Hi, I'm not new to Linux but never had tried Debian or Mint. I have just installed LMDE in my spouse's HP Mini netbook, thus obliterating the much malware-torn-down Windows XP it came with. I feel compelled to say right now that I'm absolute amazed at Mint and loved it the very same minute it booted up. I am insanely thankful for Mint. However I could use some tips on the audio side, a frequent hair-puller in my experience.
1. Everything worked just right until a bought a pair of USB speakers, with their own mute/unmute, vol up/down control pad. The thing just won't work OK with Rhythmbox. Though I can fiddle with pulseaudio preferences and make the sound come out thru the USB speakers from Rhythmbox, I can't stop a song while it is playing because PA will climb to 95% CPU and never return control to Rhythmbox. Audacious, however, doesn't show this quirk and works mostly OK.
2. If I unplug the USB speakers, then the sound goes back to the builtin speakers but it is reduced to an almost inaudible volume. When USB speakers are plugged again they are no longer found by PA, nor do they appear in PA Preferences until I reboot.
3. The control pad works, as I can see the proper graphic notices in the screen when I mute/unmute or turn vol up or down, but it does not modify the USB speakers volume in any way.
4. I'd like to have a one-button-press switch from USB to internal for my wife who is an extremely lazy/unknowledgeable user, what's the simplest bet? A user script launched from second button menu? Some other control I am missing?
I understand these must be ALSA issues - can somebody point me to solutions and some best practices to keep sanity in drivers/sound systems before I definitely screw up the machine?
Thank you in advance!