multiple sound apps in ALSA

I have stated that I use Pulse because ALSA fails to utilize more then one sound app.
With ALSA if I watch a youtube vid in firerfox and soon open my music player the music player wont work unless I close off firefox.
so I close off firefox but sometimes flash hangs the sound device hostage and I have to log out or kill something to make sure ALSA is freed up.
So this is why I use pulse, it makes using more then one sound app at a time much easier, no hang ups at all.
But there are a few apps that dont get along with pulse so there must be a way to configure alsa to use more then one sound app at a time.
Is there?
Is it easy to use?
Do I have some compiling to do?
Is it commandline?
I am just curious what you anti pulse folks do to use more then one sound app at a time without the aid of pulse.

Oh and this page is useless, it only mumbles about the differences between the multiple sound servers.
no explanation on how to fix anything:

Dont refer to it, it serves no use for this issue.

You can still output sound to oss whether pulse is running or not (but not to Alsa because it redirects to pulse).
Example: mplayer -ao oss

But OSS is not available in openSUSE 11.2, there is no package for it.
Only pulse or ALSA unless I compile from source or port it over via alien.

There is an alsa-oss package.
If you kill the pulseaudio daemon ( /usr/bin/pulseaudio --kill ) you won’t be able to use pulse or alsa but you can output to oss.

However to unmute the sound device, you might have to use alsamixer and for that you need to restart pulseaudio …

That pulseaudio is just a piece of … whatever.

mplayer -ao pulse (default) doesn’t work
mplayer -ao alsa doesn’t work either
but mplayer -ao oss does .

That should be the same for any program able to output to oss (or maybe anything else but pulse or alsa directly) which would let you choose the sound output.

It won’t give you multiple sound though. It’s just a quick alternative to alsa/pulse.

I don’t know if player uses alsa-oss. The sound drivers must be compiled in.
mplayer -ao help
lists the supported audio outputs.

still not that helpful, as I did try and it did not provide the desired result.

This works for me, provided I use alsamixer to set the volume of the physical sound device before killing pulseaudio (otherwise ‘master’ is mute).

ps ax | grep pulseaudio

15618 ? S<sl 0:00 /usr/bin/pulseaudio --start

pulseaudio --kill

mplayer -ao oss

Opening audio decoder: [mp3lib] MPEG layer-2, layer-3
mpg123: Can't rewind stream by 545 bits!
AUDIO: 44100 Hz, 2 ch, s16le, 128.0 kbit/9.07% (ratio: 16000->176400)
Selected audio codec:  afm: mp3lib (mp3lib MPEG layer-2, layer-3)
AO: [oss] 44100Hz 2ch s16le (2 bytes per sample)
Video: no video
Starting playback...

eh, anyone else with ideas?
I am just curious.

I can play video with firefox (youtube) and also play audio with amarok, smplayer, xine all at the same time. I use the alsa api (selecting that for my KDE4 desktop backend so that it uses the alsa api) and for each of my multimedia apps I have selected the alsa api. I do not use pulse, but I can play audio from multiple applications at the same time. However my audio hardware also supports this, and I think this approach of mine may not work for all hardware.

I will be away for 10 days with no internet access, so I will not be able to follow up on this thread.