The sound card turns out not to be a real SB Live! soundcard, and was
not originally supported by GNU/Linux. The onboard sound card which
worked just fine, although it does not have the features of the SB
Live! This means that you can't listen to Audio CD music directly,
since the drive is plugged into the broken sound card.
Newer versions of the kernel do support the sound card (at least from
2.6.11). The two soundcards are identified:
$ lspci | grep audio
0000:00:1f.5 Multimedia audio controller: Intel Corp.
82801EB/ER (ICH5/ICH5R) AC'97 Audio Controller (rev 02)
0000:01:07.0 Multimedia audio controller: Creative Labs
[SB Live! Value] EMU10k1X
See Section 7.1.2 for details on setting up the sound
Some applications play badly on the SB Live! sound card. It is very
choppy (e.g., with realplay for example, but not xmms).
This is fixed, it seems, by sending output to the OSS driver rather
than the ALSA driver.
Since there are two soundcards in the machine, the simplest approach
to making the SB Live! the default is to add both soundcards to
alias snd-card-0 snd-emu10k1x
options snd-emu10k1x index=0
alias snd-card-1 snd-intel8x0
options snd-intel8x0 index=1
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