Disappearing sound when I try to watch videos. Why is this?
December 7, 2009 3:58 PM   Subscribe

Disappearing sound on the computer. ONLY on Hulu, YouTube, playlist.com, but not mp3's. Complication: not having administrator privileges to deal with it.

When trying to watch/listen to Hulu, YouTube, and online music players, sometimes the sound just stops working on the computer (running Firefox, happens both on Linux and Windows boxes). I haven't changed a darn thing on the settings, and playing mp3's works fine. But there will be no sound on anything video-related when it was working fine before. The only thing that fixes this is rebooting the computer. Happens on all of the ones I use regardless of platform.

Anyone have any idea why this happens, what causes it, fixes I can do without rebooting or being able to install fixes for it myself?
posted by jenfullmoon to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Have you tried restarting firefox when that happens?
posted by delmoi at 4:06 PM on December 7, 2009

Any chance you have the privileges to do a flash update?

And can you clarify, is this happening under both Linux and Windows on the same machine or different machines? If its the same machine, then I'd guess it's a hardware problem.

Under linux, even without root, you should be able to change the sound engine and see if that makes any difference.
posted by jjb at 4:09 PM on December 7, 2009

When this has happened to me, a restart of firefox has done the trick. I'm guessing though that you may have tried this already.
posted by SpacemanStix at 4:12 PM on December 7, 2009

Have you tried running a version of Portable Firefox to see if this issue persists?
As to windows: if you are using Vista there are separate sound volume controls for every application, so it might be possible to mute sound for Firefox while leaving it at normal level for, say, Winamp.
posted by PontifexPrimus at 4:20 PM on December 7, 2009

Download the Flash Uninstaller, run it, then reinstall Flash.
posted by rhizome at 5:47 PM on December 7, 2009

I had a similar problem once when I had the bright idea to disallow local storage for websites using my Flash player. Took quite awhile to figure out what was going on, but I eventually restored sound by re-allowing local storage via Adobe's Flash settings manager.

I wouldn't swear that this is what's going on for you if you get sound on some occasions, but it might be worth a look.
posted by owls at 9:51 AM on December 8, 2009

Response by poster: Don't have the ability to mess with Flash on one of the machines (it's multiple machines, 2 Linux and 1 Windows).

I'll see if a Firefox reboot helps, so far I've just rebooted the entire machine so I don't get that "Firefox is running, but...." message.
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:41 PM on December 9, 2009

This happens to me too (Linux) - you can kill the FF process so you don't have to reboot.
posted by jopreacher at 7:25 AM on December 10, 2009

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