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I'd like to only allow audio from a certain application. That is, I'd like to have audio turned off by default for new programs.

I'm aware that in PulseAudio one can mute programs, but the problem is that (for me) new programs always begin unmuted.

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Do you simply want your applications to start muted or do you wish to prevent access to your sound hardware? –  darnir Mar 26 '13 at 8:08
    
Either option sounds good. –  pjv Apr 6 '13 at 16:24
    
One option is to add your user to the audio group, thus allowing applications to grab the hardware (any following application will report "hardware busy"). Theoretically :D –  Vorac Aug 12 '13 at 14:59
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