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Old 06-30-2008, 02:48 PM
Iain Buchanan
Default weird gnome vol control behaviour

Hi all,

Just got a new Dell Precision M6300, with Intel audio which identifies

00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) HD Audio
Controller (rev 02)

and uses the good ol' snd_hda_intel module
(2.6.25-tuxonice-r4). /etc/modprobe.d/alsa is full of the usual guff:

alias char-major-116 snd
alias char-major-14 soundcore
alias snd-card-0 snd-hda-intel
alias sound-service-0-0 snd-mixer-oss
alias sound-service-0-1 snd-seq-oss
alias sound-service-0-3 snd-pcm-oss
alias sound-service-0-8 snd-seq-oss
alias sound-service-0-12 snd-pcm-oss
alias /dev/mixer snd-mixer-oss
alias /dev/dsp snd-pcm-oss
alias /dev/midi snd-seq-oss
options snd cards_limit=1

Now to the problems: The Gnome volume control app
(gnome-volume-control) doesn't always show all mixers, nor does alsa
restore the mixer settings the same. gnome-volume-control starts in
various ways, the most common like this:

Master vol
Front vol (muted)
no PCM fader

Master vol
Front vol (muted)
PCM fader present

The problem with the first instance, is that I use the PCM volume as a
"master" because it's the only channel that controls both the headphones
and the front speakers. If I remove and then add the applet, the
correct faders usually (but not always) appear.

The second problem I have, is that when changing the volume level using
a stereo slider, the stereo "lock" keeps unlocking, and I end up
changing one channel only. This can happen immediatly, so it is not
possible to change both channels together, or only occasionally.

And the third problem, is that the media volume hotkeys (those extra
keys labelled mute, play, pause, etc) only seem to change the channel
named "Master", and not a channel of my choosing (Master is only good
for the built-in speakers, not the headphone or digital outputs).

I've played with various options in /etc/conf.d/alsasound and other misc
things, but I can't seem to make a difference. I never had this problem
with my last ~x86 laptop, but it had different hw.

thanks for any tips!
Iain Buchanan <iaindb at netspace dot net dot au>

Einstein argued that there must be simplified explanations of nature, because
God is not capricious or arbitrary. No such faith comforts the software
- Fred Brooks, Jr.

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