Napster web service won’t steam some songs

If you’re using the napster web service and find that random songs stop streaming properly, interrupting your (awesome) playlist, there may be a simple fix:

1. Clear your browser cache

If unsure how to do this, please google “clear [browser name] cache”, where browser name is either “Internet Explorer”, “Firefox”, “Chrome”, etc.

2. Clear your flash cache

I didn’t know about this one, but if you browse to the Flash Settings Manager page, you can delete your Flash cache.

3. For good luck, close your browser and re-open it

Seems to have done to trick for me, now I can listen to albums and playlists without playback stopping anymore! Only thing is the issue seems to reproduce itself every now and again.

Change volume key step size in Ubuntu

At work we often listen to music off of my computer, so when the phone rings I have to quickly adjust the volume. Using the volume keys on my keyboard I could have the music either really loud or too quiet.

So, to change the effect the volume keys have:

  1. Press Alt+F2 to bring up the “Run” box.
  2. Type in “gconf-editor” and press enter.
  3. Select “Apps > gnome_settings_daemon
  4. On the right hand side you’ll have a single option named “volume_step
  5. Change the numerical value (6 by default) to a lower one (3 seems pretty good)


Ubuntu 9.10 Rhythmbox requires GStreamer element autoaudiosink to play mp3’s

I recently upgraded my work PC to Ubuntu 9.10 and in doing so lost the ability to play mp3s in Rhythmbox. When trying to play an mp3, rhythmbox would ask for a new plugin, but after looking, say it couldn’t find “GStreamer element autoaudiosink”.

After reinstalling gstreamer and rhythmbox a few times I turned to the Ubuntu Forums. The answer is in the following thread, but I missed it on first glance so thought I’d post it here: [ubuntu] rhythmbox 9.10 mp3

To save you reading through all the posts, to fix the problem after upgrading to 9.10 (not from a clean install), you need to delete your gstream preferences. Open up the terminal and type the following:

rm -rf ~/.gconf/system/gstreamer
rm -rf ~/.gstreamer-0.10

If you log off and back on again now, you should have mp3 playback in rhythmbox again. If that doesn’t work, take a look at the other suggestions in the ubuntu forum thread.

Get 5.1 surround sound in ubuntu with Realtek ACL662

Just switched over to Ubuntu as my primary OS and been working (hard) get to get everything working properly. Still worth it thought.

Anyway, one of the more difficult problems was getting 5.1 sound out of the sound card in Ubuntu. The motherboard has a built-in 5.1 sound card, the realtek ACL662. Some people have little trouble enabling surround sound but there seems to be an issue with this card. I managed to find a solution by merging a few ideas together.

Here are the steps I took:

  1. By default, Ubuntu is only set to run 2 sound channels (left and right). To enable 6 channels (5.1) we need to edit the sound config file. Theres an excellent tutorial for doing that here. But put simply, edit /etc/pulse/daemon.conf and uncomment the line "; default-sample-channels = 2", changing it to "default-sample-channels = 6"
  2. The most important part for this card. Edit /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base and add "options snd-hda-intel model=3stack-6ch-dig" to the end of the file.
  3. Restart the machine.
  4. Open sound preferences (System > Preferences > Sound)
  5. Make sure that the ALSA mixer is selected.
  6. Bring up the sound mixer.
  7. Hopefully, the “Front, Center, Surround & LFE” sliders will be available. If not try to add them by clicking on Properties.
  8. Make sure all sliders are on full.
  9. Still on the mixer, go to the ‘Options’ tab and set ‘Channel mode’ to ‘6ch’.
  10. Ok everything and close the mixer.
  11. To test, at the command line try "$ speaker-test -Dplug:surround51 -c6 -l1 -twav"

Hopefully that’ll do it. If not, there are a tonne of other guides if you search for “Ubuntu 5.1 sound”. Checkout the forum post that helped me find this solution here, at the Ubuntu forums.

If options 7 and/or 9 aren’t available to you, I’d guess the fix hasn’t solved your problem.