In the last few days, I’ve decided to update my HTPC ubuntu to Saucy (13.10). In the same time, I added the XBMC nightly repository (http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=Installing_XBMC_for_Linux#Ubuntu_2) in order to provide some feedback to the XBMC community.
However, in the last days, maybe after a reboot, I’ve lost the audio from my central speaker (in my 5.1 audio system). It was very weird, because I had all ambiant sounds but no voices at all.
After some digging, I saw that XBMC was using the PulseAudio driver. After fighting myself to make PulseAudio work correctly, I’ve decided simple and plain to remove it by issuing :
apt-get remove pulseaudio gstreamer0.10-pulseaudio
So audio is now handled directly by ALSA and no problems so far.
In my XBMC now I see in SYSTEM -> AUDIO OUTPUT -> AUDIO OUTPUT DEVICE -> HDA Intel PCH, SAM SAMSUNG on HDMI #1
Doing that I have a fully working 5.1 audio but keep in mind that if you remove PulseAudio you loose a lot of configuration options (includes audio volume per application).