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I'm attempting to switch at runtime between two ALSA devices on the same ALSA card:

>>> [blake@e530 ~]$ aplay -l
**** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices ****
card 0: PCH [HDA Intel PCH], device 0: CX20590 Analog [CX20590 Analog]
  Subdevices: 0/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 0: PCH [HDA Intel PCH], device 3: HDMI 0 [HDMI 0]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0

Device 0 is my laptop's onboard sound, Device 3 is its HDMI output.

After installing PulseAudio server (hopefull for more granular runtime management options) only Device 0 appears in my pacmd list-sinks:

flags: HARDWARE HW_MUTE_CTRL HW_VOLUME_CTRL DECIBEL_VOLUME LATENCY FLAT_VOLUME DYNAMIC_LATENCY
state: IDLE
suspend cause: 
priority: 9959
volume: front-left: 65536 / 100% / 0.00 dB,   front-right: 65536 / 100% / 0.00 dB
        balance 0.00
base volume: 65536 / 100% / 0.00 dB
volume steps: 65537
muted: no
current latency: 20.40 ms
max request: 3 KiB
max rewind: 344 KiB
monitor source: 0
sample spec: s16le 2ch 44100Hz
channel map: front-left,front-right
             Stereo
used by: 0
linked by: 1
configured latency: 20.00 ms; range is 0.50 .. 2000.00 ms
card: 0 <alsa_card.pci-0000_00_1b.0>
module: 6
properties:
        alsa.resolution_bits = "16"
        device.api = "alsa"
        device.class = "sound"
        alsa.class = "generic"
        alsa.subclass = "generic-mix"
        alsa.name = "CX20590 Analog"
        alsa.id = "CX20590 Analog"
        alsa.subdevice = "0"
        alsa.subdevice_name = "subdevice #0"
        alsa.device = "0"
        alsa.card = "0"

Is there a way to achieve this output switching behavior at runtime using either PulseAudio or native ALSA?

0

My problem was similar, I have multiple devices listed in aplay -l but PulseAudio only listed my speakers pacmd list-sinks; it missed my headset.

**** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices ****
card 0: PCH [HDA Intel PCH], device 0: ALC898 Analog [ALC898 Analog]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 0: PCH [HDA Intel PCH], device 1: ALC898 Digital [ALC898 Digital]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 0: PCH [HDA Intel PCH], device 3: HDMI 0 [HDMI 0]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 0: PCH [HDA Intel PCH], device 7: HDMI 1 [HDMI 1]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 0: PCH [HDA Intel PCH], device 8: HDMI 2 [HDMI 2]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 0: PCH [HDA Intel PCH], device 9: HDMI 3 [HDMI 3]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 0: PCH [HDA Intel PCH], device 10: HDMI 4 [HDMI 4]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 1: A20 [Astro A20], device 0: USB Audio [USB Audio]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 1: A20 [Astro A20], device 1: USB Audio [USB Audio #1]
  Subdevices: 0/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0

For this output I ran the following to add my headset to PulseAudio. Then I used pasystray to select the headset as the default sink and I opened an application for music. Everything worked fine after that. pactl load-module module-alsa-sink device=hw:1,1 Then to make this persist across reboots I added load-module module-alsa-sink device=hw:1,1 to /etc/pulse/default.pa.

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