13 May

Fixing choppy sound in Chrome within RDP connection

Some things and services are banned from work computers. Like your collection of MP3s. Or p2p-based television. Or access to Pandora. smile But everyone knows that music is a really great motivator! So, I decided to try a small trick - use RDP connection to my home PC and play my MP3s from home PC.

It turns out that playing MP3s in Winamp works great. However, playing Pandora radio or anything else in Chrome produced a very choppy sound and video framerate was around 3fps.. That's not great at all.

Quick Google search locates this 1.5-years old Chrome bug: Issue 310983: choppy sound playing videos within RDP session (not only Flash, also HTML5). As it happens quite often - it's reproduced by several people but nobody gives a flying fcuk about actually fixing it. So much for the open-source and quick fixes..

Lucky for me, there was a workaround suggested in the comments - install RDP 8.0 server and client.

Hmm, I haven't heard anything about RDP versoin 8.0. How is that possible?

Turns out, it comes by default on Windows 8.x but must be manually installed and explicitly enabled on Windows 7. It's one of those hidden treasures very few people know about!

So, on my home Win7 box I installed updates KB2574819, KB2592687 and restarted. Automatically received Security Update KB2965788 and got another restart. Made the necessary changes in group policy settings, and - you guessed right - yet another restart. Got locked out of my box because suddenly my username was not in "Remote Users" group, and I had to re-add it manually. Logged in and everything works as it should. Pandora sounds great, video is suddenly smooth and watchable and my work productivity goes... UP! smile

Happy happy joy joy!

Further reading

List of new features in RDP v8.0
Technical blog explaining technologies behind RDP v8.0 magic

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