multiple audio channels?

Ray Parrish crp at
Sun Jan 18 03:08:28 UTC 2009

don fisher wrote:
> Hello,
> It would be useful to be able to watch a video in Firefox, pause it, and 
> preview another video. Or pause it and listen to some music via 
> rhythmbox. But it appears that the first application attaches the audio 
> channel, and all other audio sources are blocked.
> Is there any way to simulate the selector switch present on stereo 
> receivers that allow selection of some arbitrary source, without 
> shutting down the other sources? If so, how does one specify to 
> realplayer or rythmbox which channel to use?
> Some mixers allow definition of channels for recording, but I do not see 
> similar capabilities for playback. I started to look at Jack, but that 
> appears to be hitting a mouse with a sledge hammer:-)
> Any references would be appreciated.
> don

That is what pulseaudio is supposed to be already doing for you. 
However, as many people are experiencing, for some reason it conflicts 
with alsa, and doesn't seem to be working correctly at present. You may 
see errors of the following form in your logs.

Jan  7 00:19:35 ray-desktop pulseaudio[6353]: sink-input.c: Failed to 
create sink input: too many inputs per sink.

This manifests itself in a variety of ways, on my system Totem will not 
play a video because of it, and some people are even experiencing lo k 
ups that require rebooting. For more reading about this, see the 
following bug report and replies to it. -


I hope someone finds a solution soon.

Later, Ray Parrish

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