Since moving to VLC 2.0.1 I have been plagued with scratchy sound at the beginning of most audio files I play with VLC.
I haven't used other players much, so cannot comment on those.
It seems that
The PulseAudio sound server uses a timer-based audio scheduling instead of the traditional interrupt-driven approach. Timer-based scheduling may expose issues in some ALSA drivers.
I am using alsa-0.1.25
To 'fix' this problem the timer-based scheduling can be turned off.
I am presently testing this on a user-basis.
To do so I
Then I edited the file in my home directory as follows:
Line 53 reads
so I changed it to
load-module module-udev-detect tsched=0
So far I have not heard the scratchy sound ..... but will report if anything goes amiss.
My reasons for doing it this way is so that I can easily revert the edit as user, or even delete the /home/<user-name>/.pulse/default.pa
file altogether, without impinging on the PA default settings.
So far so good.