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#1 2014-05-11 12:52:47

markling
Member
Registered: 2012-01-19
Posts: 14

How to restore lost sound?

Sound output has disappeared because of what appears to be a bug in the audio applet on the xfce panel.

The audio has been muted with no obvious way of getting it back.

I guess this post is both a bug report and a request for help.

Using the volume control on the panel, I pulled the slider down to reduce the volume to the quietest possible audiable level. I dragged it too far and it went right to the bottom. The volume cut off. The notification icon that flashes up displayed a mute symbol.

But when I adjusted the volume back up again, the mute stayed on. The notification flasher showed a volume indicator that increased as I moved the volume slider back up again. But the mute symbol stayed on and the sound did not return.

The properties for the volume slider have no obvious way to mute/un-mute. The volume icon itself has no obvious way of doing this either.

I have effectively lost sound and can find no way of getting it back.

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#2 2014-05-11 13:34:05

ToZ
Moderator
From: Toronto, Canada
Registered: 2011-06-02
Posts: 2,989

Re: How to restore lost sound?

When you say "audio applet", are you referring to the Xfce Audio Mixer panel plugin? If so, if you right-click the applet, there should be a mute option right on the menu.

You can also try to run Mutlimedia>>Audio Mixer (if installed) or "alsamixer" (assuming that you're using alsa) in a terminal window to get a curses-based audio mixer tool.


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#3 2014-05-11 14:38:38

MountainDewManiac
Member
From: USA police-state welfare-state
Registered: 2013-03-24
Posts: 770

Re: How to restore lost sound?

As Toz stated, when one adjusts the sound volume to zero, it is (also) automatically muted, and clicking on the "mute" symbol - it's a toggle - will remove this attribute from the volume level.

I'm not sure that this is considered a bug, per se; if so, it's an unusually long-lasting one, lol, because it has been present for a while.

I think it has to do with using a GNOME(?) sound component in XFCE [EDIT: pulseaudio, methinks], which causes a minor incompatibility. One can use an alternate component, instead, and this odd behavior goes away. I have just learned to not reduce the volume completely - I can then increase it without hassle, and I can always click on the mute icon if I want to have silence.

Another oddity is that on some laptops, tapping the "hardware"(+/-) volume control will cause the system to either increase or decrease the volume the maximum amount possible (and continue, as if the person was continually trailing that volume button). This means that, on those affected computers, the hardware volume controls are unusable.

On the positive side, the system can keep track of two different sound levels. When I plug in a pair of external speakers, the volume level changes to what it was set at when they were last connected (as opposed to the level setting when using the laptop's internal speakers).

Regards,
MDM

Last edited by MountainDewManiac (2014-05-11 14:54:41)


Mountain Dew Maniac

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#4 2014-05-11 16:06:09

markling
Member
Registered: 2012-01-19
Posts: 14

Re: How to restore lost sound?

Thanks for coming to my aid, chaps.

It seems I have ended up the audio mixer applet (which is how it is described to me in the panel preferences) that did not come as defualt.

I have taken a screenshot: xfce audio slider mute error

I see there is a mute button I had missed in the conext menu. But this doesn't work. Whether I click it to mute or unmute it stays mute.

The problem arose after I made some changes to the panel preferences. The <add items> list included an 'audio mixer'. This sounded more sophisticated than the audio control that was already on the panel, so i selected it. But it was in fact the same device, or someting very like it. So I removed one of them. What I was left with was a vertical slider that mutes on bottoming out and never returns the sound.

A hint to where the fault lies might be in the graphics. The panel icon changes to mute when the slider hits bottom. The icon comes off mute when the slider is pushed up again. But the sound does not return. However, the popup notification (bottom left on the screenshot), stays on mute when the slider is pushed up again.

You are right, MountainDewManiac, it probably is an applet that doesn't belong here. I wish I could get the one back that does belong here. Here's a suggestion: perhaps the one that doesn't belong could be replaced in the panel options menu with the one that does?

cheers

markling.

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#5 2014-05-11 16:20:24

ToZ
Moderator
From: Toronto, Canada
Registered: 2011-06-02
Posts: 2,989

Re: How to restore lost sound?

Are you using Xubuntu (or ubuntu with Xfce)? If so, is the indicator plugin added to the panel? If not, add it. Is should bring back the original sound applet. If it is, try removing it and then re-adding it.

Xubuntu uses the indicator applet for things like sound, network, etc.


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#6 2014-05-11 16:26:23

markling
Member
Registered: 2012-01-19
Posts: 14

Re: How to restore lost sound?

There is an indicator plug-in in the panel items menu. I had ignored this because its decription said: 'Panel area for Unity indicators'.

Now I know Unity of old. It was the reason why I came to Xubuntu/xfce. Or to be more precise, why I came to xfce/Xubuntu. So I didn't bother trying the Unity app.

I will try it now.

cheers

markling.

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#7 2014-05-11 16:36:50

markling
Member
Registered: 2012-01-19
Posts: 14

Re: How to restore lost sound?

That's solved it. Brilliant. Thank you.

I selected 'Indicator Plugin' from <Add New Items> in panel preferences.

It restored the sound menu, the messaging menu and the application indicators - including sound settings, a working mute button and the network manager applet that had also disappeared, leaving me without an internet connection.

I still have the dysfunctional sound menu and the dysfunctional Notification Area. I shall remove them. But it might save other users a lot of trouble if only working / compatible / intended parts were offered as options on the panel interface. It sounds obvious, I know.

Btw, when you trudge the forums looking for a solutoin to this problem, you read frequently about the Notification Area and are therefore most likely to be misdirected and, like me, waste most of your day because the interface has been implemented shoddily.

One day a distribution will isntall without a small infestation of careless bugs so users will find that they don't spend so much time stamping on irritating little critters that there's no time left for work, leisure and making more valuable contributions to the community.

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#8 2014-05-11 16:41:56

ToZ
Moderator
From: Toronto, Canada
Registered: 2011-06-02
Posts: 2,989

Re: How to restore lost sound?

Glad to hear. You might want to keep the notification area though. That's the system tray - some apps may place their icons there when the app is running.


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#9 2015-03-25 23:04:54

gnox
Member
Registered: 2015-03-25
Posts: 8

Re: How to restore lost sound?

Hey guys, sorry for digging out such an old topic. But I have exact the same problem. The difference: I am on Debian Jessie with XFCE 4.10. I installed the xfce4-indicator-plugin (version 1.0) but it shows just nothing...

any thoughts on how to get that sound applet working on debian?

Thanks and cheers, gnox

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#10 2015-03-26 00:12:09

Jerry3904
Member
Registered: 2013-11-09
Posts: 457

Re: How to restore lost sound?

Multiple sound cards problem? What does

aplay -l

show?


MX-15 (based on Debian Stable) with Xfce 4.12 on Acer Aspire One 722

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#11 2015-03-26 06:08:57

gnox
Member
Registered: 2015-03-25
Posts: 8

Re: How to restore lost sound?

It gives me a

sytho@7740G:~$ aplay -l
**** Liste der Hardware-Geräte (PLAYBACK) ****
Karte 0: MID [HDA Intel MID], Gerät 0: ALC669X Analog [ALC669X Analog]
  Sub-Geräte: 1/1
  Sub-Gerät #0: subdevice #0
Karte 0: MID [HDA Intel MID], Gerät 1: ALC669X Digital [ALC669X Digital]
  Sub-Geräte: 1/1
  Sub-Gerät #0: subdevice #0
Karte 1: HDMI [HDA ATI HDMI], Gerät 3: HDMI 0 [HDMI 0]
  Sub-Geräte: 1/1
  Sub-Gerät #0: subdevice #0

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#12 2015-03-26 07:56:18

sixsixfive
Member
From: behind you
Registered: 2012-04-08
Posts: 450
Website

Re: How to restore lost sound?

The indicator plugin is a plugin to display ubuntu specific notifications

Use the Mixer to unmute your sound, you can also use alsamixer if you install the alsa-utils

Also which output do you use? Analog (Klinke), Digital or the HDMI one?


$ aptitude why gnome   
Unable to find a reason to install gnome.

regards, ssf

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#13 2015-03-26 09:01:36

gnox
Member
Registered: 2015-03-25
Posts: 8

Re: How to restore lost sound?

sixsixfive wrote:

The indicator plugin is a plugin to display ubuntu specific notifications

So, no chance to get this working in Debian the same way it works on Xubuntu?

sixsixfive wrote:

Use the Mixer to unmute your sound, you can also use alsamixer if you install the alsa-utils

The way I did it for now: open my terminal -> alsamixer -> unmute. But this is quite not really convenient hmm

sixsixfive wrote:

Also which output do you use? Analog (Klinke), Digital or the HDMI one?

Digital

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#14 2015-03-26 09:36:21

sixsixfive
Member
From: behind you
Registered: 2012-04-08
Posts: 450
Website

Re: How to restore lost sound?

>So, no chance to get this working in Debian the same way it works on Xubuntu?

not sure i've never tried it

>But this is quite not really convenient hmm

hm it should save the volume once set

there are many alternatives to change the sound volume

xfce4-mixer
pnmixer
alsamixergui
volumeicon
qashctl/qasmixer
xfce4-volumed
....

>Digital

then you might need to change your default sound card/output example for the /etc/asound.conf

defaults.pcm.card 0
defaults.pcm.device 1
defaults.ctl.card 0

pcm.!default {
	type hw
	card 0
	device 1
}

Last edited by sixsixfive (2015-03-26 09:36:46)


$ aptitude why gnome   
Unable to find a reason to install gnome.

regards, ssf

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#15 2015-03-26 10:24:34

gnox
Member
Registered: 2015-03-25
Posts: 8

Re: How to restore lost sound?

Well, I've already installed xfce4-mixer and xfce4-volumed. So I guess it's xfce4-mixer which I am using in the panel (instead of xfce4-indicator-plugin -> because the indicator plugin doesn't show anything to me...). I have a german install here, the applet is called "Lautstärkeregler". As far as I understood, xfce4-volumed is just the daemon who is watching for volume changes made through the keyboard, e.g. fn + volup or voldown and mute. Xfce4-volumed is just the daemon for the xfce4-mixer...

So far, so good. But everytime I mute the audio (through the keyboard via fn + mute or via righklick on the applet - mute), then the mute is somehow toggled, or lets say stuck. No way to revert it. Just go to the terminal -> alsamixer and there I can unmute the masterchannel.

sixsixfive wrote:

then you might need to change your default sound card/output example for the /etc/asound.conf

I tried that. First, the file did not exist. So I created it and added exactly what you wrote above. After that, reboot. Couldn't hear anything anymore wink Maybe we are on the right path, but some entries were wrong? Sorry for aksing so much, but I really dont know how to solve that problem alone.

Thanks!

Last edited by gnox (2015-03-26 10:24:59)

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#16 2015-03-26 11:26:18

Jerry3904
Member
Registered: 2013-11-09
Posts: 457

Re: How to restore lost sound?

Before we developed a new Sound Card selector for the release of 14.4, we had users create a hidden file in their home directory named .asoundrc with the following content:

#replace the number in the phrase "card 1" with the number of the soundcard you wish to use
#make sure to replace both instances
   pcm.!default {
           type hw
           card 1
        }

        ctl.!default {
           type hw           
           card 1
        }

Need to log out and back in to see any change. It doesn't work in every situation, but many people were able to solve their problems with this method. Or install PulseAudio.


MX-15 (based on Debian Stable) with Xfce 4.12 on Acer Aspire One 722

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#17 2015-03-26 13:19:38

gnox
Member
Registered: 2015-03-25
Posts: 8

Re: How to restore lost sound?

It seems like pulseaudio is already installed:

sytho@7740G:~$ dpkg-query -s pulseaudio
Package: pulseaudio
Status: install ok installed

The above .asoundrc didn't help. What else could I try? On my parallel-xubuntu install it all works fine... Already asked in #debian-xfce irc - no answer. Hmm... Such things make me think about to switch back to *buntu on my working-machines.

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#18 2015-03-26 13:38:49

Jerry3904
Member
Registered: 2013-11-09
Posts: 457

Re: How to restore lost sound?

PulseAudio is installed? Then what are your settings in its Volume Control, specifically the tabs "Output devices" and "Configuration"?


MX-15 (based on Debian Stable) with Xfce 4.12 on Acer Aspire One 722

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#19 2015-03-26 14:11:32

gnox
Member
Registered: 2015-03-25
Posts: 8

Re: How to restore lost sound?

Heres the screens from pavucontrol:

Bildschirmfoto%20-%2026.03.2015%20-%2014%3A58%3A27.png?raw=1
Bildschirmfoto%20-%2026.03.2015%20-%2014%3A58%3A53.png?raw=1
Bildschirmfoto%20-%2026.03.2015%20-%2014%3A59%3A47.png?raw=1

hope, this helps wink

P.s.: on the "Wiedergabe"-Tab I can mute and unmute the channel without problems. Why is that alsa-mixer (xfce4-mixer) plugin not working?

Last edited by gnox (2015-03-26 14:13:29)

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#20 2015-03-26 14:23:08

Jerry3904
Member
Registered: 2013-11-09
Posts: 457

Re: How to restore lost sound?

Thanks. The only difference I see with my setup is on your Konfiguration tab, where I have to have "Analog Stereo Output" selected because I do not have a duplex system. Do you?

Also: do you have the native Audio Mixer set (on pull-down menu) to something like: "Playback...(PulseAudio Mixer)"?

Finally: our new Sound Card selector (alsa-set-default-card) application has worked very well on all types of sound setups, and you could see if it installs on your system. Let me know if interested and I will point you to the package.


MX-15 (based on Debian Stable) with Xfce 4.12 on Acer Aspire One 722

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#21 2015-03-26 15:00:34

gnox
Member
Registered: 2015-03-25
Posts: 8

Re: How to restore lost sound?

Thanks for your effort. Duplex system? Dunno. I run on a Acer Aspire 7740G Notebook with integrated ATI Radeon HD5650. Hence the Redwood HDMI Audio. Changed to "Analog Stereo Output" - no difference. I tried to turn the Redwood HDMI Audio profile to "off" on the configuration tab - no result. Still, when I mute with my keyboard fn+mute I have to unmute with the alsamixer from the terminal.

Bildschirmfoto%20-%2026.03.2015%20-%2015%3A56%3A53.png?raw=1
Bildschirmfoto%20-%2026.03.2015%20-%2015%3A57%3A07.png?raw=1

Dunno if it is a problem of choosing the right card or if it is a problem with unmuting the card. I also think it is a problem with alsa, rather then with pulseaudio. But I am a noob to this stuff - I can just guess... But it somehow seems that the xfce4-mixer applet is not able to unmute the alsamixer.

Edit: I just saw, that the device, that I am configuring with alsamixer is pulseaudio. You can see this in the two images above. Hmm - then it's pulseaudio who has problems getting unmuted by the xfce4-mixer applet (or mb by the xfce4-volumed). Mb it's the simplest way to just remove pulseaudio?

Last edited by gnox (2015-03-26 16:53:53)

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#22 2015-03-27 08:29:14

gnox
Member
Registered: 2015-03-25
Posts: 8

Re: How to restore lost sound?

Guys, I am proud to announce that the Problem is resolved wink Google was my friend (dunno why it took so long to encover that link...): http://ronlut.blogspot.ch/2014/05/fix-u … -xfce.html. So that means, that the xfce4-mixer was not able to correspond to the pulseaudio, because of some missing dependencies. Installing the missing gstreamer0.10-pulseaudio did it. I am wondering why this package is not added automatically as a dependency when installing XFCE? However - The Solution was simple, but one has to know it.

Cheers and thanks for helping out.
gnox

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#23 2015-03-27 12:50:11

Jerry3904
Member
Registered: 2013-11-09
Posts: 457

Re: How to restore lost sound?

Well done!


MX-15 (based on Debian Stable) with Xfce 4.12 on Acer Aspire One 722

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#24 2015-03-27 13:41:08

sixsixfive
Member
From: behind you
Registered: 2012-04-08
Posts: 450
Website

Re: How to restore lost sound?

gnox wrote:

I am wondering why this package is not added automatically as a dependency when installing XFCE?

because until you need bluez5 for a headset or bluetooth speaker, pulseaudio isn't needed and is more a disadvantage to alsa, oss or jack

Jerry3904 wrote:

we had users create a hidden file in their home directory named .asoundrc with the following content

which is just the user specific asound.conf...


$ aptitude why gnome   
Unable to find a reason to install gnome.

regards, ssf

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