Forcing an application through a specific audio device.

Posted on 2007-07-31
Last Modified: 2013-12-07
I've just bought a nice new Dell dekstop PC.  It has audio sockets (surround sound) on the back and the front.  It has two audio devices, one for back and one for the front so they can run independantly.  It's neat.  

But what i want to do is always have certain applications go through one device and other devices always go through the other.  For example, i want google talk to always come out the front through the headphones and Media player to always go out the back device through the speakers.

It looks like an application that does not have the option to specify which audio device to use will always go out the default device.  So what i have to do is change the default device before i open the application which is a bit of a pain.

Vista has the new Audio Mixer feature which is great.  Does anyone know a way of forcing an application to use a specific audio device?

Question by:agrogers
    LVL 6

    Accepted Solution

    I think that this question will come down to application specific solutions. I would think there are maybe 3 possibilities: a settings change in the app, a registry change, or you are stuck using the default and will have to manually change the default device or create a script that will recognize the apps launched and change the default. Check into the settings or registry changes first. I will also look at Google Talk and Windows Media to see if I can find settings or registry keys to make this work the way you want. Keep us updated with your progress.
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    I am assuming you are using the Google Talk client, not the in-browser gadget. In that case, when you start Google Talk, there is a settings link. Under the settings there is an audio section. You should be able to change audio devices from there. In Windows Media Player, you can go to Tools>Options>Devices then click on your speakers and select the properties button. This should allow you to configure what device is your default. Let me know if this helps you. If you have other applications, let me know and I can look at where to set those. As always, keep us updated.
    LVL 2

    Author Comment

    Thanks for the info.  Yes, got Google talk working well.  The settings for Media player are the default for the whole PC i think which is not ideal for me.  i think you are completely right in that it is an application specific issue where the app needs to give an option (like Google Talk) as to which device to use. I was hoping there may have been thirdparty software that would automatically route audio to a specific device based on the application.  But i haven't found any.

    Thanks for your help.

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