Sometimes after booting the machine up I would just get no sound in my browser / video player and sometimes it would be there working just perfectly. The only way to get the sound if it wasn’t there was to reboot the computer. A strange issue I ignored at first thinking it would go away after a few full system updates, but after a while the problem was still there and I got annoyed by it and thankfully found a cure.
The problem was the usb webcam. Turns out ALSA isn’t very smart when it comes to device assignment so sometimes it would make the snd_usb_audio (webcam) the first sound device instead of the soundcard. A workaround is just putting your soundcard module name before the snd_usb_audio in your /etc/rc.conf. In my case it was like this:1MODULES=( ... snd_hda_intel snd_usb_audio ... )
edit: I think there is one more situation when sound does not work – it’s when your skype autostarts on startup. It starts webcam of course and sometimes skype starts before you can hear the welcoming sound of entering into your WM.
I got this wired bug after I updated my arch linux. Each time I would click on “Places -> Home”, it would run Amarok and start playing music… Some kind of a bug I guess… To solve this problem type the following into your terminal (works for other distros as well I guess):1$ sudo nano ~/.local/share/applications/mimeapps.list
and then edit the line contaning “inode/directory=” into:1inode/directory=nautilus-folder-handler.desktop;
So, enjoy your favorite music player… =)