I'm running Ubuntu 9.04. Worked fine for months, then I rebooted yesterday after weeks of continuous operation. Now audio won't play through the speakers. The USB headset works fine, but the Conexant audio (CX20549) does not. Weirdly, it thinks it's playing. pavumeter shows appropriate levels, volume looks OK in alsamixer, but no sound.
I did find this page: http://www.eugeneteplitsky.com/fixing-silent-pulseaudio-in-ubuntu-9-04/
Unfortunately the advice there doesn't help me. For one thing, the syntax for the alsa-base.conf file is apparently not actually documented anywhere. For another, my chipset isn't listed in the kernel.org docs he links to!
EDIT: would upgrading to 9.10 help? Is there a major change in the audio subsystem between 9.04 and 9.10? Any suggestions?
EDIT 2: This is stranger than I thought. Sound works normally in Xine, but is silent in Audacity, VLC and mplayer. What the?