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I am using ALSA and Icecat. When I play any html5 audio/video it works, but the next time i click on another audio/video link I lose sound.

  • 6 replies
  • 1 has this problem
  • Last reply by sigod

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I am using Parabola (a fork of archlinux), Icecat 31.4 and ALSA

Icecat and firefox seem to hold onto the soundcard when I click on a new html5 audio/video link in the same tab. The next video/audio element loses sound. If I wait 10 seconds and click back to the start of the audio/video, the audio returns. I often get cpu spikes for icecat when it happens. I have tried this with both motherboard and usb sound and I get the same problem. I have disabled extensions (addons) in Icecat, deleted profiles, reinstalled the browser and even installed firefox from the AUR and it still occurs. I have disable gstreamer in about:config and restarted and it still occurs.

My .asoundrc is this:

pcm.!default {

   type plug
   slave.pcm "hw:0,0"


All my other audio applications work. I have noticed that if I use pulseaudio it fixes it, but it should work without anyway, like it used to. I think something happened after an update, but I'm not sure.

Any help would be appreciated. I know it's not a big problem, but it's really frustrating and I've had it for ages. I even switched browsers to get away from it.

All Replies (6)

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In /usr/share/alsa/alsa.conf is the default sound card correct?


You may also want to try the icecat forums, because they may have changed some of the defaults from the default linux build of Firefox.

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That fixed it.................. partially.

I changed my .asoundrc to :

pcm.!default.type plug; pcm.default.slave.pcm.type hw; pcm.default.slave.pcm.card 0;

and noticed that continuous sound output only happens with certain types of videos. For example if I play two music videos (audio only with a picture in the background) in a row, the second video will play fine, but if then switch to one with moving pictures, the sound will cut out again.

If I start with a moving pictures video and click on another, it works, but if i click on an audio only video after that it will cut out.

Also, there was no improvement with ogg audio files from my first post.

This makes me think it might be something to do with codecs or sample rates.

I can't paste the content of my /usr/share/alsa/alsa.conf in here, it's too big.

Modified by sigod

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Post it here and give us the URL to it.

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  • nerding out*

I am not an expert in this and if we get stuck I have found a mailing list for the alsa project that can be contacted:

Gstreamer is disabled in Firefox as well as the os?

Since you are seeing issues with ogg files and moving video/audio combination I started to dig into file formats {sox}

For ogg would the file format affect the "raw"?

defaults.pcm.file_format        "raw"

Updated libraries alsa-lib-1.0.6-8.FC3 alsa-utils-1.0.6-3

No no, here: Is the OGG cpu intensive for your alsa architecture?

Troubleshooting sound on Linux to narrow down the issue:


I am sorry, this is where I can no longer help. Please seek the guidance of the Linux forums or that alsa mailing list.

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Gstreamer is enabled in firefox and the os. It was disabled in firefox before and enabling it had no effect.

I don't see why the ogg format would affect the "raw" setting in /usr/share/alsa/alsa.conf. I use another browser called Qupzilla and it plays ogg files continuously, although it won't let me seek through them.

It's not just ogg files that cause cpu spikes, it happens when firefox has trouble playing the sound from any html5 element in the continuous playback scenario I described above. I then have to kill firefox/icecat twice to close the program so I can restart it and get the sound working again.

Modified by sigod