Selecting sound output device?

Jesse Sheidlower jester at
Mon Dec 5 18:05:37 PST 2005

Forgive me if this is too basic a question for this list, but I
haven't been able to find the answer anywhere else. 

The original version of this message was a long description of
the difficulty I had getting USB speakers to work under 6.0,
despite having loaded snd_uaudio, having the speakers
recognized correctly, etc.  But in the process of explaining
what I was doing, I discovered that when using XMMS, I could
get the speakers to work by setting the sound output device to
pcm1, and that was that.

Now I'd like to know how to use pcm1 as the output device any time
the USB speakers are plugged in, or at least how to control this
manually. Both devices are present:

$ cat /dev/sndstat
FreeBSD Audio Driver (newpcm)
Installed devices:
pcm0: <Intel ICH3 (82801CA)> at io 0x1c00, 0x18c0 irq 11 bufsz 16384 kld snd_ich (1p/1r/4v channels duplex default)
pcm1: <USB Audio> at addr ? (1p/0r/1v channels duplex)
        mode 1:(output) 1ch, 16/16bit, pcm, 6400-48000Hz
        mode 2:(output) 2ch, 16/16bit, pcm, 6400-48000Hz

So, if I'm not selecting it in XMMS--if I want to use it for
all output--how do I either automatically or explicitly select
pcm1 as my sound output device? (I'm using the speakers with a
laptop, so I expect to be plugging and unplugging them at other
times than boot, if that matters.)

Thank you.

Jesse Sheidlower

P.S. Can I assume that the "6400-48000Hz" line in the
/dev/sndstat output above means something other than what it
seems to? These are small portable speakers, not subwoofers,
but it certainly seems like I'm getting output below 6400Hz.

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