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Old 10-30-2003, 02:54 PM   #1
Registered: Oct 2003
Distribution: Red Hat 9
Posts: 42

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sound from multiple programs at once

I am running Red Hat 9, and i want to run xmms while i play games. The problem is that only one works at a time. xmms gives me a message saying it was unable to initialise sound hardware. I downloaded and installed xmms 1.2.8 because the one that came with RH9 doesn't play mp3s. I have an integrated sound card (AC '97 or something like that). Sound itself works properly
Old 10-30-2003, 03:15 PM   #2
Registered: Oct 2003
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 112

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Generally, there are two ways in which a program can access a sound card - by directly accessing the driver, or by accessing a sound server such as esd or arts. xmms uses a sound server. What does the game use?

Does it make a difference if after a reboot you run xmms first, then the game? If the game fails, what does it say? If xmms, what does it say?

If by directly accessing the driver, many programs will access it exclusively, preventing other programs from using it.
Old 10-30-2003, 09:57 PM   #3
Registered: Oct 2003
Distribution: Red Hat 9
Posts: 42

Original Poster
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The game is quake3. it works with the sound if xmms is not running. if xmms is started before, then quake3 simply continues without sound. No error message. If i start quake3, come back to the desktop (alt-enter and minimise it), and start xmms, it starts without any message. When i try to play an mp3, it shows me a window that says

Window title : Couldn't open audio

in the window : Please check that:
1. you have the correct ouput plugin selected
2. no other programs is blocking the soundcard
3. Your soundcard is configured properly

As for my situation:
1. I am using oss and esound output plugins. The same error appears for both of them.
2. Someone else on the quake3 forum is able to play xmms and q3 at the same time with no problem. So q3's probably not blocking it
3. i don't know how to check if the soundcard is configured properly. Sound works if only one application is running...

BTW, this is not specific to xmms and quake3.... i cant use mplayer along with xmms either (Not that i would want to, just clearing things up) Its a prob where i cant use more than one sound prog at a time. Could it be a soundcard configuration issue? I have an integrated AC '97 soundcard and it works with multiple applications in windows.
Old 10-30-2003, 10:24 PM   #4
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Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Silly Con Valley
Distribution: Red Hat 7.3, Red Hat 9.0
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well, on kde, this would work (it works for me and ut2k3). change the executable command of your quake shortcut to have "artsdsp" (no quotes) in front of the existing command. example:

for ut2k3, the command to run it in the execute tab is like:


change that to:

artsdsp /usr/local/games/ut2003_demo/ut2003_demo

of course use the path/command for quake. this little diddy doesn't work for every app though, so you'll have to find out which ones do by trial and error.

maybe try something like that with osd or esd.

or just use kde(???)

Last edited by megaspaz; 10-30-2003 at 10:28 PM.
Old 11-02-2003, 10:01 AM   #5
Registered: Oct 2003
Distribution: Red Hat 9
Posts: 42

Original Poster
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quake3 doesn't have any sound on KDE for some reason.... so i am going to try this out on xmms and mplayer running at the same time... unfortunately, artsdsp doesn't work. It doesn't seem to make any difference. I've tried all combinations of the two commands (one before theh other, artsdsp on one at a time then both at once...). Nothing seems to work. Thanks for taking the time to help though...
There are no man or info pages for artsdsp. What is it and what does it do? And what do you mean when you say, try something similar for osd or esd
Old 11-04-2003, 02:27 AM   #6
Registered: Oct 2003
Distribution: Red Hat 9
Posts: 42

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
i've been hearing about alsa quite a bit, as well as the fact that its supposed to be pretty convoluted to install. would installing alsa solve my problem?


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