Installing snaps messes with audio playback

I’ve noticed this a few times, and suspect there’s little awareness of the issue on the snapd team. Wanted to see if it was ‘just me’ or not (I suspect not).


On a system with multiple audio devices (e.g. onboard audio speakers, and a display over HDMI with external speakers), while playing audio, snap install will sometimes change the output device.

Steps to reproduce

  1. Have a system with more than one audio output device
  2. Open a browser window, and leave a YouTube video playing audio on one device
  3. In a terminal snap install musicpod (I don’t know if it only affects snaps which use audio-playback, but it just happened with that snap for me
  4. Observe the audio moves from one output device to another, during installation

If you do not observe this, try removing the snap, and play the audio through a different device while the snap is installing.

Reasons this is annoying

Don’t move my cheese (don’t unexpectedly change my system setup in unrelated ways) I may be listening to a private meeting on headphones, I don’t want the audio from my co-workers to start blasting out randomly on internal speakers

I’m guessing it’s udev rules being reloaded and cause wireplumber/pipewire/pulseaudio to jump between inputs/outputs. TBH. I have not observed it personally but it could be doe to the latest pipewire/wireplumber which had some fixes for output selection.

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I do observe this, and also sometimes the sound crackles when I run a snap for the first time after each reboot. But, I thought, that’s issue with my config. So, yes, I can confirm this. The audio output often switches from my headphones to the speaker of my pc.

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