Re-installing is also no guarantee it will work better. :rolleyes:
Next time you get this message, check to see if another application has stubbornly refused to let go of your audio device. Do that by copy and pasting the following into an xterm/konsole: lsof /dev/dsp /dev/audio /dev/mixer* /dev/snd/*
Its possible you are also running into Pulse Audio problems. (Note KDE-3.5.9 appears to have less problems with sound in openSUSE-11.0 than KDE4/Gnome). If this turns out to be Pulse Audio complications, you may find this URL on PulseAudio an interesting read (although since it is written for distribution packagers, may not be specifically relevant) to your Real Player and skype.
I am not at a Linux PC right now, … is it possible to change the audio output module in your Real Player and Skype to something else (say to “alsa”) ? Alsa permits mixing of sound from different applications, while I believe OSS, ESD, and aRts do not.
I was expecting trouble with sound, based on the fact that pulse is new to this release, and that Skype is famous for not supporting it. I may be guilty of finding what I was looking for. :o
It turns out the RealPlayer was simply broken. It never seems to work for me, but it popped up as the default when I clicked on a music file, and didn’t work. I looked for a config setting to change the sound device, but failed to find one.
I installed xmms, which even has a pulse plugin, and that works fine.
I uninstalled RealPlayer.
I then turned to Skype. It turns out that if I simply select my audio devices from the options window (“pulse” definitely does not work, and neither does “default”) it seems to work fine.
Happily, I didn’t chase after a non issue for too long. Thanks for the help!