I've created a patch to fix the problem where audio would sometimes start popping/crackling when the game starts. And in the cosole this would be seen repeated:
snd_pcm_writei 4096 frames failed: Broken pipe preparing audio device for output
I have a feeling that this fix is more of a kludge that works around the issue, rather than fixes it at the source. However, it does appear to work well enough to mask the problem.
-If a call to snd_pcm_writei() returns an EPIPE error it will re-prepare the connection and then try to send the audio data again, but it will also try to send a partial duplicate. The number of frames duplicated is set by 's_alsa_underrun_extrafill'.
I've only tested it on Linux Mint 17.2, 64 bit.