1) built-in NVidia HDA
2) M-Audio Delta (Audiophile) 2496
I almost gave it all up and removed M2496 hoping that built-in will work fine - I was wrong.
As I can see it now - There is no "simple" solutions in Linux, like reboot and see what happens :)
So I've decided to setup and run system-wide pulseaudio daemon - after trying and reading forums it helped - I have sound from apps that use ALSA, I have volume control from pa applet and support for esd/pulseaudio network clients.
Next thing I've decided to try is passing sound from windows to linux - so I could walk around with my laptop and playing winamp or foobar or anything and the sound went from speakers plugged into my linux box.
First success was to run paplay on windows connected to pulseaudio server on linux - that was fun, but not useful.
Next, I've search for some kind of pa client audio output driver for Win, nothing of that kind yet exists (I will learn programming windows drivers some day, but until then I use google search ;) but there are ESD clients for windows:
1. WinESD 0.3 which is claimed to be a pre-ALPHA so be afraid :) I've installed it, but it requires reboot which I haven't done yet (I use hibernation in windows, because I don't like to start all those useful apps over and over again every day - so I guess I will reboot it later)
2. ESD output plugin for Winamp 2/3 - which I use right at this moment to stream music from my winamp on windows to pulseaudio server on linux - sounds nice and smooth, no glitches, no delays.
here are my pulse configuration files
add-autoload-sink output module-alsa-sink sink_name=output device=hw:0
add-autoload-source input module-alsa-source source_name=input device=hw:0
# Load several protocols
#these two lines below allow ESD/PA clients to connect
# auth-anonymous=1 is not very safe,
# but firewall doesn't let strangers in
load-module module-esound-protocol-tcp auth-anonymous=1
load-module module-native-protocol-tcp auth-anonymous=1
# Make some devices default
run: sudo pulseaudio --system=1 --high-priority=1 -D
to start pulseaudio as a system-wide daemon.
1) select esd out plugin
2) in esd out plugin options enter:
host: ninja.local (my linux box host)
port: 16001 (it was there by default)
password: (nothing, auth-anonymous, remember?)
3) ok, close, play
Look ma, no wires :)))
p.s. I am going to put m2496 back in