View Full Version : Two sound cards, Two Audio Streams, Two sets of Speakers, Possible?

January 4th, 2009, 02:52 AM
It got me thinkng when I was using skype with a usb sound card that came with the headset- there were two separate audio streams working, then I looked over at my stereo, and began to wonder.

Can I setup a separate audio stream using either my usb sound card or a PCI card so that programs like VLC, Rythmbox, ect, play through my stereo rather than my computer speakers, but normal sounds, such as those produced by Pidgin, Ubuntu, ect, still come through my PC speakers?

January 4th, 2009, 04:21 AM
I dunno. Give it a try and let us now if it works. Not the answer you were looking for, but it does give your post a bump.:P

Luke has no name
January 4th, 2009, 06:57 AM
I hada Gigabyte board with some Realtek HD audio that could do that, at least in Windows. The front and rear audios could be separated into two streams.

January 4th, 2009, 07:11 AM
I actually want the exact same thing, for LAN parties. The setup would look like this:

A large collection of music is being played on my computer, blasting through a large speaker setup.
ProjectM, based on that music stream, is being projected on a large screen.
Using a seperate stream that doesn't effect ProjectM in any way, I'm gaming with headphones.

January 4th, 2009, 07:27 AM
I bought a headset just today and was wondering the exact same thing, it should be possible with 2 sound cards, and a sound server like pulseaudio to configure it (I think, correct me if I'm misinformed about what sound servers actually DO).

The KDE4 system settings even has an option to direct different applications output to different sound cards/servers, with groups for Games, Music, Video, Notifications, Communication and Accessibility. This probably only works for KDE4/Qt4 apps using Phonon, but I imagine it's possible to set up some other way.
Skype and some other apps I believe lets you choose the input and output device in the options, most applications will follow the whims of the OS settings though.

Also is a USB sound card expensive? I'd never be able to add in a "proper" sound card to this comp, since it's not mine, but if it's cheap enough I'd like to be able to have both the headset and speakers connected instead of having to go behind my comp and switch which one is plugged in

January 4th, 2009, 10:30 PM
USB sound cards at the level of Skype and such for simple and not very amazing audio are cheap as in under $20 (try like $5 at dealextreme.com), but there are ones for HD Audio, Surround sound, ect, that are very expensive.