Well well, after a brief hiatus, I’ve returned with a brand new installation of Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron. I was most excited about trying out KDE 4, but was quickly advised against it. I guess I’ll just wait till KDE 4.1 comes out in the summer.
Thus, I have stayed with Gnome 2.22. My theme is back to something a little darker than ordinary to save the eyes, and I finally managed to get the dual monitor setup working again. The next thing on the list was to try out the shiny new PulseAudio daemon to see if I could get my Zalman ZM-RSSC working out of the box.
I played with Ubuntu guides for 5.1 with PulseAudio using alsa sinks…all that went downhill. I grudgingly loaded up my old .asoundrc file from Gutsy and instantly began enjoying sound through ALSA…
…until I noticed that PulseAudio in Settings –> Sound was automatically detecting a “surround51″ sink…could it be possible?
Hurriedly, I erased everything in .asoundrc and replaced it with this:
Then I changed sound settings to use PulseAudio for everything. The sound check worked! I loaded up my favourite Hed Kandi playlists into Amarok and I now enjoy crisp 5.1 surround sound without any of the ALSA hassle.
Of course, Firefox still won’t play any audio through FlashPlayer…
EDIT: I got it working!
Since the Zalman card was detected as card number #1 (onboard sound was card #0), Firefox doesn’t know how to output sound to card 1.
1) Blacklist snd_intel8x0 (onboard sound)
2) Delete libasound_module_pcm_pulse.la and libasound_module_pcm_pulse.so from /usr/lib/alsa-lib/ if they exist.
3) Edit the file: /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base and change the “-2″ next to snd_usb_audio to “0″ (telling it to assign a value of 0 to the USB sound card).
4) Install the alsa-oss package.
Now, `aplay -l` should show “Card 0″ next to the Zalman card.
Firefox will now use ALSA to output sound to 2 speakers. All other applications will continue to use PulseAudio for 5 speaker sound. Best workaround for now.
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