Can't play an audio CD

Stuart Barkley stuartb at
Fri Oct 21 13:44:29 UTC 2011

[Much of the original message trimmed.  See thoughts below.]

On Thu, 20 Oct 2011 at 21:09 -0000, Michael D. Norwick wrote:

> I am trying to get a Dell Latitude D630 laptop to play audio CD's
> without success.
> $uname -a
> FreeBSD ****.****.net 9.0-RC1 FreeBSD 9.0-RC1 #1: Wed Oct 19 05:37:43 CDT 2011
> michael@****.****.net:/usr/obj/usr/src/sys/KERNEL_101811  amd64

I'm still using FreeBSD 8 on my main server.

> I have rebooted several times and tried the old original freebsd 9
> kernel (%boot kernel.orig) from the initial install with the same
> result - can't play an audio CD.  I can now - mount_cd9660 - a data
> CD with my custom kernel booted.  I know sound works because gnome
> audio themes work.

This is all good.

> As was suggested, I have run the command line tools and have gotten
> mixed results, such as;
> $ camcontrol devlist
> <TSSTcorp DVD+-RW TS-L632H D300>   at scbus1 target 0 lun 0 (pass0,cd0)
> <ST980813ASG 3.ADD>                at scbus2 target 0 lun 0 (ada0,pass1)
> and;
> $cdcontrol play 1
> results in drive activity but again, no audio.

The most likely case is that your system does not support direct audio
from the CD drive and that you need to play your CDs with a different
application (instead of just a hardware command).

It used to be common for an audio signal cable to be connected
directly from the CD drive to a specific CD input on the audio mixer.
The 'cdcontrol play' command directs the CD drive to start playing
audio.  After that everything was done in hardware/firmware with no
further OS or application interaction needed.

Many current system don't provide this direct audio connection
anymore.  The audio mixers don't all have input connectors and I don't
know if the audio output is even on current DVD drives.  I haven't
paid attention on recent system hardware assemblies since I don't
worry about this anymore.

Things to try:

We need to see the output of the 'mixer' command.  It is possible that
the volume control for the CD input is set to 0.  My guess is that you
don't even have a CD volume control.

Look at the output from 'cdcontrol volume'.  My system shows 255 for
the left and right channels.  It is possible that these are 0 on your
system thus muting output.

Try other audio player applications.  Some of them should support
playing CDs directly.  These application will read the data from the
drive and then send it to the system audio.  I don't use any of these
anymore, I rip everything to mp3 files.

I've never been lost; I was once bewildered for three days, but never lost!
                                        --  Daniel Boone

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