Odd distortion when playing music & scrolling

October 24, 2011 at 13:57:55
Specs: Linux Mint 11 "Katya" 32-bit, 2 GHz / 2046 MB
Distro: Linux Mint A "Katya"

This is exactly the problem I'm having, but, sadly, I rarely find the Google Help forums to be of any actual help, so I'm coming here.

When navigating (esp. scrolling) in Google Chrome, as well as Firefox, any sound that is playing outside of the browser (eg. music from Banshee) is filled with horrible crackling noises. I use Chrome across all my Windows installations (even at school!) and sync everything, bookmarks, even extensions. I have no desire to use anything else, and Firefox also experiences this issue, anyway. This is a major issue (at first I thought I was hearing those sounds b/c my music's on another partition, on another hard drive, but soon narrowed it down to the browsers).

Just to clarify, I get no crackling/distortion in my Windows 7 installation. I use onboard sound, with the rear green, red, and blue ports connected to my 5.1 system (sound works fine everywhere, except for this crackling noise).

I'm thinking it's got something to do with the sound drivers, but it's typical onboard Realtek (I think).

aplay -l
**** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices ****
card 0: V8237 [VIA 8237], device 0: VIA 8237 [VIA 8237]
  Subdevices: 4/4
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
  Subdevice #1: subdevice #1
  Subdevice #2: subdevice #2
  Subdevice #3: subdevice #3
card 0: V8237 [VIA 8237], device 1: VIA 8237 [VIA 8237]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0

By the way, I wasn't sure where to post this, if it would be under general, hardware (sound drivers), or web browsing (as this only happens when scrolling in a browser).

See More: Odd distortion when playing music & scrolling

October 25, 2011 at 12:46:21
Boot to another distro live cd first. A few offer chrome default but a most can be added on while booted from a live cd. Try fedora or opensuse so that the base distro has changed. Ubuntu may work but too similar to mint. Just a test.

1/3 of highway deaths are caused by drunks. The rest are by people who can't drive any better than a drunk.

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October 25, 2011 at 14:37:58
I switched to Ubuntu, but I'm not sure if that worked. I had the sound turned to 100%, and I heard the crackling still. But then I turned it down to "Unamplified", and, while I have to turn up my speakers more than I do on Windows in order to hear anything, the problem seems to have disappeared. Perhaps it's because I had the sound level too high, and that was causing distortion? If so, that's silly, because I got rid of a perfectly good distro for Ubuntu, which is still good, but... ah, well. I'm not going to reinstall Mint. If I have more problems, I'll try openSUSE next, or Fedora.

EDIT: Okay, I just opened System Monitor while Chrome was open and Banshee was playing, and I saw that, while I was scrolling, CPU usage jumped by around 20-30% from around 45%. Simply from scolling.
It's no wonder I'm still experiencing sound issues! The CPU handles sound on my system, as I have no dedicated sound card, which normally wouldn't be a problem; however, when the CPU is taxed as much as it is, it becomes a problem (like a bottleneck or something). Unfortunately, I have no easy way to upgrade the CPU from the Athlon 64 3200+ it is to anything else, including a dual core, so I'll have to make do with what I have.

Is there a distro that is just as "pretty" as Ubuntu is, but less taxing on resources?

EDIT: Just to be clear, I still have the crackling/distortion issue. It's only slightly better now, but it gets really bad when loading multiple tabs and typing/scrolling in another.

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October 26, 2011 at 20:04:48
I get the feeling I suggested to not use ubuntu and try a few others.

1/3 of highway deaths are caused by drunks. The rest are by people who can't drive any better than a drunk.

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October 27, 2011 at 13:32:51
Well, I should have posted this earlier, because now I feel like an idiot.

You know what the (main) problem was?

I had the volume at "100%" instead of "Unamplified". Now, when I play music, if it still crackles, I barely notice, if at all.

Thanks for the help, though!

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