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24756Re: USB Sound dongles with NSLU2

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  • harshbaste
    Jan 25, 2011
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      Just wanted to send out an update (with thanks) on this thread if anyone else wants to see how my experience with this went.

      I managed to find 2 sound dongles - one with a CM108 and the other with a CM119. Both of them work surprisingly (!) well though the CM119 seems to sound a shade better. I've hooked up the Slug to my Marantz to port 2 via a hub and get clean sound, almost no discernible distortion. A 320 bitrate file puts up about 17% CPU load on my Turboslug on SlugOS 5.3BE. Even with a large filecopy going on in the background there is no trouble with playback.

      The only couple of oddities I've noticed is:

      - The /dev/dsp and /dev/mixer char special files disappear on reboot. I'd like to understand better why that happens but for the moment I've fixed it by mknod'ing them via rc3.d

      - The instructions here (http://www.nslu2-linux.org/wiki/HowTo/SlugAsAudioPlayer) work perfectly if I use the instructions on unslung for SlugOS. I first tried the SlugOS using alsa but all I got was static right from the speaker test onwards. Using the instructions for uNSLUng, they worked right away.

      - I cannot seem to be able to play anything by non-root using madplay. Not sure why this happens (will figure it out eventually but its no showstopper)

      If anyone wants to volunteer info on why the above happens, please do! But thanks for the advice in general on this query - was definitely helpful in picking the right hardware to make this happen :).


      --- In nslu2-linux@yahoogroups.com, "M.J. Johnson" <threeeyedtoad@...> wrote:
      > Correction: the CM108 chipset was necessary to utilize 44.1 kHz sample
      > rate (which is what all my music is sampled at). 48 kHz was the only sample
      > rate most other USB playback devices supported... not a problem if you've
      > got tons of processing power to change the sample rate on the fly, but not a
      > luxury with the Slug.
      > On Tue, Nov 23, 2010 at 12:47 PM, M.J. Johnson <threeeyedtoad@...>wrote:
      > > I did this dance a couple of years ago with some learning curve.
      > >
      > > Bottom line: I was only able to make this work on Unslung 6.10 with a
      > > USB that had the prescribed C-Media chipset. I ended up with a USB audio
      > > device that has a CM108 chipset.
      > >
      > > https://www.microbarn.com/details.aspx?rid=102065
      > >
      > > Without the CM108 chipset, I was only able to utilize playback with
      > > audio output at 44.1 kHz sample rates. MPD (which is my primary, nay, ONLY
      > > playback source) output in my setup is at 48 kHz, which made for a mess
      > > without the CM108 chipset.
      > >
      > > The SlugAsAudioPlayer page on the wiki is very good, and I was able to
      > > follow the directions completely. Note that the guidance there regarding
      > > the use of USB hubs is accurate. I was unable to use the audio device while
      > > plugged into a 2.0 hub. I ended up with a configuration that has the audio
      > > device as well as the flash drive with Unslung 6.10 plugged into a 1.2 USB
      > > hub (in Port 2). My external hard drives are all plugged into a 2.0 hub (in
      > > Port 1).
      > >
      > > Good luck!
      > >
      > >
      > > On Tue, Nov 23, 2010 at 12:04 PM, Harsh <harshbaste@...> wrote:
      > >
      > >>
      > >>
      > >> Hi all,
      > >>
      > >> Just wanted to know what experiences people have had with USB sound
      > >> dongles on the NSLU2 / SlugOS. The site lists really old and eol'd hardware
      > >> so wanted recommendations on newer hardware if possible. Does anyone have
      > >> any experience with a Creative SB1140 USB card e.g. How good does it sound /
      > >> is there any distortion?
      > >>
      > >> Thanks,
      > >> H
      > >>
      > >>
      > >>
      > >
      > >
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