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Old 10-04-2004, 07:15 PM   #1
rsarson
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Registered: May 2003
Distribution: Linux Mint
Posts: 36

Rep: Reputation: 15
no sound in English when playing DVD's in xine using ALSA


Hello!

I have a weird problem here... if I play a DVD in xine using ALSA and select English as the language, I don't hear anything. If I choose another language, like French say, everything works fine (except I don't understand French). Also, if I choose a different audio driver, like oss, I can hear English just fine, too. Why can't I hear English using ALSA? It used to work fine and although I'm not sure exactly when this problem started, I do know it hasn't worked since I've upgraded to Fedora Core 2, if that helps. And I've noticed that most DVD's have "Dolby 5.1" after the English option versus just a "normal" setting for the other languages... could this be a factor?

Lastly, could someone point me to some sites that explain all the different terminology used in various programs, like xine and ALSA. For example, in xine, what is a52 dynamic range compression and when and when shouldn't I use it? Or in gnome-alsamixer, what's sigmatel 4-speaker stereo? is it "better" or is it used for something specific. Or what is 3D control, etc, etc, etc... I havn't had much luck with the documentation I've found... it seems like there's an assumption that people who are using the software, already know what the terminology means and therefore, don't bother explaining what stuff is. I'm willing to learn if you give me some sites.

Thanks,
Ryan
 
Old 10-06-2004, 03:05 AM   #2
mithrascruor
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Oct 2004
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 18

Rep: Reputation: 0
I'm having the same problem using MPlayer under Debian Sarge. (Linux 2.6.8)
Soundcard is Creative Audigy 2. Running with ALSA EMU10K1.
I've tried both MPlayer 1.0pre5 and the latest one from CVS. Using '-channels 6' (i.e Dolby 5.1) the soundtrack (i.e. no speech) plays fine in surround sound, but the English audio track doesn't play. WIth one DVD I'm trying there are 4 audio track options:
English - Dolby Digital 5.1 (no audio)
English - DIgital Theatre System 5.1 (just noise)
French - Dolby DIgital 5.1 (plays fine)
English - Dolby Digital Stereo (plays the directors commentary, or something similarly worthless in this context)

with another DVD (soundtrack again plays fine):
English - Dolby Digital 5.1 (no audio)
English - Dolby Digital Stereo (plays audio track fine)

I've played around with all the levels in alsamixer. It works with the '-channels 4' option to MPlayer, but that's to be expected since it's just telling it to use 4-speaker surround sound.

The audio codec that MPlayer is using is 'AC3 decoding with liba52' which seems like it's the correct one from stuff I've read in the MPlayer documentation. There might be a little problem with the audio drivers in MPlayer. At least under gmplayer it lists the only available drivers as: mpegp, oss, null, and pcm. I've been using oss. (For some reason I can't get MPlayer to recognize that I have ALSA - i've installed alsa-headers and all too - while this is a different issue if anyone can point me in the right direction that would be great).

Since two people are having this same problem with two different players, it looks like it could be some problem not related to the DVD player software...

BTW, Ryan - I don't know much of anything about the digital audio stuff either (i.e. 3-D Control, etc.) and don't know of any good resources (just got this setup last week). However, 4-speaker stereo is what there was before Dolby 5.1 - basically you have your Front Right, Front Left, Rear Right, and Rear Left speakers.

Thanks all!

--
Kyle
 
Old 10-06-2004, 04:46 AM   #3
mithrascruor
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Oct 2004
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 18

Rep: Reputation: 0
Actually I just solved this on my machine. Seems that the problem was that it was going though the OSS driver in MPlayer. I got the ALSA driver working (had to install libasound2-dev - I thought alsa-headers included that stuff) and once I modified a few things it seems to work.

But looking at gxine (i just installed it on my machine, but i'm too tired right now to get it to decrypt dvds) there are some options under File -> Preferences -> Audio

Make sure speaker_arrangement="Surround 5.1" and alsa_mixer_name = "PCM" and driver = 'alsa'.
alsa_surround51_device should probably be something like "plug:surround51:0" or "surround51".

The mixer and device names are similar to the ones I used in MPlayer.

Hope that can be of some help!

--
Kyle
 
Old 10-09-2004, 05:19 PM   #4
rsarson
Member
 
Registered: May 2003
Distribution: Linux Mint
Posts: 36

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Hey Kyle!

Thanks for the replies. I was able to fix my problem, too. My solution was a little different than yours, though...

My speaker_arrangement="Surround 4.1" (because that's what I have), my alsa_mixer_name = "PCM" and my driver = 'alsa', much like you said. The difference was the alsa_surround51_device. It was originally "plug:surround51:0", like you said, but that didn't work. After some fiddling around and reading the http://alsa.opensrc.org/faq/, I was able to figure out that if I changed the "device used for 4-channel output" AND "device used for 5.1 channel out" to "plug:dmix" instead of "plug:surround40:0" and "plug:surround51:0", everything works fine. I'm not exactly sure why this works, but I'm happy.

I now have another question about xine. When I change the "tips timeout" (in the gui section of the setup screen) nothing changes. It's frustrating, because whenever I scroll over one of the settings, the explanation appears for only a split second, making it impossible for me to read what that setting does. Is this a clich, or am I confused about what gui tips are? (I also can't turn them off, even if the "gui tips visibity" is NOT selected).

Thanks,
Ryan
 
  


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