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skunkworx
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Joined: 02 Feb 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 2:10 am    Post subject: ALSA and music CDs on an OldWorld Mac Reply with quote

Hello all.

With the switch to the 2.6 kernel tree, I decided to also make the switch from OSS to ALSA. It was a bit of a challenge, but I finally have ALSA working with kernel 2.6.7-gentoo-r14 on my PowerMac 7300 and its built-in sound hardware, complete with OSS emulation. The only problem is, I can't get music CDs to play.

I keep a light system, and the only program I have to play music CDs is XMMS. When I set it to play music CDs with analog audio, I hear nothing. I believe this is because the CD mixer is muted, but I can't seem to unmute it. I use wmsmixer along with gkrellm, which means I'm relying on OSS emulation to use the volume controls, and while the controls for the internal and external speakers work fine, the CD control is pegged at 100 and won't respond. I also have the ALSA utilities package installed, and amixer gives curious output:

Code:

Simple mixer control 'Master',0
  Capabilities: pvolume pswitch pswitch-joined cswitch cswitch-joined
  Playback channels: Front Left - Front Right
  Capture channels: Mono
  Limits: Playback 0 - 15
  Mono: Capture [off]
  Front Left: Playback 15 [100%] [on]
  Front Right: Playback 15 [100%] [on]
Simple mixer control 'Headphone Detection',0
  Capabilities: pswitch pswitch-joined
  Playback channels: Mono
  Mono: Playback [on]
Simple mixer control 'Line',0
  Capabilities: cswitch cswitch-joined
  Capture channels: Mono
  Mono: Capture [off]
Simple mixer control 'CD',0
  Capabilities: cswitch cswitch-joined
  Capture channels: Mono
  Mono: Capture [on]
Simple mixer control 'Mic',0
  Capabilities: cswitch cswitch-joined
  Capture channels: Mono
  Mono: Capture [off]
Simple mixer control 'Mic Boost',0
  Capabilities: pswitch pswitch-joined
  Playback channels: Mono
  Mono: Playback [on]
Simple mixer control 'PC Speaker',0
  Capabilities: pvolume pswitch pswitch-joined
  Playback channels: Front Left - Front Right
  Limits: Playback 0 - 15
  Front Left: Playback 0 [0%] [off]
  Front Right: Playback 0 [0%] [off]
Simple mixer control 'Capture',0
  Capabilities: cvolume
  Capture channels: Front Left - Front Right
  Limits: Capture 0 - 15
  Front Left: Capture 15 [100%]
  Front Right: Capture 15 [100%]
Simple mixer control 'Auto Mute',0
  Capabilities: pswitch pswitch-joined
  Playback channels: Mono
  Mono: Playback [on]


If I'm reading that right, it seems ALSA hasn't even provided a volume slider for the CD!

To complicate matters, XMMS will not play CDs using digital audio extraction, either. Its self-test fails, stating there is an "input/output error." However, cdparanoia does work, and even with the same non-root user that I'm trying to run XMMS with, so it is possible to rip audio CDs digitally on this system.

Any hints will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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nodamnsense
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2004 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i only recently finally got audio cd playing on my ppc and x86. i had the same symptoms. the cd tracks appeared to be playing, but no sound. the problem was that every program i tried for playing audio cds used the analog channel.

i read that the digital goes through the ide cable while the analog goes through some other cable which i never connected on my x86 and only now remember seeing at all. the cdrom on my oldworld ppc doesn't have one at all and i'd be surprised if the motherboard supported it.

so with xmms i can select digital audio extraction and get sound. maybe your best bet is to get this working. my system is an oldworld beige g3. i'm using alsa with no oss emulation. i got my hands on a generic sound card that works wiith alsa. i never got alsa working with whatever onboard sound is on this thing.

also, if the audio output was analog i can still get sound from the cdrom's headphone jack (on my x86. my ppc cdrom doesn't have one or i'd test it for you). which i guess is furthur evidence that the signal is just not getting to my sound card. so if your cdrom has it's own headphone jack, maybe it's already putting out a signal
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skunkworx
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2004 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nodamnsense wrote:
i only recently finally got audio cd playing on my ppc and x86... the problem was that every program i tried for playing audio cds used the analog channel.

i read that the digital goes through the ide cable while the analog goes through some other cable which i never connected on my x86 and only now remember seeing at all.


Yes, that cable is basically the same thing as the patch cable that goes between a stereo receiver and a CD player (or tape player, or DVD player, or VCR, etc.), only a lot smaller. When "analog" play is selected, the CD drive itself reads the CD and generates the sound, which is fed over that cable to the sound card. Macintoshes (those that support internal CD drives, anyway) are and always have been capable of playing audio CDs this way. When using OSS, or when running in MacOS, I can play audio CDs without any trouble, using the analog connection. It's only in ALSA that there is trouble, and I suspect it's because the PowerMac audio ALSA driver does not support the CD volume slider. Perhaps it doesn't support any of the PowerMac audio hardware's analog capabilities.

nodamnsense wrote:
so with xmms i can select digital audio extraction and get sound. maybe your best bet is to get this working.


I'd love to, but right now I'm at a loss. The permissions aren't an issue, and XMMS isn't offering any clues about what the problem realy is. Perhaps an strace would help...

nodamnsense wrote:
my system is an oldworld beige g3. i'm using alsa with no oss emulation. i got my hands on a generic sound card that works wiith alsa. i never got alsa working with whatever onboard sound is on this thing.


That's comforting. :)

I suppose I could put another sound card in this thing, but that would use up my last PCI slot, and I was having vague thoughts about adding an extra video card instead. Oh well.

nodamnsense wrote:
also, if the audio output was analog i can still get sound from the cdrom's headphone jack (on my x86. my ppc cdrom doesn't have one or i'd test it for you).


No headphone jack here either, I'm afraid.

Thanks for the reply! At least I know now it's not just me.
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