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Old 03-15-2006, 05:21 PM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Nov 2004
Location: Lancaster, England, UK
Distribution: Ubuntu 10.04
Posts: 25

Rep: Reputation: 15
Audacity Problems

Im having a problem with audacity. i get this message when it starts up:

There was an error initializing the audio i/o layer.
You will not be able to play or record audio.

Error: Host error

any help would be gratefully recieved



im running slackware 10.2 if it makes any difference.
Old 03-16-2006, 10:08 AM   #2
Registered: May 2004
Location: Tampa, Fl
Distribution: Arch
Posts: 648

Rep: Reputation: 30
It has to do with your sound card... For some reason it can't find it.

I have the same issue, on Arch, but haven't gotten around to finding a fix for it.
Old 09-19-2006, 07:03 PM   #3
Registered: Dec 2000
Posts: 112

Rep: Reputation: 15
Audacity error

I have had the same problem.

To solve the problem I installed alsa-oss

I use Ubuntu so I apt-get install alsa-oss

once that was installed I have to open audacity in the terminal by using this command:

aoss audacity
not audacity
Old 09-19-2006, 07:21 PM   #4
Senior Member
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: UK
Distribution: Kubuntu 12.10 (using awesome wm though)
Posts: 3,530

Rep: Reputation: 63
Audacity uses the OSS drivers. AFAIK, programs which use these drivers want the soundcard all to themselves, so if you have any other programs which use the soundcard you have to close them.

The alsa oss thing sometimes works to make OSS programs play nice with others, although I think this depends a lot on your soundcard. Personally I've never had much luck with it.

The most likely program using the soundcard is some sort of sound server. I'm not sure about slackware, but I know lots of distros enable these damn things by default, causing no end of headaches like the one you describe.

In gnome you can disable the sound server in the System -> Preferences -> Sound -> Enable software sound mixing (ESD) [checkbox]

In KDE you can disable the sound server (if one is running) in the System Settings panel -> Sound & Multimedia -> Sound System -> Enable the sound system [checkbox].

Disclaimer, both these config panel instructions are for Ubuntu Dapper, your distro may vary!

Other notable programs which use OSS:

Skype < 1.3 (The new 1.3 beta uses ALSA - yay!)

Enemy Territory and many other games

Flashplayer 7 (version 9 - when it finally arrives will use ALSA apparently)

It's amazing anything still uses it. OSS has been deprecated in the kernel for donkeys years, but somehow the message didn't get out to a lot of people.
Old 09-20-2006, 02:58 PM   #5
Registered: Dec 2000
Posts: 112

Rep: Reputation: 15
Great adice.

I disabled the sound server in Ubuntu and Audacity worked fine.

The time it started giving me the host problem was when I had installed realplayer.

It all seems ok now.



audacity, error, oss

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