In 12.04 (and probably previous versions), I have been using the a52 pulse plugin described in https://help.ubuntu.com/community/DigitalAC-3Pulseaudio to allow me to output 5.1 channels over SPDIF from the ALC887 device.
This was all working fine, but since the upgrade to 12.10, something has broken.
I attempted to follow the instructions in the link above (which is admittedly for 12.04) to rebuild the plugin, but the first line:
sudo apt-get build-dep libasound2-plugins
It seems a dependency for libjack0 is uninstalling the mplayer package, which doesn't seem like the right path.
Picking 'alsa-plugins' as source package instead of 'libasound2-plugins'
The following packages have unmet dependencies:
libjack-dev : Depends: libjack0 (= 1:0.121.3+20120418git75e3e20b-2) but it is not going to be installed
E: Build-dependencies for libasound2-plugins could not be satisfied.
I tried to forge ahead and build the plugin anyway, hoping it would work out, and it seemed to build OK - here's the output from ./configure
It seems to have found what it needs to build the A52 plugin. I followed the rest of the instructions and replaced the A52 plugin, and it almost works.
Plugin directory: /usr/lib/alsa-lib
JACK plugin: no
Pulseaudio plugin: yes
Samplerate plugin: yes
Maemo plugin: no
Using Osso resource manager: no
A52, lavc plugins: yes
Speex rate plugin: lib
Speex preprocess plugin: yes
- The "Digital Surround 5.1 (IEC958/AC3) Output" hardware profile shows up under Sound Settings.
- The "Test Speakers" in Sound Settings works, apart from the "Front center" speaker, which outputs to the Front Left and Front Right speakers (I can live with this)
- Banshee / Rhythmbox / Firefox can play audio... for a while. After a couple of minutes, media players start skipping wildly through tracks. This sucks
- Totem / VLC can play videos with 2 channel MP3/whatever audio
- The volume randomly resets itself to maximum
Not working at all:
- Totem / VLC will not play videos with AC3 sound at all. Totem locks up at the first frame, VLC plays video with no audio. The pulseaudio process goes crazy, maxing out a CPU core until the player is closed
If I disable my /etc/asound.conf by renaming it, and don't use the A52 plugin, all these issues go away, but I'm left with only PCM Stereo as an output option, which sort of defeats the purpose of having a surround system.
I'm afraid I've hit the limit of my knowledge, any help is greatly appreciated!