[nSLUG] Sound problem (isn't there always?)

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Sun Oct 12 16:40:28 ADT 2008

On Sat, Oct 11, 2008 at 3:14 AM, Mike Spencer <mspencer at tallships.ca> wrote:

> Just installed Slackware 12.1.  All is well. Er, well, most is well.
> Can't play a music CD.
>  + Sound card, speakers, head phones work because I can play a .wav
>    or .au file.
>  + Mixer works because I can vary volume with aumix when playing a
>    sound file.
>  + Software to play CDs (Szijarto Szabolcs' cdp or Max Vozeler's
>    cdtool) appears to work: The drive spins up, pauses, resumes,
>    stops and ejects in response to corresponding commands from the
>    software. But no sound.
> This is a Dell Dimension 3000 w/ Intel P4 CPU and (according to lspci)
> Intel 82801EB/ER (ICH5/ICH5R) Audio Controller.
> There are two drives: One CD and one CD/RW.  The above problem occurs
> whether I point /dev/cdrom to /dev/hdd or /dev/hdc (with a CD in the
> appropriate drive, of course.)
> I've run alsaconf. No better.
> It's probably something stupid and obvious but I'm dull and lert.
> Something about udev that I don't know?  Perms on /usr/weird_file?
> Have to depress the blue thing twice?  Duh.
> Any pointers?

Look for the headphone jack on the drive -- older drives contain DAC and
should provide analog connectors, in which case software is only used to
select a track and start/stop.  Newer drives without the headphone jack
omit the DAC and require a host DAC, which may get you into some
"non-free" issues with the decoder.   I suspect the reason newer drives
omit the DAC is more one of saving a few $ in license costs than one of
saving a few pennies of hardware.   Also, now that some audio CD's are
copy protected, drive vendors would get complaints if the headphone
jack only worked on some CD's, so by omitting the jack they  can avoid
some class-action suits by people claiming the should have been told
that the drive wouldn't play their CD.

George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia

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