AC'97 soundcard simultaneous sounds
I'm moderately familiar with linux, having attempted to use it on and off for the past year and a half. However, problems with whatever goes wrong always send me back to windows. This time, I have a very well-working install of Mandrake 10.1 Community i586. Everything works beautifully, except for the sounds! I am unable to play sounds simultaneously. When I have gaim running, I cannot play music. No two programs can use the soundcard at once. Also, sounds will enter a "queue" to play. In gaim, if i receive a handful of messages at about the same time, it will not play the sounds immediately, as does windows, but it plays one sound, then the next, and then the next, and so on.
This is really annoying, and I have no idea how to fix it. I really do not know what to include in this post, so just ask for something, and how to get it, and I'll give it.
Everywhere I look says the problem is hardware related, and can only be fixed by getting a new soundcard. I would really like to avoid doing this, considering that the same problem occurs on my old SB Live! card.
Please help...I would hate to return to Windows once again, citing how poorly Linux works.