Steam on host disables sound on guest

Discussions related to using VirtualBox on Windows hosts.
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Entegy
Posts: 160
Joined: 6. Sep 2008, 23:59
Primary OS: MS Windows 7
VBox Version: PUEL
Guest OSses: Ubuntu 10.04 x64, XP SP3, Server 2008 R2, Fedora 13 x86/x64
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Steam on host disables sound on guest

Post by Entegy »

I have my XP guest playing music while I'm using the host. Steam is installed and running on the host. If the Steam client becomes the active window, the sound on the guest no longer works and I have to save the execution state then reload it to get it to work again.
pgeek
Posts: 5
Joined: 3. Nov 2009, 02:39
Primary OS: MS Windows 7
VBox Version: PUEL
Guest OSses: Linux

Re: Steam on host disables sound on guest

Post by pgeek »

I have a similar problem running Linux guests. If the active window is changed to some host application using sound, the VM sound is halted. If I get back to the VM desktop, the sound resumes. The one notable exception is using VLC on the host - it doesn't halt the VM sound.

As the windows host is almost only used to run games (and Virtual Box), I find it convenient to let the VM play music or videos during gaming sessions.

Is this a feature, a known bug, or some odd behaviour in my configuration?

Using Virtual Box 3.1.0 on a Windows 7 64 bit host, with several Linux distributions as guests (Arch, Debian, also tested with Ubuntu).
Entegy
Posts: 160
Joined: 6. Sep 2008, 23:59
Primary OS: MS Windows 7
VBox Version: PUEL
Guest OSses: Ubuntu 10.04 x64, XP SP3, Server 2008 R2, Fedora 13 x86/x64
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Re: Steam on host disables sound on guest

Post by Entegy »

What's odd is that Steam isn't using sound. I'm aware that you can watch low-res trailers embedded in the store pages, but I'm not even browsing the store. Just an instant click into Steam disables sound. Event doing thins like watching videos in Firefox on the host doesn't take away sound from the guest.
pgeek
Posts: 5
Joined: 3. Nov 2009, 02:39
Primary OS: MS Windows 7
VBox Version: PUEL
Guest OSses: Linux

Re: Steam on host disables sound on guest

Post by pgeek »

You're right, VLC is no notable exception: Flash videos on Firefox and game launchers with music fail to halt the VM sound.

Actually, the only applications I have inducing this effect are Oblivion and foobar2000, and both use sound. I have no access to Steam, so I can't reproduce your findings. But they play along fine with other host applications, so the problem is related to Virtual Box. As no moderator confirmed this as expected behaviour, I'll see if I can submit a bug report somewhere.
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