Playback disabled, PortAudio Api selection is blank

• Feb 4, 2019 - 07:00
Reported version
S3 - Major

When starting MuseScore 3, playback is disabled. Also View/Synthesizer selection is disabled. Edit/Preferences.../IO shows PortAudio box checked, but API and Device dropdown boxes are empty and have no selections available.

MuseScore 2 works perfect though. Using MME as the PortAudio API device there.


Frequency Once Many
Workaround No Yes

I've found a work around for this bug is to unplug all USB audio devices so the system only has one audio device to look at. I find this problem occurs any time I have (a) USB audio interface(s) attached allowing no playback through any device. Bug still present 3.0.4. Issue occurs on Windows not sure if anyone else is experiencing on other OSs.

Regression Yes No

I found that when I went into advanced preferences, the audio devices were missing there aswell. I reset those, pressed OK and the API options return.

Reported version 3.0 3.6

Confirmed problem is still present on Windows with version 3.6.2. I've tried both 32 and 64 bit versions in case it makes a difference (it doesn't!).

As soon as a Bluetooth headset is switched on and connected, MuseScore no longer recognises any sound device at all - the menus in Preferences->I/O are completely blank, and the playback controls. synth and mixer are greyed out. An external USB sound card doesn't seem to cause the same issue (so that aspect of the original problem, last confirmed by James Wilshaw in version 3.0.4, seems to have been fixed).

MS is the only application that seems to break in this way - other apps all either successfully use the Windows default device (even if that's the Bluetooth headset) or allow the user to choose within the application.

I'm guessing that the culprit is actually the PortAudio library, which I see is no longer used on the master branch of MS - but as 4.x is still beta, it'd be good to fix this for 3.x. Is there a later version of the library that fixes the issue?

Right now there is no plan to have another 3.x release. But also, note that the problem isn't reproducible on most systems - it's not like Bluetooth headsets break things on aall systems. Seeems to depend on the specifics of your OS, audio hardware, devices drivers, and other applications running. So unfortunately, until someone who does experience the problem is able to pinpoint which aspect of their system is triggering the problem, there is no way to find a way to work around the issue with that component.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Workaround Yes No

Hi! I don't know if it's the right place for my message but I'm having the same issue : the I/O page in the menu is blank and I can't change anything...It worked perfectly until I (accidentaly) launched another program using my sound card and midi keyboard (i.e. the standalone sampler/synthesizer Falcon by UVI)...From then on, I can't use my midi controller with Musescore and I can't hear a sound : the audioport parameters are blank and I can't do anything on that page...
I've tried reinstalling and I've tried deleting the Musescore .ini file but nothing seems to do it...
That's quite annoying...and I don't know what else I could try...

In reply to by E1R31M

Workaround No Yes's working again...I don't really know what I did exactly...Let me try to retrace my steps just in case it can help someone else...
I have 3 different audio drivers :
a. the internal soundcard of my computer
b. My monitor sound driver
c. My audio interface's driver.

  1. I uninstalled my audio interface's driver and deactivated my audio interface in the sound settings in the windows parameters.
  2. I deactivated my monitor sound driver as well and
  3. I set my internal soundcard as "by default".
  4. Launched Musescore 3.6 --> I could hear sound again! And the I/0 page wasn't blank anymore! Closed Musescore.
  5. I activated my monitor sound card again, launched Musescore 3.6 and could hear the sound through my monitor's speakers after fiddling in the I/O parameters. Closed Musescore
  6. reinstalled the drivers of my audio interface's driver and launched MS again and after changing the options in the I/O worked!

I'm relieved!!

Reported version 3.0 3.6

On my Windows machine, I select the default Speakers / Headphones in the Audio output before I start MuseScore. The audio playback, synthesizer all seem to work just fine. However, if I have my USB audio selected, MuseScore doesn't initialize the audio playback or the synthesizer.

In reply to by kyoceranolen

More information: I noticed that when I have USB Audio codec selected for Windows, the MuseScore app doesn't initialize the synthesizer when first loading. The initialization messages are pretty quick but I did notice this difference. So, it makes sense that the Playback is not enabled. The work around is to close the MuseScore, select the default Speakers/Headphones, re-launch MuseScore. The synthesizer is initialized and the Playback is enabled. I can then select the Audio device in MuseScore > Preferences > I/O > Device = "USB Audio codec" and then press "Restart Audio and MIDI Devices". It works every time.

Workaround Yes No

I'm also having this issue. My OS is macOS Monterey. I'm using wired earbuds that I've been using for a long time but now playback stopped working and nothing shows up in PortAudio.

I've tried restarting MuseScore, resetting preferences, factory resetting, and everything else on the forums. Even when I take the earbuds out it doesn't play it through my computer speakers. And it isn't just that sound isn't playing, but it won't even resume playback.

In reply to by richardb64

Workaround Yes No

Problem exists for me in v2.3.2 of musescore 2 and version 3.6.2 (or whatever the latest is) of 3. My musescore 2 sound worked perfectly fine with or without bluetooth and then today I tried downloading 3 and I couldn't get playback, went back to 2 and suddenly had the issue there too /: