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Pulseaudio networking almost OK, tunnel KO


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I have my own server now (reuse of former “salonâ€). And I thought it would be nice to have this server hooked up to the HiFi, and thus enable any PC on the LAN to send sound to the HiFi!


Setup was not straightforward, none the least because Mandriva's paprefs seems to be partly broken, and there's ZERO documentation on Pulseaudio networking on Mandriva. Still, I managed; all in all, it's just a matter of:

— adding

load-module module-native-protocol-tcp
load-module module-zeroconf-publish

to /etc/pulse/default.pa on the (Debian) server,

— adding

load-module module-zeroconf-discover

to /etc/pulse/default.pa on the (Mandriva) client,

— managing authentication, either through ACL or with cookies.


Alternately, the whole zeroconf parts can be replaced by a single line on the client side (I got this line thanks to paman; it was probably generated by zeroconf-discover in the first place):

load-module module-tunnel-sink server=[my_server_IP]:4713 sink=alsa_output.hw_0 format=s16le channels=2 rate=44100 sink_name=tunnel.sphinx.local.alsa_output.hw_0 channel_map=front-left,front-right


Anyway, I still have two problems, which are probably related:


1/ Very chopped sound, and freezed video, when using the tunnelled sink


When I play a wav file with VLC, I only get an occasional bit of sound once in a while, even though VLC's slider seems to run fine.

Curiously, when I play the same wav file with mplayer, the sound gets perfectly to the speakers. However, mplayer itself seems to be lost. It displays a line about like this:

A:   0.1 (00.1) of 1.0 (00:01.0)  0.1% 

with no apparent trend up in the numbers and a regular flash of “unknown†(if I saw correctly) between the first pair of brackets.

As for video, still with mplayer, it takes ages to actually start, and then, I have sound but no video, and mplayer is extremely slow to respond to key strokes.


I must add that networking itself is not at fault. If, instead of relying on the tunnelled sink, I change of server with

PULSE_SERVER=my_server mplayer ~/my_wav_file.wav

then it is as good as with a local sink (which is not perfect, see below)…


So it is obviously a tunnel-specific problem. Unfortunately, changing of PA server is not an option for me, because Mandriva's pavucontrol (pulseaudio 0.9.21) seems unable to connect to Debian's daemon (pulseaudio 0.9.10): I get an error about pa_context_get_card_info_list being “Not supportedâ€.


2/ Spurious pauses in video playback when using local sinks


Now with local playback. As soon as a remote sink is available, be it through zeroconf, or directly with the tunnel-sink module, then local video playback on local sinks with any player (VLC, mplayer, xine) plays fine, EXCEPT (that's a big except…) every 5 minutes or so, there's a more-or-less-15-second pause in playback!


So for now, I'm back to square one, with both “module-zeroconf-discover†and “module-tunnel-sink†disabled on the client side (no Pulseaudio network)…


Is there a Pulseaudio veteran here that would have advice, tips, or anything to help me?




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