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Rhythmbox became silent, all other audio sources okay, how to diagnose/fix?

asked 2019-03-30 01:28:20 -0500

wallyk gravatar image

updated 2019-03-30 03:21:53 -0500

I think Rhythmbox was subtly damaged when I installed VM-related drivers for Oracle's VirtualBox. Something never quite was right, so I eventually removed it.

However Rhythmbox now is mute. It plays my library of music, counts off the seconds, transitions to the next song. Everything seems normal except that there is no sound. I have checked the player's volume and the system's master volume. Total silence even though both are at maximum.

All other audio sources work normally: YouTube and Netflix in a web browser, VLC playing videos and MP3s, Totem playing videos, etc.

I tried un-installing and re-installing Rhythmbox. No difference.

I poked around at all of Rhythmbox's menus. One peculiarity is that the Tools menu has nothing in it. I don't recall if that is normal or not. The View menu has seven items under it (party mode, sidebar, status bar, etc.)

image description

Any idea how to tell what is wrong with it?

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install the PulseAudio Volumecontrol and check, if it plays on the correct audio device.


rdtcustomercare gravatar imagerdtcustomercare ( 2019-03-30 14:32:29 -0500 )edit

I didn't see a module for volume control, but I installed pulseaudio-equalizer. I ran it but didn't touch any of its controls. Then I ran Rhythmbox and now it works! Write an answer and I'll +1 it and accept it. Thanks!

wallyk gravatar imagewallyk ( 2019-03-30 19:01:19 -0500 )edit

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answered 2019-03-31 14:06:02 -0500

Ok, to explain what happend here, we need to dive in to pulse audio:

First: the packagename is : pavucontrol

You can change the volume and the playback device of any app thats playing sound and many more.

the diagnose of his problem is: Rhythembox plays on a not to speakers connected device, so he does not hear it.


"pulseaudio-equalizer" generates a new playdevice, which allows the equalizer to adjust any incoming audiostream and play it back. So starting the EQ "highjacked" the audiostream of Rhythembox to the new EQ-Device and played it's audiostream to the default sink ( that the internal pulseaudio name of a device ;) ) .


a) install pavucontrol b) adjust the audio playback device of Rhythembox to one you can actually listen to ;)

Anyone who answers this question correctly gets a +1 too :

Why in the name of all audio, is pavucontrol not installed by default, as it's THE MIXER for PA :D

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Thanks! That helps tremendously with a real puzzler.

wallyk gravatar imagewallyk ( 2019-04-01 11:58:21 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2019-03-30 01:28:20 -0500

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Last updated: Mar 31 '19