My computer has one of those crappy sound cards that only takes input from one source. I run fvwm2. I play music all the time. If I browse to a website that plays sounds, like YouTube, then no sound comes out from my browser, and then Firefox locks up tight. I have to kill the individual firefox processes and restart it.
KDE and (I think) Gnome have some lowlevel software that acts as a sound multiplexor. It sits above the crappy sound card and allows multiple sound inputs. What is this software? Can I use it without using KDE?
EDIT: At the low end, I am using ALSA for sound. At any given time, there are only two programs that are going to play sound - one is mplayer and one is Firefox. I think both these programs are trying to get sole ownership of /dev/dsp to play sound. Are there settings that will cause mplayer and Firefox to pass the sound to some underlying device that will multiplex the sound? Arts? Esound? PulseAudio?
Firefox is using mplayer as a plugin to play audio. Is there a way to configure the mplayer plugin so it doesn't go directly to /dev/dsp but to the multiplexor?And is there some configuration for mplayer on the command line that would pass the sound to the same thing?
Pulseaudio could be the answer, depends on your distro. Ubuntu and Fedora come both with Pulseaudio as default, so you shouldn't have those issues on those.
You should not have to change settings on your apps to be supported by Pulseaudio since it act as a front end to Alsa, esd, arts, so no matter how the app wants to use the audio, pulseaudio will handle it properly.
Andrés Arenas Vélez
answered 23 Jul '10, 13:16