Distorted sound from VLC in Natty

Asked by Brian Smith on 2011-05-17

I don't know if it's a bug or a user problem, so I'll just post something here. I've been using Maverick for a while, and everything worked properly. I recently upgraded to Natty, and the VLC player produces distorted sound. Amarok will play the same file with zero distortion, so I don't think it's an ALSA or Pulse audio issue.

I'm also interested in recording live music through Audacity. I installed the abogani ppa, so I could have the low-latency kernel. I don't know if this contributes to the VLC problem, but I'll put the information out there anyway. Audacity also has distorted sound.

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Ubuntu vlc Edit question
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Brian Smith
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Does gnome-mplayer work ok (I assume gnome desktop)

Yes, gnome mplayer has a clean sound as well. The distortion is only present in VLC and Audacity

Then try:

killall pulseaudio; rm -r ~/.pulse*

then wait about 10 seconds (feel free to use other apps while you wait), then try sound.

I did as you suggested, but VLC still had a lot of distortion during playback.


rm -r ~/.config/vlc

Also what is the output of:

lsb_release -a; apt-cache policy vlc



rm -r ~/.config/vlc

cleaned up the vlc audio.

The output for
lsb_release -a; apt-cache policy vlc
No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description: Ubuntu 11.04
Release: 11.04
Codename: natty
  Installed: 1.1.9-1ubuntu1
  Candidate: 1.1.9-1ubuntu1
  Version table:
 *** 1.1.9-1ubuntu1 0
        500 http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ natty/universe amd64 Packages
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status

Is this now solved?

Well, VLC seems better. I guess I'll continue to troubleshoot Audacity, and perhaps post a new support request if I hit a wall.

brian mullan (bmullan) said : #9

After upgrading to 11.04 natty I also had problems with scratchy type noise with VLC.

I found this suggestion to delete the ~/.config/vlc file and tried it and it seems to have fixed my Audio as well.

I had the same problem, after deleting ~/.config/vlc everything seems to be normal.

Krack (krack3rz) said : #11

i had the same problem, deleting ~/.pulse* fixed it.
I use Oneiric (11.10) and it just started happening one day, namely yesterday (the 29th)

Data Virtue (seanka) said : #12

Having the same issue here. Intially VLC would start out scratchy and then suddenly flip and play perfectly. Now every time I start it the music is scrtachy and distorted. Switched to banshee and find there is now random!! Come on people. Deleted .config/vlc and the problem remains. Impressive.

zibeltbg (zibeltbg) said : #13

Solved!!! The same problem in Kubuntu-need to compile Luggage 1.1.5 -http://mafayyaz.wordpress.com/2010/07/02/hello-world/ and the sound is betther, and no crash

Could get 1.2 with:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:videolan/master-daily; sudo apt-get update; sudo apt-get -y upgrade

This will overwrite your compile. Your call.

Steven Arnold (slarnold) said : #15

I'm running 12.04, and see the same problem. The work-around works... however, the problem comes back at each restart/login, probably because I have the following autostart -

~$ cat .config/autostart/vlc.desktop
Exec=/usr/bin/vlc -I http --http-port 8081

is there another solution?