COMMAND LINE ADVENTURES: Debian Lenny Sound Install

Debian 5 (Lenny)
Linux kernel: 2.6.26-2-486

I decided that I want to stream online radio stations through my Debian Lenny server (No GUI).I say server loosely because I have openssh-server installed. I use it for irssi and bashpodder. But now it will stream online music. Lets get started.

First thing I did was install mplayer:
$ sudo aptitude install mplayer
Since sound was not installed during the base install, I have to install sound…. or alsa should I say. This is the short story.
alsa install:
$ sudo aptitude install alsa-base alsa-utils
Those 2 packages should do it. I logged in as root and ran:
# alsaconf
Looks like the on-board sound is not even detected. I had an old PCI sound card laying around, so I shut it down, installed the card and reboot. Again, as root I ran:
# alsaconf
Went through the configuration screens where I picked my card and alsa configured the driver.
Now to test this out, I tried to connect to a radio station with mplayer:
$ mplayer
Nothing. I know this works because I can listen to this on my other full Debian install. Something must not be configured right. I run alsamixer:
$ alsamixer.
This is what I see.

Great, it looks like the master volume/volumes are all the way down. So I turn them up. I use my left and right arrow keys to make my selection. Then the up and down keys to raise or lower the volumes.
Hit Escape and try my station again:
$ mplayer
Damn it! Still no sound. Open alsamixer again:
$ alsamixer
I notice the little “MM” in the boxes under each component. I arrow over to the master volume and hit the M key. The “MM” was replaced with “00”. The “MM” means muted. Well I finally came up with this configuration. The Master volume and PCM unmuted.
So now I run:
and I hear voices……and the radio. 😉


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