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Since posting this question, it has been revealed that the problem was with mpd — not Flash. Here is the question I posted in an attempt to find a fix.

Every time a Flash object with sound (such as a video) loads in my browser (Chromium or Firefox), it seems to break Pulseaudio. Further Flash content will play just fine, but other software, such as MPD, will not be heard. I can reset this problem by ensuring that no instance of Flash are running in my browser and running pulseaudio -k, but the problem just comes back as soon as another Flash object initialises.

In being a little more specific, if I have sound playing (such as with MPD) and load a Flash object, sound continues to play but Flash doesn't output any sound. If I stop playing sound and then load the Flash object, Flash gets sound and seemingly takes control of Pulseaudio until pulseaudio -k.

May or may not be related: When Flash doesn't get to output sound it tends to crash Chromium. I can't say if this is only when Flash gets control of Pulseaudio or not, as it doesn't always crash.

I'm running the latest version of Flash, just downloaded and installed from Adobe's site using their 32-bit deb. I have tried flashplugin-installer but the problem is the same. Running Ubuntu 10.10.

Any idea how I can fix this, or why it's happening? Does it matter that I'm running mpd as root?

share|improve this question
The Flash player should not be doing this, Maybe it is the MPD player that is not using pulseaudio, Check the flash player with another application like totem that uses pulse audio. It would be useful to state what other application beside mpd does this with Flash. – Sabacon Jan 27 '11 at 18:08
You're right, this is something to do with MPD. Just did a little testing and Totem plays just fine with Flash. Then closed the Flash video and Totem and started playing MPD. Flash has no sound. Totem refuses to play at all with MPD playing. Likewise, playing Totem and/or Flash ensures that MPD will not output any sound. So it would seem that MPD is requiring total control over Pulseaudio or nothing. I think I'll play around with having it run as current user as opposed to root. Thanks, you seem to have pointed me in the right direction. – Jamie Schembri Jan 28 '11 at 11:01
up vote 4 down vote accepted

The problem to solve is to get the Music player Daemon to play properly with pulseaudio

You can check that your copy of MPD includes PulseAudio support by running mpd --version and making sure "pulse" is in the list of supported outputs. this is the case on Ubuntu now so it is just a matter of getting mpd to work well with pulseAudio.

Read more here;

Hopefully you will be pointed to something that can help you to configure MPD with pulseAudio.

share|improve this answer
Choosing this as the answer because you did point me in the right direction. I don't plan to mess with my MPD config just now, however I will revisit it soon. At least the problem has been identified as MPD now. – Jamie Schembri Jan 30 '11 at 15:35

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