Help needed: sound/audio only semi-working

Polytropon freebsd at
Sat Oct 22 23:14:38 UTC 2011

On Sat, 22 Oct 2011 16:03:27 -0700, Ronald F. Guilmette wrote:
> I did
> install mplayer and cdparanoia, and then I used the latter to suck some .wav
> files off of one of my old CDs and then used mplayer to play them (which
> worked OK) but I don't see how any of that should have had any effect on
> the audio coming out of the flash plugin for Firefox.  Oh well!  It works
> now, and mplayer can play .wav and .mp3 files too.  So mostly everything is
> working now, and I am happy.

Both the "Flash" plugin and mplayer use the mixer's pcm
channel for output (unlike CD audio). Maybe you'll find
that mplayer is able to play *.mp3, but isn't the optimal
program to do so - in this case have a look at xmms which
can play both *.mp3 and *.ogg (a popular format when you
want to make your CDs' content available on your system).
And xmms also is able to play CD audio.

> But playing a CD using cdcontrol still is not working.  That's OK.  I can
> easily live without that.  I was only using it for testing purposes anyway.
> Still, it is a shame it doesn't just work.

Doesn't work _anymore_. :-)

> >The problem regarding audio CDs seems to be quite "modern".
> I assume by that you mean quite "recent". Yes?

No, "modern" (note the quotes) indicates disimprovement,
reduction and removal of functionality that has been
taken as granted for many years. :-)

> >I also cannot play them anymore (but I don't have that
> >special wire installed at the moment). Audio is VIA HDA.
> I do believe that the little wire is manditory. 

In this specific case, it is. In my old PC, I had one to
connect the ATAPI drive to the sound card (a CMI based
PCI card, no onboard stuff). This _did_ work perfectly
using "cdcontrol play <track>" and the mixer's CD channel.

> So that explains why it
> doesn't work for you.  But I have the little grey wire installed, so I don't
> know why it doesn't work for me.

I'll install that wire tomorrow, just to check - I just
hope my cheap (and nearly crappy) mainboard does have
support for it. I can't use external wiring (to the
sound "card's" line-in connector) as the drive doesn't
have a front connector anymore. See "modern". :-)

OS is 8.2-STABLE/x86 of late August.

> >> So how can it be that this works just fine:
> >> 
> >>    cat /dev/random > /dev/dsp
> >> 
> >> even while this:
> >> 
> >>   cdcontrol -f /dev/acd0 play 1
> >> 
> >> causes the disk to spin up and read, but otherwise produces utter silence?
> >
> >CD audio subsystem has been "modernized". :-)
> I wouldn't know about that.

As far as I could understand, the track files /dev/acdXtYY
will be gone in the upcoming 9.0, as well as the acd device
files in favour of cd (the optional, but very nice ATAPICAM
interface used by recording programs). Basically, I do
appreciate merging acd and cd (so "one device file per
device" becomes true), but if the price is that CD audio
doesn't work anymore... we'll see.

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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