Bug 417681 - Alsa game sound is choppy when running through pulseaudio
Alsa game sound is choppy when running through pulseaudio
Product: Fedora
Classification: Fedora
Component: pulseaudio (Show other bugs)
All Linux
medium Severity medium
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Assigned To: Lennart Poettering
Fedora Extras Quality Assurance
Depends On:
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Reported: 2007-12-10 01:12 EST by Jonathan Dieter
Modified: 2008-06-13 20:13 EDT (History)
1 user (show)

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Doc Type: Bug Fix
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Last Closed: 2008-06-13 20:13:08 EDT
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Description Jonathan Dieter 2007-12-10 01:12:10 EST
Description of problem:
Any games which provide sound through alsa end up being choppy when run through
pulseaudio.  Using ppracer as an example, the sound is choppy no matter what
frequency I use, but if it's set to 8-bit (u8) rather than 16-bit (s16le) sound,
it's no longer choppy.  Note that paman shows that ppracer *is* coming through
pulseaudio, so I believe alsa-plugins-pulseaudio is installed correctly.

aplay /usr/share/sounds/shutdown1.wav works perfectly and any games using esd
(i.e. bzflag) work perfectly as well.

I am running pulseaudio as a system-wide daemon with high priority.

Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):

How reproducible:

Steps to Reproduce:
1. Set up pulseaudio to run as system-wide daemon (with high priority)
2. Start ppracer (or nexuiz or any other game that uses alsa)
Actual results:
Choppy sound

Expected results:
Beautifully rendered music to enhance the experience of shooting my friend in
the back in Nexuiz. :)
Comment 1 Jonathan Dieter 2008-01-10 03:04:11 EST
Rebuilt pulseaudio in devel for F8 today and problem still persists.  I've
straced  open files in both single-user and system-wide pulseaudio startups,
diffed them, and there don't seem to be any permissions differences (I
originally wondered whether pulseaudio was being blocked from accessing certain
/dev/snd files under the pulse user, but not under the regular user).

Pulseaudio still gives perfect sound under single-user, but choppy sound after a
few seconds of system-wide.
Comment 2 Jonathan Dieter 2008-01-10 03:08:20 EST
Sorry, I've just realized that both ppracer and nexuiz are SDL programs and use
ESD rather than alsa to connect to pulseaudio.  Not sure if that will help in
diagnosing the problem.
Comment 3 Jonathan Dieter 2008-01-10 03:39:42 EST
And looking back at the original bug report, that means that there's something
unusual about bzflag (maybe the fact that it has no music) that keeps me from
hitting the same problem with it.
Comment 4 Lennart Poettering 2008-06-13 20:13:08 EDT
We now have native PA support in SDL, the problem should be gone.

Also, I don't really support the system mode of PA. It's available only for very
specific purposes (thin clients...)

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