I occasionally get sound system error messages from arts, usually fatal, that the system cannot be started, or some such nonsense. Usually after a Flash website is left loaded in a browser for a long time, or many games have been played over time by one of the kids.
I finally did a quick search for an answer and found this on the Ubuntu forums. The solution needed slight tweaking, since the script listed did not provide sound. By troubleshooting (running the script in konsole), I got it to work in short order and adjusted the default volume, then logged in on each user account and made the required user changes.
Here is the script:
# sox_play script for knotify
sox -v 2.9 -q "$@" -t alsa default &
Hopefully this will make sound a little more reliable. Still having issues with YouTube videos and Flash locking up and becoming unplayable. Will keep working this and post whatever fix I can find.
Update: After three days of constant multi-user use, I can say that this fix is a definite improvement over using arts. No more sound-server fatal errors, no more lost sound, regardless of who used what application. I guess sox …uh…rox. (Sorry, couldn’t resist – I am a weak man.)
The only thing that was not resolved regarding sound was the occasional loss of the ability to play multimedia files (MPEG, AVI, FLV mostly), following YouTube lockups (Firefox freezes). I do not think these are related to the sound server, however. I am using the latest Flash player (from the Adobe web site, not the Ubuntu package). Nothing seems to fix that but a reboot. Google has yet to provide a better answer than that.
If anyone has any ideas for a fix, please, indulge me… I’ll be happy to detail any real fix and give credit where it is due, of course.