Mp3 files do not sound good when I use mplayer in ubuntu 12.04. I am running ubuntu on a imac in virtualbox. The bigger mp3 files have a lower sound quality than the smaller mp3 files I listen to. I've noticed that it seems like the number of tabs in firefox that are open seems to have an affect but not all the time. The mp3 will sound fine for a while then for a couple of seconds it will sound scratchy and then a couple of seconds later it sounds fine.

Has anyone else had a problem like this or have any ideas how to stop the audio quality from dropping in and out.

  • Have you give the VM proper resources to run fine?, this sounds to me like your VM is struggling with the resources it has. – Uri Herrera Apr 29 '13 at 0:41
  • 2019, and sound in VirtualBox still isn't awesome... – Brian Stinar Mar 14 '19 at 20:08

Audio decoding and playback is quite a demanding job for any OS. Therefore you indeed may experience issues when doing so in a virtual machine, even more so if your hardware is at the lower end.

For a better performance you should try to give your VM more ressources such as memory, or CPU cores.

Please note that

  • you should leave enough memory for the host OS to run
  • if you assign all host CPU cores to a virtual machine you should also add an execution cap to avoid issues on the host.
  • It only seems to be happening on mp3 from one source. Is there nay program that would find the areas where the audio goes bad and fix them. – mpschwery May 6 '13 at 2:12
  • @mpschwery: it may be that some mp3 are encoded with a fixed, others with a variable bitrate, hence a difference in performance, or it is a cache issue from your player. Did you try with different players? – Takkat May 6 '13 at 6:12
  • I've been using mplayer, how do you change the cache in it. – mpschwery May 6 '13 at 12:25

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