On my simulator, I noticed that I could only seem to get one application at a time to send audio. I didn’t report on it then because I have had odd issues with that on-board sound before, and because its not the stock sound driver/chip the Zonbu uses.
I first noticed it when I was paying a song in Rhapsody and tried to play other audio but any combination of applications on the simulator would cause it but it happened across the board with any combination of applications.
Sure enough, and much to my relief, the Zonbu has multi-channel audio.
If I play one of the stock Bach MP3 sound files and then kick off one of the sample videos, I get both audio streams. If someone IMs me, I get a nice “message arrived” notice. Works just like it should…
But, the kids aren’t playing nicely…
If I fire up the Rhapsody web based player, and play a song, it seems to block all other apps from using the sound device, instead of mixing in their output.
It may not be a Zonbu specific problem, it may be a Rhapsody online plug-in problem (I’ll check it under windows), but it is more likely a Rhapsody + Linux problem. I’ll try it under PuppyLinux or Ubuntu or something as well to see what happens. Sound can still be a black art in Linux.
If it turns out to be Rhapsody, I’ll alert them to the problem and hopefully it can be fixed.
I’ll write a dedicated post on the topic in the future, but I think Rhapsody is a killer app for the Zonbu and this is yet another reason why they should include the Linux Rhapsody client. Originally developed for the Nokia N800 tablet, the Linux client will play much more nicely with the rest of the desktop – not to mention make the Zonbu a much more compelling proposition.