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Grenville Grimace 07-01-2006 06:46 PM

USB Audio and Linux
Hello All.

Does anybody out there have experience with USB audio devices under Linux?

Here's the reason I ask:

Back when I ran my computer under Windows 98SE, I used a Creative SoundBlaster MP3+ USB audio device for my music playback. When I switched to Linux, (currently Mandriva PowerPack 2006) I just assumed that the thing would not work, so never actually bothered to try it.

Today, on a whim I dug the thing out (blew the dust off it) and plugged it in...

Linux recognises the device. Mandriva Linux Control Centre lists it as 'USB sound devices/USB Audio' with this information:

Vendor: ‎Unknown

Description: ‎USB Audio

Media class: ‎Audio|Control Device

Bus: ‎USB

Bus PCI #: ‎1

PCI device #: ‎3

Vendor ID: ‎1054

Device ID: ‎12304

Module: ‎snd-usb-audio

Also, in addition, KMix lists the device as an available mixer, correctly identified as a Sound Blaster MP3+

But, there is no sound to be heard...

It would make my day if I could get the thing to work, so any thoughts or suggestions would be very appreciated.



TuxSurfer 07-02-2006 04:22 PM

Have you tried to reboot with it plugged in? I have a USB Headset that is recognized but only seems to work if I boot with it plugged in. Just a thought.

Grenville Grimace 07-02-2006 05:54 PM


This is what I've discovered myself by trial and error.

Cold starting or rebooting with the MP3+ in place makes no difference. The device comes up as recognised, but with no sound output present.


The Creative SoundBlaster MP3+ USB audio device definitely DOES work under Linux.

But for some reason it will not co-exist with on-board sound if that is enabled. Disable on-board audio in the bios so that the usb device is the ONLY audio device present on boot and it works.

Sound quality is ok-ish, though glitches somewhat.

Re-enable on-board audio and the MP3+ device ceases to work once again. (Even though all indications are that it should, as outlined in my previous post at the start of this thread.)

Am I, therefore to assume that Linux can only handle one audio device at a time? Is there a workaround to make it use more than one, or a method to switch between devices, as I would be able to if I were running Windows? Or is this a known limitation that I just wasn't aware of?



TuxSurfer 07-03-2006 10:47 AM

I know that linux has a bit of a problem with multiple sound devices but I don't believe it is impossible. My USB headset is listed as a sound card even though it is not. I have to change the device in the mixer then reboot or logout and log back in to get it to work. I should mention that it only works on my Ubuntu box. SuSE could'nt get it work and I haven't figured it out yet on my Debian box. You may want to tell us your distrobution and whether you use KDE or Gnome or other and maybe someone else can jump in here with a suggestion. I wish I could be of more help.



Grenville Grimace 07-03-2006 01:25 PM

Thanks for your reply.

I'm using Mandriva 2006 PowerPack (Official 32Bit), my desktop is KDE 3.4. Apart from being fully updated the installation is 'straight out of the box'.



maxsue 07-03-2006 05:52 PM


is this the same prob with a Logitec AK5730 microphone?

I saw a driver somewhere that enabled KMix to use one device for input and another for output, but I'm darned if I can find it now!!!


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