Still having audio problems with the PC and by now I am sure it's the software or Windows XP. Here is why:
I can play a Youtube video and get great sound. Then I start a web meeting app ... no sound. Back to Youtube ... sound is ok. Back to web meeting ... no sound. If I plug/unplug the head phone I can make it work in the web meeting, regardless of whether detection is enabled or not. Audio occasionally falls dormant, requiring another headphone jack jiggle.
So, is there any sort of li'l background program that can goose the audio stuff at regular intervals to keep it running? Something like Archie Bunker's right foot that was used to keep the TV at 704 Hauser Steet going. Until it went pseeeooouuu ... *PHUT*
Of course I could whip up something with a Schmitt oscillator and a relay but that's a bit, ahem, pedestrian.
USB sound cards sometimes cause uncomfortable latencies in web meetings. It resulted in me talking over people because it's hard to read their lips if you have 4-6 small fuzzy images, and some without image because they called in via phone.
Right now I think your stopgap solution might be the best. Just plug and un plug the plug. Another option would be to wire a little switch to the jack inside but that sounds like a pain in the (_|_).
This really sounds like one of those f***ed up driver issues. There is a gu y named Lewin A.R.W. Edwards who could likely fix it by rewriting or editin g the drivers. I'm pretty sure that would cost you about what a neurosurgeo n would.
The only thing that might work is to use older software for your web meetin gs, which might not be possible. I assume you tried rolling back the driver right ?
It depends, you might want to rollback the driver if you haven't, or maybe even get into safemode and do a system restore. The problem is if you have to restore back to a time where the software NEEDED an update to work. Also sometimes there is no driver to which to rollback.
I didn't catch this last time around so I guess I should have to ask, did i t EVER work right ? If so, you know the drill I hope - "WHAT WAS THE LAST T HING YOU DID ?". When dealing with shit like this, that is the best startin g point.
Know what pisses me off ? That the Windows registry does not have a date co de on its entries. However, at least for XP I found out how to make a backu p to be used for a system restore and store it on a flash drive or somethin g. I'm hoping it will work in newer versions of windows. you know how some viruses have a habit or erasing restore points. Let's see the mofos do it o n a separate drive that is not even plugged in !
Anyway, you might be stuck with this, and right now if you talk to anyone a nd tell them you have XP they look at you like you're some kind of throwbac k leper messiah or something.
I have XP on about 10 machines in home and office. Another 5 or so are running as remote weather stations and remote control radios. They work just fine, including sound. I have one Vista laptop, and it fits your description. Windoze 7 and 8 are quite good, but that's for my customers, not me. I buy their old machines for very little, while they struggle with the latest and greatest from Microsoft.
Jeff Liebermann firstname.lastname@example.org
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
I can't do anything for re-initializing the registers in your unspecified sound card or chip, but I can at least save the registry entries for each "mode" of operation. It's common problem with ham radio software. Find QuickMix. Note that it only works on XP.
Jeff Liebermann email@example.com
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
That's just the puzzler, the mixer settings are never changed. Sometimes I can get it going by checking and then unchecking front jack detection. It worked much better without but "jiggling" it helps. Of course, bending down and jiggling a phono plug is easier.
I don't know exactly what to tell you to look for, but DirectX is involved in audio. You might run DxDiag (it comes with Windows) and see if anything on the "sound" tab helps.
What is the nominal impedance of your headphones? Maybe it's just a little bit too high for reliable detection by the sound card... try making an extension cable with, say, 470 or 1K resistors from the left and right signal wires to ground.
(I think the "plug detect" on modern PC soundcards works by trying to send a tiny amount of current through the "regular" signal contacts, rather than by having a separate switch contact built into the jack.)
Is this a laptop or desktop? If desktop, is it the front or rear panel? Front-panel jacks on desktops usually have cables to the motherboard... maybe the cable is not quite plugged in or flaky. If you have the option, try the rear-panel jacks.
I have seen one desktop PC case where the front panel was not grounded very well; if you plugged in a USB stick to the front-panel USB ports in the winter, it would reboot. Plugging the stick it in to the rear USB ports always worked fine. Maybe something like that is confusing the plug detect.
If there is some command-line way to do the goosing, then you can use Task Scheduler to do that every so often. If the checkbox that helps is really changing a Registry setting, I think you can tell regedit to apply a setting from the command line; you need a file with the key and setting you want in it. You can export such a file from regedit in GUI mode.
DPST relay with the contacts wired to the R and L audio and the coil wired to the hard drive light. Maybe a switch to bypass the contacts if you are in a long meeting.
FWIW: I built my own PC (XP) a few years back from newegg parts. Nice mac hine, but the motherboard audio would misbehave in all sorts of annoying wa ys. Not sure if it was Realtek or something else, but I think it was. AC9
7? Anyway - long story short: I got an outboard (USB) SoundBlaster Audigy- IIs sound card and it's been perfect ever since.
At work, we have Win-7 (again, nice, high-performance PC's, but purchase ne w, not self-built). Has whatever audio came with 'em. Just last week, new audio problem surfaced where you can't overdial DTMF digits on Skype and h ave the remote connection "understand" them. Annoying to say the least.
My assessment is that audio on PC's was pretty much an afterthought from th e early days of PC's and it never really got standardized. I've personally never seen that "jack removal detection" concept work well when you have m ultiple audio sources (headset, mic, MIDI, etc...)
The DC resistance of the headphones is 30ohms per side.
It's a desktop. The headphones connect to the front panel and always work, never fail. But it's uncomfortable to wear them for a 2h web conference session and I often have to demonstrate things in front of the camera which requires walking around.
But it's software dependent. On Youtube it always works, on GoToMeeting and Skype it sometimes doesn't but (usually) will after jiggling the headphone jack. On Youtube or when listening to music I don't have to jiggle.
So now I keep the headphones plugged in and next to me. Clutters the desk but that way I can detect when the audio has gone dormant and it's wiggle time again. Otherwise I'd have to keep my eyes peeled on the audio level bar which doesn't work when concentrating on a document.
I don't know any command line wiggle, that's what I was hoping someone here would now. What (usually) works is to fire up the audio control panel and toggle headphone detect. But one has to click OK after each to make it stick.
If necessary I'll build the Schmitt oscillator thing or a battery operate "wiggler" that plugs into the audio jack. I could probably also use the phantom power on the mike input to supply it.
The AC97 sound chip connects to the south bridge, so it has no better data throughput than usb. But usb ports are shared, so perhaps you have some device on the usb port that is causing the sound software to increase the buffering of your audio. Since you are using windows, you might be able to get an ASIO driver to reduce latency. [All linux distributions these days are already low latency. Of course, that doesn't stop people posting latency hacks.]
If you noticed the latency on a skype call AND you use a cable modem, I suspect it was just a fluke and if you tried USB again, the problem would not be repeatable. Cable modems have terrible jitter. This is probably by design since the cable provider also wants to provide THEIR VOIP solution. DSL is very low jitter, so it is better for VOIP.
Every time the cable modem burps (we're talking tens of mS), the buffering gets longer on Skype. Other VOIPs just toss the packets and degrade the sound.
If you really want low latency, you need a PCI soundcard. These things can be dirt cheap (under $20 at Frys) and still work reasonably well. [I'm running half a dozen cheap Diamond PCI sound cards simultaneously, but that is another story.]
I am not so concerned about Skype because that isn't useful to me for professional use. The problems happen also on the business kind of services such as GoToMeeting.
It's DSL here but we can only get less than 2Mbit/sec. I am thinking about cable Internet because that's tons faster but they slobber the coaxes across the bare turf and that doesn't strike me as very reliable. Telco is nicely buried.
The gamers are just blurting to the team members. It isn't like a continuous conversation.
The cable companies that sell VOIP services make damn well sure THOSE packets are jitter free and low latency for THEIR service. If you are trying to VOIP on their cable data, expect it to suck at times.