Youtube: Audio renderer error. Please restart your computer.

Hi, balena_NOOB here. Tech savvy, just brand new to balena.
I’m having trouble getting sound through HDMI from a rpi 4, 8gb.
I’ve looked through the other “sound trouble” posts on the forum.

My steps:

  1. Press Deploy with Balena on BalenaDash github page
  2. Accepting all defaults - name balena-dash, Pi 4, Starter, press Create and deploy button on the dashboard popup that shows up
  3. From applications screen click on the balena-dash application
  4. On the devices page wait for the “building release” to finish
  5. Click on the Add device button
  6. On Add new device screen rpi4, balenaOS, V2.73.1+rev1, click on development, Ethernet only – then click on Download
  7. Unzip img file, burn to microsd card
  8. Boot pi4. Wait for it to show up on devices tab
  9. Click on name of device. Wait for updating to finish
  10. Under Device Variables tab, add AUDIO_OUTPUT variable with a value of RPI_HDMI0
  11. Under Device service variables add variables to the kiosk service: SHOW_CURSOR value 1, CONFIG_MODE value 1, LAUNCH_URL value
  12. Wait for pi to start service - YouTube shows up
  13. Click on a video - YouTube looks like it is starting the video, then gives a black screen with Audio renderer error. Please restart your computer.

Help! I’m trying to make solid units that I can deploy for 4 teachers at the school where I teach. What am I doing wrong?

Hey @leow, welcome to the forums!

It looks to me like you’ve done everything correctly, at least from my perspective. It does also remind me of this forum post here that may be related?

Can you confirm you are using the HDMI port next to the power connector?

Thanks! Yes, I am using the HDMI port next to the USBC power connector. Yes, I’ve seen similarities with other posts and have been scouring them for help.

Simply for troubleshooting purposes Leo, can you hook up some speakers or headphones to the audio-out port on the Pi, and see if any audio is present there? You might also need to unset that AUDIO_OUTPUT Device Variable that is currently set to RPI_HDMI0, and reboot. I realize it’s not what your end goal is, but, I am curious to see if that works, and can at least confirm audio works in that scenario… Also, I see that other user that Kyle linked to has a similar problem. I will try to do a fresh build and see if I can duplicate this behavior myself, as well. Thanks!

No problem - I appreciate your help! I removed the AUDIO_OUTPUT variable and rebooted. No joy - it is still reporting Audio renderer error - so I can’t tell if I could get sound out of the audio output port. I would actually prefer the audio output port, but am willing to use it either way. THANKS

Thanks for the quick test Leo! I haven’t had a chance to build mine yet, it will likely need to be over the weekend…but I am going to attempt to duplicate this and will report back. :slight_smile:

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This is probably totally spurious - but just in case. I used dmesg|less to look at the boot log. It had one line that looked like it could be related to sound:
4.386700] snd_bcm2835: module is from the staging directory, the quality is unknown, you have been warned.

Thanks for your help!

I don’t know for sure - but to me, this looks OK.
root@5c461ff:~# lsmod | grep snd_bcm2835
snd_bcm2835 28672 0
snd_pcm 135168 5 snd_usb_audio,vc4,snd_bcm2835,snd_soc_core,snd_pcm_dmaengine
snd 106496 10 snd_seq_device,snd_hwdep,snd_usb_audio,snd_usbmidi_lib,snd_bcm2835,snd_timer,snd_compress,snd_soc_core,snd_pcm,snd_rawmidi

When I try to go to a meeting, it is saying - Audio error: Requested device not found – as if Chrome just can’t see the audio stuff or that the needed services aren’t running. Don’t know if this helps.

I think it could be related to this thread: BalenaOS 2.73.1+rev1 for RPI4: how to make bcm2835-codec working?

@LeoW Ok, I just got mine built, and I was able to duplicate the error that you experience. I have opened up a GitHub Issue for us to investigate the problem here: Audio Renderer Error: Please Restart Your Computer · Issue #130 · balenalabs/balena-dash (

OUTSTANDING – Thank you very much. I hope it is easy to find.

@LeoW - just to let you know that the bug you found has now been resolved. You can get the fix by redeploying the balenaDash app, and it will have the fix included in the latest release.

FYI: the issue was a mismatch between the Raspbian base image and the latest version of Chromium. The latter expected the OS to have a pulseaudio backend, but crashed when it found the ALSA bridge we were installing as part of the browser block. We have removed the bridge, and it now works again.

Thanks for letting us know about this!

OUTSTANDING - Thank you very much!

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