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On windoz, when I have a DVD playing, an mp3 playing, a video going in Firefox while playing a video game, I can hear everybody screaming over everybody else. Linux seems to have the first audio player get exclusive access to the sound hardware which locks everybody else out.
In fact, If I start a VLC movie successfully and then start a Firefox flash video, Firefox will often crash entirely requiring a root -> `killall firefox` to remove the dead windows.
If I start a Firefox video and then kill the entire tab (page), I still can not get audio from any other source (vlc movie or rhythmbox) until i kill Firefox. Flash on Linux has always been buggy.
Rhythmbox an VLC play nicer together. I can stop one and the other will then play without killing the other.
Sometimes, quiet background music is nice while listening to the BBC World Service. Es Possible?
Is there an audio configuration option to stop the exclusive locking of the audio? If windoz can do it, how hard could it be?
well sound varies from distro to distro...they each tend to use their own preferred sound servers.
if you go for kde4...the new server...aka Phonon...can easily handle 2 more sound files playing thru same sound device see my wiki link if interested....naturally you should do the full monty and convert to sidux and go straight to multimedia heaven....heh heh
altho I may have some non-free codecs installed...I can't recall