I have been using VMWare player for virtualization but over the weekend I decided to play around with VirtualBox (4.2.18). I installed Windows 7 (x64) along with the VirtualBox extensions. Everything worked but I had some problems with the sound. I noticed that within the sound configuration box within Windows I was only able to use “16-bit 44.1KHz”, or at least that is what showed in the dropdown box and every selection was greyed out. I also found that if I selected any speaker arrangement other than “Stereo”, the pitch of the test tone would decrease and its duration would increase, moreso as more speakers were selected. I also found that when testing individual speakers the LF, LR and center would play through the left front speaker and the RF, RR and subwoofer would play through the right speaker. Whereas in VMWare player all 6 speakers would play correctly. Is this the general experience with VirtualBox or could there be something wrong with my setup? I am on openSUSE 12.3 x64, KDE4.11, kernel 3.11.1, Intel HD Audio onboard sound, all going through PulseAudio. The Windows 7 vm is configured to use pulse and Intel HD Audio. I have a 5.1 sound system which works perfectly within openSUSE.
Let me say that in general, you are not using a VM in order to have the best audio experience. If VMWARE does what you want, then you might want to stick with it. I use Oracle’s VirtuaBox because the price is right and it allows me to run the Windows 7 applications I want to use with openSUSE as the host. If I want a 7.1 speaker setup, its going to be a native setup using openSUSE or Windows if need be. Oracle has been good about providing free updates that work with openSUSE and the latest kernel and does very well running openSUSE VM’s and does a pretty good job for me and Windows, but in the end, VM’s are not the same as the real thing just as for sale VM’s may do better than free ones and if you find one that does what you want, how many other VM’s do you really need?
Anyway, its just my thoughts on the VM subject.
I assure you that I was not intending any disrespect toward VirtualBox nor was I making a comparison of one VM’s capabilities vs. another’s. As noted, I was “playing around” with VirtualBox, as in fact I “play around” with a lot of things on Linux. Perversely or not, one of the appeals of Linux to me is that everything does not necessarily work “out of the box” and things often require a bit of digging or tweaking to make them work correctly or to their maximum capabilities. So I was just asking if anyone (everyone) had the same experience with VirtualBox that I was having, or was there some setting I was missing.
No disrespect was taken and in fact everyone is free to use VirtualBox or VMWare in any way they please. My experience has been that high end audio using VirtualBox is not the norm, but no reason you can’t give it a try if you wish.