Fixing garbled or popping sound on Intel sound cards in Ubuntu Karmic
Enhancing my love/hate relationship (towards the “hate” side) with Ubuntu is a nasty audio glitch introduced in Karmic for some Intel sound cards. Different people describe it differently: I’ve heard it described as random “popping,” but my symptom is more like “laptop randomly starts sounding like a garbage disposal until you run killall pulseaudio”. I’ll be listening to an MP3 through Banshee, and randomly when it goes to the next track, every subsequent sound will sound like a train wreck until I kill the pulseaudio process. Some MP3s are more consistent than others with this problem.
Either way, I’ve found a potential fix for this problem. Here goes:
Open the ALSA configuration file using GEdit as root from the terminal:
gksudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf
At the very end, you should find a line that looks like this:
# Power down HDA controllers after 10 idle seconds options snd-hda-intel power_save=10 power_save_controller=N
You want to comment out the line starting with options, so that it looks like this:
# Power down HDA controllers after 10 idle seconds #options snd-hda-intel power_save=10 power_save_controller=N
Save the file and restart Pulseaudio by running:
That should solve your sound problems.