1. Dark Penguin's Avatar
    (Well, at least for me, anyhow. I was going to post this as a reply to the other CM11 thread, but then decided it might be better to start a new thread. )

    This probably isn't a CM11 issue because I've found there does seem to be an issue with KitKat generally, at least with some newer devices on which OTA upgrades were accepted. Be that as it may, all audio apps are essentially unusable, whether the content is stored on the device or streamed over a network (e.g. Tunein Radio), because of the choppy and unreliable playback. As far as I can tell, it doesn't "skip" like an old fashioned LP, but simply fades out for anywhere from a fraction of a second to several seconds. If I'm listening to music I'll miss one or two bars. If I'm listening to verbal content I'll miss half a sentence or more. In the Google Product Forums thread I linked to, it's suggested that disabling all keyboard sounds will fix it, and I tried that. It seemed to work for about half a day, but the problem came back and seems to be permanent.

    This is atrocious! About 95% my usage of the device is listening to music, podcasts, and streaming radio. I do far more of that than I do actual phone calls.

    So it looks like I'm going back to CM10, if not the stock JB I had before. But is there another kernel I could use besides FL24 that might enable CM11/KitKat to work better? Is KitKat really as bad as a disaster as I'm reading in various places around internet? Or are we simply trying to push our old phones too far?

    I've also read that downgrading to 4.3 or 4.2 can be difficult, but isn't that only if you need to flash everything by hand? With a CM10 level Nandroid backup I should just be able to do the restore, shouldn't I?
    03-10-2014 05:21 PM
  2. Dark Penguin's Avatar
    I've been running Play Music or Tunein Radio for several hours today without any difficulty.

    A possible explanation occurred to me just now. Typically I use the streaming or playback apps either in the afternoon when I'm running errands, or late at night (after 11pm) before falling asleep. It's only between 11pm and 8am that I've definitely experienced the issue, and given the fact that I'm home, I'm always on wifi when I do this. (Not that it should matter for the music player, though.)

    So now I'm wondering if it's a profile issue, as the Night profile comes into effect during those hours. I don't see anything in the profile, however, that would definitely cause the issue.

    Has anyone experienced this?
    03-10-2014 09:54 PM
  3. Dark Penguin's Avatar
    Still unusable at night! The dropped audio persists, though I have disabled profiles and also the DSP manager, as some have suggested this issue is somehow connected with the equalizer.

    Sent from my SPH-D710 using Tapatalk
    03-11-2014 02:56 AM
  4. drk65's Avatar
    I think you may have begun stumbling upon your own solution. I listen to Podcasts and/or Tune-In Pro streaming content via headphones every night I go to bed. I noted some of the "drop outs" you mentioned, but only if/when I had my volume set to the lowest setting. Once I increased the volume by only one notch (maybe two in lower level audio programming), the audio drops outs disappeared. I have ZERO issues with this when playing any (local and/or streaming) content via the phone speaker, bluetooth, or wired directly to the aux jack in my car, because the volume is generally set somewhere in the middle.Hopefully, you can make similar adjustments that will alleviate your issue, as well.

    As for flashing back... Hopefully, you have a full Nandroid back-up. I can confirm that you can restore this device back to stock JB using a Nandroid back-up. I've done this successfully on two different devices.
    Dark Penguin likes this.
    03-11-2014 01:13 PM
  5. Dark Penguin's Avatar
    I think you may have begun stumbling upon your own solution. I listen to Podcasts and/or Tune-In Pro streaming content via headphones every night I go to bed. I noted some of the "drop outs" you mentioned, but only if/when I had my volume set to the lowest setting. Once I increased the volume by only one notch (maybe two in lower level audio programming), the audio drops outs disappeared. I have ZERO issues with this when playing any (local and/or streaming) content via the phone speaker, bluetooth, or wired directly to the aux jack in my car, because the volume is generally set somewhere in the middle.Hopefully, you can make similar adjustments that will alleviate your issue, as well.
    I think this is the solution as I've duplicated the issue several times since reading your reply, using any and all apps I could think of at the moment--Google Play Music, Tunein Radio, YouTube, and so on. At the lowest volume setting the dropped audio issue occurred in all three, but almost always ceases when the volume is bumped up to the second lowest setting. This could still be an issue with Kitkat, but not nearly as catastrophic as first appeared. It's also clear now why this seemed to happen only at night, because one typically needs to use higher volume settings during daylight hours.

    Have you come to any conclusion as to whether the low-volume audio gaps happen more with Kitkat than with earlier versions? Personal medical issues might have complicated the situation in my case, namely earwax! About three weeks ago I had my first visit with a new doctor, who declared his surprise that I could hear at all on account of it. For several days afterward I used eardrops which, it appears, may have worked better than I thought, leading me to use a lower volume setting.

    As for flashing back... Hopefully, you have a full Nandroid back-up. I can confirm that you can restore this device back to stock JB using a Nandroid back-up. I've done this successfully on two different devices.
    I did have a backup from when the phone was on CM10.1, just before I flashed CM11, but for some reason it errored out on rewriting the system partition. It's rather odd because I'm sure I haven't moved or altered any of the backup files since their creation.
    03-11-2014 03:32 PM
  6. drk65's Avatar
    Glad to hear you feel notching-up the volume one or two levels will suffice as a reasonable workaround. I've seen this issue noted and addressed in several KK and CM forums. So, don't know if it's a KK or CM issue. Here's a link to one of the forums. Doesn't provide any real resolution, but just lets you know it's not an issue isolated to this particular ROM we're using. As they say... "Misery loves company"!

    Sound Switches Off Below A Certain Volume - Audio - CyanogenMod Forum
    03-11-2014 04:50 PM
  7. Dark Penguin's Avatar
    Glad to hear you feel notching-up the volume one or two levels will suffice as a reasonable workaround. I've seen this issue noted and addressed in several KK and CM forums. So, don't know if it's a KK or CM issue.
    It should work satisfactorily as far as I can see, though I might need to put the buds a little less firmly in my ear canals. Indeed it must, because I just lost my elbow adapters today so I need to be on CM as it supports full display rotation. Fortunately it's a good ROM so it's not a hardship.
    03-12-2014 12:16 AM
  8. Dark Penguin's Avatar
    Glad to hear you feel notching-up the volume one or two levels will suffice as a reasonable workaround. I've seen this issue noted and addressed in several KK and CM forums. So, don't know if it's a KK or CM issue. Here's a link to one of the forums. Doesn't provide any real resolution, but just lets you know it's not an issue isolated to this particular ROM we're using. As they say... "Misery loves company"!

    Sound Switches Off Below A Certain Volume - Audio - CyanogenMod Forum
    Looks like there are some good workarounds in the CM thread, provided they'll work on this device.
    03-12-2014 05:15 PM
  9. drk65's Avatar
    It should work satisfactorily as far as I can see, though I might need to put the buds a little less firmly in my ear canals. Indeed it must, because I just lost my elbow adapters today so I need to be on CM as it supports full display rotation. Fortunately it's a good ROM so it's not a hardship.
    "Dark Penguin"... I believe I have some good news for you on this topic. Some of the guys over in the XDA forum have been working on the audio/volume issue. While some of them have been addressing it from the point that Max audio is not loud enough, their proposed "fixes" actually also serve to address our ongoing issue of audio clipping or cutting-out when set to very low levels. I've personally made the edits as recommended in the following posts and I'm pleased to report that while not perfect, the audio cut-out issue is all but gone. There remains very minor clipping when volume is set to the lowest level and zero loss when clicked up one to the next level.

    STEP 1 - General Volume Mod

    OK so I got the volume mod I was taking about
    Using ES File explorer with root permissions and read/write checked in root explorer settings......
    First go to /etc folder then go to bottom to a XML file named tinyalsa-audio.XML
    Click file and use ES file editor
    Go to line <ctrl name="Master Playback Volume" value="75" />
    And change the 75 to 80, click back and make sure to save
    Reboot and try the new max volume

    STEP 2 - Independently Adjust Speaker vs. Headphone Volume Settings (I did this in addition to the above)

    These lines are needed to make speaker and headphone volume go up, if you only want to higher one or the other.
    For example if you only want boosted headphone volume then mod second line
    Found in /etc/tinyalsa-audio.XML
    </device>
    <device type="speaker">
    <path type="enable">
    <ctrl name="Speaker Playback Volume" value="26" />
    <ctrl name="Speaker Playback Switch" value="on" />
    Change 26 to 30 for speaker volume only

    </path>
    </device>
    <device type="wired-headphone">
    <path type="enable">
    <ctrl name="Headphone Playback Volume" value="15" />
    <ctrl name="HP Gain Playback Volume" value="3" />
    <ctrl name="Headphone Playback Switch" value="on" />
    Change 15 to 20 and 3 to 5 for boosted headphone volume

    (Note: Just below this entry, you'll see one for "Wired Headset" with the same values/levels set. If you have/use a "Wired Headset" (Headphones w/Mic & Op Buttons) in addition to standard stereo headphones, I recommend you change these values to the same level as those listed under "Wired Headphone".)

    Since you are going to be making edits to system files, as always, I recommend you have a full and current Nandroid backup in place, as well as making a local copy of the original file (before editing), just in case you have a typo or some other mishap. However, I can confirm that I properly followed the instructions and have had no problems or issues. Hopefully, you will experience the same, as well as experiencing an improvement to this annoying issue. --- Good Luck!
    Dark Penguin likes this.
    03-26-2014 03:37 PM
  10. Dark Penguin's Avatar
    "drk65" it's uncanny but I came back to the forum for the first time in weeks, coincidentally almost at the same time of your last post.

    I haven' t had a chance to try it out yet but I will probably get to it this evening. I'm not quite clear on your procedure, though. Did you flash some sort of patch or kernel first, or did you just make some edits to your existing CM11 configuration?

    Sent from my SPH-D710 using Tapatalk
    03-27-2014 08:45 PM
  11. drk65's Avatar
    Did you flash some sort of patch or kernel first, or did you just make some edits to your existing CM11 configuration?
    No flashing required. I simply used the "Root Explorer" option within ES File Explorer and made the recommended edits to the specific file mentioned above. That's why I recommended making a back-up copy of the specific file before initiating the recommended changes... just in case you make a mistake or if you decide you don't like the changes and want to easily return to the original settings.
    03-28-2014 01:23 PM
  12. Dark Penguin's Avatar
    Sounds awesome, I should be able to do it sometime today and report my results back to the thread.

    Sent from my SPH-D710 using Tapatalk
    03-28-2014 01:28 PM
  13. Dark Penguin's Avatar
    In the interest of making changes as incrementally as possible, I've done just Step 1 as outlined in Post 9; I'll edit this post with my results in due course.

    Thanks again to drk65!
    drk65 likes this.
    03-29-2014 01:43 AM
  14. Dark Penguin's Avatar
    In the interest of making changes as incrementally as possible, I've done just Step 1 as outlined in Post 9; I'll edit this post with my results in due course.

    Thanks again to drk65!
    After doing just Step 1 I did notice some improvement, but not by much. So I did the rest of the steps and now the improvement is quite significant.
    drk65 likes this.
    04-02-2014 05:05 PM
  15. Dark Penguin's Avatar
    I just bumped the thread to say these adjustments have also worked very well for Supernexus 2.0, which I recently flashed. SN2 is a 4.2-based ROM.

    "Dark Penguin"... I believe I have some good news for you on this topic. Some of the guys over in the XDA forum have been working on the audio/volume issue. While some of them have been addressing it from the point that Max audio is not loud enough, their proposed "fixes" actually also serve to address our ongoing issue of audio clipping or cutting-out when set to very low levels. I've personally made the edits as recommended in the following posts and I'm pleased to report that while not perfect, the audio cut-out issue is all but gone. There remains very minor clipping when volume is set to the lowest level and zero loss when clicked up one to the next level.

    STEP 1 - General Volume Mod

    OK so I got the volume mod I was taking about
    Using ES File explorer with root permissions and read/write checked in root explorer settings......
    First go to /etc folder then go to bottom to a XML file named tinyalsa-audio.XML
    Click file and use ES file editor
    Go to line <ctrl name="Master Playback Volume" value="75" />
    And change the 75 to 80, click back and make sure to save
    Reboot and try the new max volume

    STEP 2 - Independently Adjust Speaker vs. Headphone Volume Settings (I did this in addition to the above)

    These lines are needed to make speaker and headphone volume go up, if you only want to higher one or the other.
    For example if you only want boosted headphone volume then mod second line
    Found in /etc/tinyalsa-audio.XML
    </device>
    <device type="speaker">
    <path type="enable">
    <ctrl name="Speaker Playback Volume" value="26" />
    <ctrl name="Speaker Playback Switch" value="on" />
    Change 26 to 30 for speaker volume only

    </path>
    </device>
    <device type="wired-headphone">
    <path type="enable">
    <ctrl name="Headphone Playback Volume" value="15" />
    <ctrl name="HP Gain Playback Volume" value="3" />
    <ctrl name="Headphone Playback Switch" value="on" />
    Change 15 to 20 and 3 to 5 for boosted headphone volume

    (Note: Just below this entry, you'll see one for "Wired Headset" with the same values/levels set. If you have/use a "Wired Headset" (Headphones w/Mic & Op Buttons) in addition to standard stereo headphones, I recommend you change these values to the same level as those listed under "Wired Headphone".)

    Since you are going to be making edits to system files, as always, I recommend you have a full and current Nandroid backup in place, as well as making a local copy of the original file (before editing), just in case you have a typo or some other mishap. However, I can confirm that I properly followed the instructions and have had no problems or issues. Hopefully, you will experience the same, as well as experiencing an improvement to this annoying issue. --- Good Luck!
    01-24-2015 04:56 PM

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