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Old 01-27-2005, 10:41 AM   #1
Erik Plaggenmar
Registered: Apr 2004
Location: Netherlands
Distribution: Debian Testing
Posts: 70

Rep: Reputation: 15
Application using sound, blocks access to soundcard for other applications??

I recently installed Debian on my laptop... Everything is working OK
One problem is that my soundcard can only be used by one application at a time, example: i'm playing music in xmms, i can't hear the Gaim sounds, or: i'm playing a movie in MPlayer, when i want to start xmms, xmms says that the soundcard is in use.

The soundcard in my laptop is a nForce onboard sound and i'm using ALSA...

Can anybody help me with this problem or knows any solution, how all the programs can access the soundcard?

Greetz, Erik
Old 01-27-2005, 12:05 PM   #2
Senior Member
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Sweden
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 3,032

Rep: Reputation: 58
Either use the Alsa dmix plugin or use a dedicated sound server. Both essentially do the same: They mix audio streams from different programs to one single stream which is sent to the sound card. Sound servers include esound (Enlightenment, Gnome) and arts (KDE).

This is what I use in my ~/.asoundrc on my laptop with nforce3 audio to make ALSA mix it down for me without a sound server:
pcm.!default {
  type plug
  slave.pcm "dmixer"
pcm.dsp0 {
  type plug
  slave.pcm "dmixer"
pcm.dmixer {
  type dmix
  ipc_key 1024
 slave {
  pcm "hw:0,0"
  period_time 0
  period_size 1024
 buffer_size 8192
  rate 44100
 bindings {
  0 0
  1 1

ctl.dmixer {
  type hw
  card 0


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