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Distribution: PCLinuxOS 0.93 and 0.92, Vector sometimes
Indeed it should. All Linux distros need an audio feed from your CDROM in order to play audio Cds. If the cable isn't there, no audio CD sound. Absolutely every other sound will play perfectly, except CD audio.
Distribution: Ubuntu 11.4,DD-WRT micro plus ssh,lfs-6.6,Fedora 15,Fedora 16
that's right, when playing dvds or vcds, the audio stream are being handled by the processor and then output to the soundcard through the data bus, but when playig audio cds, the cdrom acts as nothing but an overglorified cdplayer, the only thing your computer's processesor does is send it control signals to switch tracks, start playing, stop playing, etc , if you look at the back of the cdrom you should see a plug that says audio output, even perhaps a digital audio out, at least one of these should be attached to the sound card via an internal audio cable.