I had an interesting experience using Alsamixer and Amarok that's forced me to look into the documentation, especially for Alsa. Much to my chagrin, there doesn't seem to be much and much of what exists isn't dated or fails to indicate which version is being discussed (which, btw, carries a sentence of life imprisonment in 47 counties in the US).
Can anyone point me, please, to any good documentation on Alsa or Alsamixer? Thanks. The undefined labels and acronyms used when you hit F5 in Alsamixer give me a headache.
And if you're interested in the problem...
There's been a few threads about Alsamixer not remembering settings across reboots. Well, yesterday, I bought a new set of speakers and tried to test them with my music library via Amarok. No sound.
But I was familiar enough to check the pulse-audio settings in that app, and got it to play. So, once it was working, I just had to "play around" with the settings again, and lost sound in both the speakers and the headphones (connected separately to the front panel jack). After thinking on it for a bit, I checked Alsamixer, and discovered that, automagically, either Amarok or Pulse-audio had reset the settings and muted most of them. So I un-muted what I needed to get sound again.
Oddly, after this, Alsamixer actually remembered the settings after re-boot. Makes me think we've entered into the realm of sufficiently advanced technology that's indistinguishable from magic.
Either that, or I need a good user's guide.