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[tlug] Sounds of Silence

It's Summer, work is slow, so I decided to do a bunch of improvements to my OS and hardware and broke them instead. I've lost the ability to listen to audio streams or hear the sound which accompanies online video -- such as BBC and CNN news feeds. I can hear event sounds and can hear proper analogue stereo output through the speakers when in the Audio Setup page. I can also hear some event sounds in some programs -- like the game Shisen-sho -- but not in other games with streaming audio -- like Super Tux. I can play music CDs with Audigy, but not video DVDs (which is Not A Big Thing since the movie DVD / Blu-Ray playing machine is the one "over there" attached to the television (as HDMI 4) and has all Medibuntu upgrades, which this "work" machine hasn't).

Changes I made since having a working Kubuntu 13.04 (five desktops) + VirtualBox 4.1.26 running WIN XP:

- "Upgraded" WIN XP to WIN 7 32-bit; but DID NOT upgrade VirtualBox (4.2 version runs flaky on this box).
- Added a webcam -- a USB Elecom UCAM-DLE-300T.
- Added an iBuffalo -- a USB microphone / headset (which I want for VOIP use only) but kept the standard speakers, which I want to use for regular sounds and noises (the problem began before this was installed, I just added complexity).
- Upgraded Skype for Linux to latest version.
- Firefox may have self-upgraded to a later version during this adventure.

PC is home built with a six-core AMD CPU and 8Gb of memory (only two memory slots). Main OS is Kubuntu 13.04 amd-64. I have several issues that have popped up but want to fix them one at a time and think that correcting this sound issue is the most important. I have been all over the Kubuntu users groups for 4~5 days and don't see anything that answers my concerns directly.

I was having problems with buzzy speakers when they were plugged into the mobo connections, so I dragged out my old reliable Creative Audigy 24 PCI sound card. Buzzing stopped. I could play audio CDs and had sound to accompany all Firefox video content. In Firefox, I have specified the VLC plugin(s) in all areas that aren't handled by Flash or Shockwave. When I installed WIN 7 in VirtualBox, it self-selected OSS Audio over the old reliable PulseAudio and selected a different controller. After that, I had no sound in Linux, either. I re-set the Audio to the same sound settings as I'd had when using WIN XP as a VirtualBox, along with all of the other "old" settings" which worked fine in WIN 7.

Everything I have set up is configured for basic analogue stereo (two front speakers). Kubuntu "sees" the HDMI controller on my video card (HDMI), which is connected to the TV (as HDMI 1) but isn't configured for video server output ... yet. It also sees the Audigy card (CA0106) and headset (CM108, which is suddenly greyed out as I check while writing this up) and sees the onboard audio when it is switched on in BIOS (it is turned off now and was before the problem started). I have set preferences for the Audigy card, then HDMI, then the headset, which Skype can't find as a discrete unit and is an upcoming problem to solve after this one is done.

When I restart the system, the preferred device is automatically reset to the HDMI controller by Kubuntu. I can play the startup sounds through the speakers during testing but they do not play when I restart the system. Speakers work when I test stereo output (KDE Mixer -> Playback Streams -> Settings -> Audio Setup) but not in general use.

I have reached a point where I have too much information and not enough ideas for solutions. Can someone else see what I am getting wrong?


I can

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