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Audacity “error while opening sound device”

Old faithful Audacity, the easy sound editing programme has been disappointing me for a while now, in the sense that I can open a sound, convert it to another format, but I cannot listen to it (highly unpractical for a sound editor)…

“error while opening sound device”

Now, I have looked for some solutions – and this Ubuntu forum post seems to be the most promising at the moment:::


I still need to try these suggestions – and promise to report back on the easiest one.

* System used: Ubuntu 8.04, realtime kernel 2.6.24*

3 Responses to “Audacity “error while opening sound device””

  1. nitrofurano Says:

    Sorry answering so late…
    Please check going at Edit/Preferences, and see what you have at Audio I/O, and if Device from Playback and Recording are fine – and try to see what you get by trial and error, with microphones, speakers, etc. – i think this should be enough…

  2. admin Says:

    Well, I’m sorry to answer late back 🙂
    I have tried all kinds of combinations in the preferences of audacity – but they did in a way not correspond to the settings in the sound preferences of Ubuntu. Linux and audio can be quite strange sometimes.
    From time to time I have audio in a firefox and not in a media player such as vlc. When I close firefox, sound is back.

    You have all these processes sometimes running parallel, sometimes without dominance. Jackd for example, the audio server, does take over a lot, but not firefox, nor audacity..

    Linux and audio does stay exciting – and mysterious – which most of the time is ok, but sometimes.. 😉

  3. Mike Sylvia Says:

    I’ve been having the same trouble. Something in Firefox is holding a resource that Audacity is looking to use. Often, I can clear it by taking out a Yahoo mail tab, other times killing Firefox is required. Maybe a Java thing?

    I don’t have Jack, I’ve got ALSA.