Audio/Video sync issues


I am evaluating vmware player 4.0.1 running under Win 7 64 bit Home Premium SP1 Intel i5 4GB RAM

I've got two VM's up at the moment:

1 x XP Pro 32 bit SP3

1 x Unbuntu 11.10

Using VLC if I play a local mpeg2 (All in Windows XP VM) the lip sync is off (My guess around 300ms)

If I do the same in Ubuntu VM I get a similar discrepancy (Again, I think around 300ms. It's enough to be quite noticable)

[If I run the tests under Windows 7 host native op system it seems to lip sync fine]

(The problem also manifests in an identical fashion, under the VM's, with streaming YouTube/Flash media - i.e. a similar audio/video lag)

Two questions for you:

1/ Is it reasonable for me to expect reasonable lip sync under the VM's ?

2/ If the answer to 1 is Yes then how do I trouble shoot this?

Many thanks in advance, Stef

PS The i5 dual cores do not seem to be stressed at all (Below 20% utilization)

5 Replies

Hi again,

Can anyone answer my question No.1 even ? Do vmware users typically get perfect audio/video sync or is this a known issue? (i.e. discrepancies between audio/video timing). I was thinking of running up a second partition to boot a Ubuntu host and try my two vm's under this (instead of Windows 7).

Any thoughts/insights/experiences/suggestions very much appreciated...



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I have tried different levels of gaming on a XP VM with a Win7 Host. And in any of the games that used any level of hardware acceleration I had from a delay to the audio studdering baddly.

If the games were older and used minimal/no acceleration I had no issues.

I have tried adjusting the audio HW accel bare in windows to even trying to install the appropriate audio driver in the VM OS had no change in the end result.

So I am wondering the same thing as yourself as I was hoping to install my kids games in a VM environment keeping my system clutter free.



I've been in IT 30 years and just retired from it and also trying to tidy up my home systems. Frankly I have been gobsmaked just how GOOD Vmware is at most things (I nearly fell off my chair when by Blackberry and Nokia cellphones all sync'd perfectly with USB pass through, also the printer pass through stuff and Virtual LAN stuff just works let alone the underlying technology - It JUST works - very impressive in my opinion. From a cost point of view I am not sure if I could afford to 'virtualise everything' and go to thin-clients but that might be fun 😉 ?

Another thing was just how blisteringly fast Firefox browsing is under Ubuntu under Vmware under Windows. FAR more responsive than running either native IE or Firefox directly under Windows (There is NO going back for me now 🙂

Having said this the Video/Audio sync problem does limit my options somewhat although I read elsewhere that in a thin-client/server situation there is some product that will serve up flash with nicely sync'd audio... pity there seems to be a problem with a native vm implementation? But hey maybe it will work better with a Linux host which I will try when I next get some time...

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Hi Stef,

I'm currently evaluating Workstation 8 as an upgrade to 6.5.x and am also seeing audio/video sync issues. That said, audio has been a bane when using Linux host ever since most Linux distros moved over to Pulse Audio but I digress.

Audio aside, I agree with you that VMware generally performs well "out of the box" with minimal installation and configuration overhead (lots have improved since 2.x days!) and offers amazing performance when e.g. running a Windows guest on a Linux host.

My observed history of VMware audio on a Linux host:

- Server 1.x and 2.0 on RHEL 4 (and 5): audio worked well (Alsa)

- Workstation 6.5 on Fedora 10+ audio was patchy to appalling (using padsp)

- Workstation 8 on RHEL 6: audio works well but with this audio/video sync issue

In fact I'm so appalled by the lack of audio support for Linux hosts in Workstation 6.5.x that I'm a bit miffed at having to pay for Workstation 8 to fix the issue, especially since I never really had Unity or multiple monitors working properly on the Linux host in 6.5 - (note: I also had a license for Workstation 6.5 on a Windows host and I'm very happy with that product - my gripe limited to the Linux host on 6.5).

My only other AV issue so far with Workstation 8 is webcams. I'm currently seeing no video or intermittent video with webcams connected to Windows guest.

If anyone from VMware is reading this it would be great to see these observed AV issues tackled in the current release, rather than when in a future upgrade, tvm!

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I know this is an ancient post; however, I had the same issue with my Ubuntu Linux VMs in VMware Fusion v5.0.3 on a 11" Macbook Air (Core i7, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD).

I solved this by following a few other troubleshooting steps I found in this forum.

The quick and dirty punchline:  Edit the vmx file in the virtual machine package and add this line:  pciSound.playBuffer = "15"

Other posts indicated to set it to 150, then 100...I just followed my way down until I got to 10 (audio was garbled) so I bumbed back to 15.  A/V sync issue gone.

Good luck.