PulseAudio. It’s a bad idea to try and remove it since it’s a dependency on some applications.

If there is a new version (pulseaudio --version), then you could install a newer version in case it fixes the problem… but I personally wouldn’t attempt this since it may bork the sound entirely or result in even more problems. You can always upgrade to newer versions of Ubuntu MATE and give PulseAudio another shot.

I’m now confused! :blush: – I originally thought PulseAudio is the software daemon that allows multiple programs to play sound at once. Without it, ALSA only lets one process exclusive access to sound at a time (that’s what I have experienced), but that doesn’t seem to be the case here.

It may depend on the application, you could try a video in Firefox and VLC to be sure… unless there is a mixer running in the background.

Hopefully someone can clarify me here :slight_smile: How the audio works isn’t my strong point.

MATE works just fine on single core CPUs. Until recently (when the computer’s power supply cratered) I’d been running Mint MATE 17.x on a 13 year old Dell Dimension 2400…

2.4ghz P4
1.5 gbytes memory
Nvidia Geforce 8400 GS “Verto” PCI graphics w/512 mbytes memory

It ran XBMC/Kodi just fine (installed on top of MATE) – HD vids streamed smooth as silk (though I mostly only watched 720 vids). And the computer was even connected wireless to my network. :wink:

It’s definitely not a processor power problem.It works well, and for the system speedily. Anyway, in trying to set up skype and realising it did not support ALSA I came across the solution to fix pulse audio. I used the UDEV line from the first solution and seems to have completely fixed the problem, all sound and skype is usable.