"If playback doesn't begin shortly, try restarting your device."

Hey, first post here!
I’ve been running into an issue where, after a certain, consistently inconsistent period of runtime, I get an issue the appears on youtube as “If playback doesn’t begin shortly, try restarting your device.” I have not been able to identify any particular action that seems to cause this.
Now the reason this isn’t being posted on a Firefox support forum is because when this happens, no video playback works on my device. Not Discord, not VLC not even KdenLive! It all just sits at 0:00, and though I can move the bar around to see associated video, and it does buffer, there is no playback.
Rebooting does fix the issue for a good period of time, though, so it’s not exactly “paralyzing and urgent.” I’ve lived with it for quite some time, as I was under the assumption that it was either intrinsic to i3, Manjaro, or some video driver I’m using and would be updated out.
Needless to say I’ve been keeping my install fully up to date for quite some time now, and the issue persists.
I’ve exhausted what few options I know of to fix this particular issue, (Update system, update drivers, look for people with similar issues, futile tinkering, conclude to wait for devs to fix, repeat after a couple weeks) and since I’m not exactly omniscient, I was hoping somebody here could point me in the right direction!

Have you checked if some errors are logged somewhere?

I’ve looked through it and haven’t found anything relevant, just a log of Java errors that have to do with running Minecraft, (which does not correlate with my issue), pacman’s logs which seem clean, some xorg logs which again don’t contain any sort of major errors or timestamps that predicate my issue, and some .journal stuff which I was confused on how to access until I realized they just contained stuff I had skimmed through in the terminal already.

I’m no expert at browsing log files though and if you have anywhere in particular that you think I should look I’m all ears!

And just to clarify my issue isn’s associated with a “crash” of any kind, seemingly a low level issue causing high level errors that, based on my limited inference, possibly wouldn’t even show up in the log files that I can find.
Again Xorg logs seem clean but do you know of any special nvidia-exclusive special logs that I might be able to inspect?

If there is no apparent problem with video playback, maybe the problem is with audio playback

Check if PulseAudio is running or showing errors

systemctl -l --no-pager --user status pulseaudio.*

and try restarting PulseAudio

pactl exit

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So at the conclusion of my old thread I had realized that to restart pulseaudio I had been using pulseaudio -k, which is the wrong command here. So when I used the command pactl exit and heard audio, I was quick to tap the “solution” button. Too quick, and for some reason there’s no way to take back a “solution” designation. The problem reappeared in a few moments, in a weird way.

-When pactl exit is executed while discord is running, it allows audio to play from discord for a short moment, but no audio to be transmitted, and both input and output get replaced with "Default: " and no other options. When Discord is restarted, the problem reappears as if I never executed pactl exit.
-When pactl exit is executed during the infinite loading video playback, it lets the video play, but with no audio. If the page is refreshed the infinite loading returns.

Well, at least now I know it’s a pulseaudio problem. But when I used the command the last post/ “solution” in the last thread to see whether puleaudio was throwing errors/even running, I got nothing other than that it was running and an error about a missing config file (stat '/etc/pulse/default.pa.d) Which, according to what I’ve read, is an optional config. But I did mkdir -p /etc/pulse/default.pa.d and the problem did not go away, just the error. Also doing that disconnected me from the internet for some reason, but not a chronic problem.

Any more hot tips on how I should go about fixing this?

Also, sometimes it’s associated with opening Thunar, but I’ve been able to sometimes open it without pulse breaking + sometimes pulse breaks without thunar ever being opened, so it’s not certain. But I’ll try a different file explorer and see if anything changes.
Am now using pipewire and dolphin rather than pulse and thunar, issue persists.
Edit 1.5:
Also I’ve found myself repeatedly restarting my computer to get audio to work, as in it seems more likely not to work than to work now. Not sure how it could get worse like that, but it sucks worse now. Usability is bad.

Hey! So I was considering that I’d eliminated everything except wireplumber, so naturally I looked into it a little, someone had reported some funky issue very vaguely associated with i3 for some reason, and similar to mine, so I replaced it with pipewire-media-session, and as far as I can see, it works!

If the issue doesn’t re-manifest itself soon I’ll mark this as the solution!

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