I have two USB devices: a webcam and a microphone. I can play the webcam's video into VLC and GUVCView. However, I want to use the microphone for another application. The issue is that launching media capture with VLC or GUVCView blocks the microphone.

For instance, running the following before launching VLC/GUVCView:

arecord -vvv -f dat /dev/null

Shows what the microphone picks up. If I launch VLC first with the following command (webcam is on video0):

vlc v4l2:///dev/video0

And then monitor the microphone with the previously shown arecord command, I get nothing. It is the same behavior with GUVCView.

Doing the opposite, launching arecord before VLC, however shows the issue. I only get part of the webcam's image (like the few first lines of the image). Dropping the camera resolution shows more lines in the webcam's image.

It looks like I don't have enough USB bandwidth for both the webcam and the microphone. However, typing lsusb -t show that I have USB 2.0, which supports 480Mbps, and that the webcam only pulls 12Mbps.

1 Answer 1


I think I found the issue. One of the device is USB 1.1, and this causes the whole hub to fall down to USB 1.1 to accommodate it. I saw it using lsusb -v.

USB 1.1 has a max bandwidth of 12Mbps, hence the reading I get with lsusb -t. I'll need to either replace the USB 1.1 device for a USB 2.0 device, or plug in a second USB card directly in the motherboard.

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