After importing pretty much any file of more than a minute or so in length, in ogg, mp3 or wav format, audacity will play for at most a few seconds before starting to "skip" through the file, playing microsecond clips of sound, creating an effect of very garbled noise. Attempting to pause once this has happened freezes audacity more often than not.
The odd, and perhaps helpful, thing is that when I downgraded from 1.3.7 to 1.3.5, the problem went away.
Please don't downgrade. Be brave and enable updates-testing to upgrade to 1.3.9-beta:
The symptoms you describe are not specific to Audacity. They occur with other audio players, too, depending on hardware and kernel drivers. I can't reproduce it. A kernel update with an alsa patch some weeks ago got rid of audio related freezes for me (I had posted to fedora-devel about the deadlocks), with ES1371 chipset. Instead of deadlocks under system load I now get something which sounds like fast-forward until the system becomes sane again. Audacity is not the culprit. I'm certain there's at least one bug somewhere in ALSA (either kernel drivers or alsa-lib) and its interoperability with PulseAudio.
Hmm... is this expected:
# yum --disablerepo='*' --enablerepo='updates-testing' list updates audacity
Loaded plugins: allowdowngrade, refresh-packagekit
Error: No matching Packages to list
I was able to download the rpm from the link you provided, but while a plain 'list updates' shows several packages in updates-testing, audacity is not among them.
In any case, I can report that the problem persists in 1.3.9. :(
...also, while I understand why the problem (or problems like it) seem more pervasive than just within Audacity, the fact that 1.3.5 does not exhibit this problem must be indicative of something, right? Changing only that component resolves the issue for me.
> yum --disablerepo='*' --enablerepo='updates-testing' list updates audacity
Why the very special "list updates" query? Simply run:
$ yum --enablerepo='updates-testing' list audacity
audacity.i586 1.3.9-0.1.beta.fc11 updates-testing
> the fact that 1.3.5 does not exhibit this
> problem must be indicative of something, right?
Define "something". It may be that internal changes in PortAudio between Audacity 1.3.5-beta and 1.3.7-beta bear a higher risk of triggering the problem you see. But that doesn't imply that 1.3.7-beta (or newer) would be bad - or that going back to 1.3.5-beta would not result in the same crap with the next kernel update, for example. Better would be to return to Fedora 8 or so and restart from there. ;o) There are many open tickets about a variety of audio related problems, affecting a multitude of audio players, ranging from fast-forward playback to stuttering, freezes and noise.
"It may be that internal changes in PortAudio between
Audacity 1.3.5-beta and 1.3.7-beta bear a higher risk of triggering the problem
Right, that's what I mean: perhaps looking at what has changed between these version would provide some clues as to what the trigger is, which could provide some insight into the deeper problem. You would know better than I, of course.
From my initial comment 1:
> I can't reproduce it.
If I could, I would contribute some debugging. Although, audio on Linux has become a beast - to avoid the term "maintenance nightmare". Not only is ALSA more complex than OSS, PulseAudio is an added layer of complexity which tries to work around bugs or reveals new ones. And additionally, the people developing ALSA in the kernel seem to have a hard time fixing bugs, too.
Browsing activity on http://bugz.fedoraproject.org/pulseaudio, some breakage has returned recently for other people, e.g. bug 516649 comment 12 from Máirín Duffy:
| [...] rhythmbox, [...] the audio stops outputting sound completely
| and the play progress bar starts going superfast. Eventually if
| I leave it in this state it starts making ugly static noises.
News: bug 516649 comment 13
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