Frustrating audio crackling when watching streaming video

User Help for Mozilla Firefox

Post Posted December 21st, 2008, 5:52 pm

Hi - I had a search for this issue, both on the forums and through google, and couldn't find a working solution. Hope you don't mind me posting this here.

I *think* this is an issue that's only started since I updated to Firefox 3, but I'm not sure. It's particularly painful when I watch Youtube videos. Basically, if I'm watching a video that hasn't finished downloading (red bar still loading), and I do *anything* else in the browser on a different tab, my CPU usage jumps to 100% and the audio pops and crackles until whatever new page I'm viewing has finished loading. It only lasts for a second, but if I've got a few tabs open, it can ruin whatever I'm listening to. I'm a big fan of listening to music through Youtube, but this problem is really frustrating. As far as I know, all my audio drivers are up to date - this issue *only* occurs with Firefox - Media Player, Winamp etc. are all still playing fine.

Working on an Acer Aspire 5920G laptop with 4Gb of RAM and a Core 2 Duo T5750 at 2.0Ghz, so I wouldn't have thought the laptop specs were causing me trouble. Vista Home Premium.

Any help would be hugely appreciated!



Post Posted December 21st, 2008, 5:58 pm

Actually - I've just tried downloading some software through Steam, and the moment the download actually kicked in, at around 300k/s, the sound from Youtube just went to hell. Nothing but crackles, distortion and stuttering. Aaaand just to be sure, I've just tried it with IE and the same thing happens. Clearly not just a Firefox issue - some sort of internet wireless problem? I'm truly perplexed by this - it only started happening recently, and it's not like I've got a particularly slow internet connection.


Post Posted December 21st, 2008, 6:02 pm

Aaaand it's started doing it when I play music through Media Player too. This makes me a very sad man. It only happens if something's downloading - that's the weird part. It's quite happy for me to multi-task in Windows doing some fairly heavy graphics editing, but the moment I open up a webpage with any complex stuff on it, the sound crackles away.


Post Posted January 20th, 2009, 9:17 pm

danb1985 wrote:Aaaand it's started doing it when I play music through Media Player too. This makes me a very sad man. It only happens if something's downloading - that's the weird part. It's quite happy for me to multi-task in Windows doing some fairly heavy graphics editing, but the moment I open up a webpage with any complex stuff on it, the sound crackles away.

This is also happening to me! i cant stand it!! Is it Firefox? maybe.. Now that I think of it it just may be cause it started around the time i updated firefox. It seems not to crackle as much when there aren't as many memory processes.

Poll Dancer

Post Posted January 20th, 2009, 10:35 pm

This appears to be a bandwidth problem. You are downloading several files at the same time (the web page files and the YouTube file being streamed).

You might try downloading the complete YouTube file first and then playing it as a local file. That would allow you to continue to surf/download without interfering with the multimedia playback.


Post Posted March 5th, 2009, 9:30 pm

I'm having an identical issue, its not bandwidth. Really starting to bug me, at first I had thought my sound card was dying on me, then drivers only after testing these possibilities to no avail I came to the conclusion it was my browser, although I'm not satisfied with that, I am perplexed!
I'll post back with any solution I find (if any!)


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Post Posted March 5th, 2009, 9:58 pm

So does it do this when the video is the only thing streaming and the only thing open? when troubleshooting, start simple.
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Post Posted March 8th, 2009, 7:54 pm

I too have recently started experiencing this "crackling" noise when playing online videos like youtube or any other swf streams. It's occurring all of a sudden. I've read many threads about the problem. I ran across a thread somewhere that mentioned a compression problem. I tested this by selecting full-screen on the videos that were giving me the crackling sound.... Guess what.. in full screen mode the crackling goes away! When I reduce the same video back to the original size, the crackling immediately returns! It happens in Firefox, Chrome and Opera. If I can point my finger at anything that I changed on my system right before this problem arose, it was that I installed CoreAVC. I uninstalled CoreAvc yet the issue remains. So for now, in order to enjoy streaming swf files online I'll just play them in full screen.

I have no issues with audio outside of this.. i.e winamp, vlc, wmp, etc. (that I've discovered yet)


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Post Posted March 8th, 2009, 7:57 pm

Make sure you have the most recent version of Flash installed (at least version 10.0 r22 I think).
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Post Posted March 8th, 2009, 8:05 pm

Bluefang, I have flash player installed, confirmed by Adobe's online version checker. Any other ideas?


Post Posted March 10th, 2009, 2:12 pm

I just started getting the crackling noise a few weeks back and have done a lot to try and get rid of it but its still there. The same thing works for me with watching streaming videos in full screen, it no longer crackles. But as soon as i go out of full screen its back. its really annoying. It also screws up my itunes and zune music but not my windows media player. If im listening to music through WMP its fine but as soon as i put up the visualizations that come on WMP it starts crackling too. Im at a loss for the cause.


Post Posted March 15th, 2009, 8:55 am

I have the same issue, ANY type of streaming video cracks, and is unbearable...I'll have to do that full screen thing to see if it actualy works for me. Playing games, windowed or fullscreen, (like crysis or UT3) no crackling occours. I HAVE talked to someone from soundblaster, (which is my sound card, Sound Blaster X-fi Extreme Gamer Prof. series) and he says that the opposite should occour. Streaming videos are much less strain on your computer than a generating virtual worlds around you. This problem is very much so BUGGING THE HELL OUT OF ME! Maybe if we create a big enough fuss, they'll get off there asses and do somthing...

***Just finding this thread, took me 30 minutes*** not to mention trying to find any related topics for the past month...'s

and no, *sighs* unfortionately, it is NOT a clash between sound and video card, although, when the crackling occours, try scrolling down, so the video is no longer in your browser, (off screen above or below) your cracking should go away! WOOT, but scroll back up and veiw so much as a pixel of streaming video, its back. OFFICIALY UN-WOOTED...HOPE IVE HELPED!....slightly anyways, lol

umm...anything else I got in ma brainz....if WMP works, and itunes doesn't, it has to be a update isue on someones part...not only does the visual screw up the player, I was working on flash, and had bannanna durakada pie playing by SOAD, and i was getting into the mood, and when i grabbed my object and moved it accross the screen, the most HORRIBLE, GOD-AWFUL CRACKS ive EVER heard....


Post Posted March 15th, 2009, 9:29 am

When you are viewing some Flash objects or games, you can right click and change settings. The first tab of settings should be Display, try unchecking the "enable hardware acceleration" box. If you can't find a video that right click works on, try a flash game.


Post Posted March 30th, 2009, 3:26 pm

why is this issue only happing in the windows environment? Mac Safari and Firefox plays it fine.


Post Posted April 1st, 2009, 7:46 am

I have the same problems with flash objects eljarm.
Whenever I'm loading a page online that has flash adverts on, which is most or all of them, even the little flash ads at the bottom of msn and of course, YouTube, my media player goes to crap. The music skips and crackles and even stops completely. It happens with winamp too. It must be something to do with flash.
I've been trying to find a solution for a very long time to this as I thrive on music when using my computer and this 'conflict' with flash is driving me mad. Everything had been fine until a couple of weeks ago...
Somebody needs to do an updating job somewhere and it shouldn't need to be me. 0__o"

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