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1 computer, separate sound in different rooms

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I want to be able to have the same new Windows Media Center PC play music in one room while simultaneously playing TV, with TV-only audio, in another (without having to invest in a Media Center Extender).

1. Could an external sound card handle this, i.e., use 2 different sound cards simultaneously for DIFFERENT applications?

2. The other solution that occurred to me, but would have the detriment of not handling streaming audio, is a cheap (flash-based, relatively large form factor) digitial media player (like a Shuffle but .wma-capable, with VBR) that could be stationed permanently at the computer so that the playlist du jour could be dumped into it. To make that work well, I'd want it to be able to play while USB-connected to the PC. That's not the kind of question that anybody answer in their specs; anyone have experience with one that would work?
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it can be done, using a second sound card (or one with multiple I/O), as long as the apps you are using can be configured to use specific devices. either told to use sound card A for tv, and sound card B for music (media player, realplayer, winamp, whatever).
or tell a multichannel sound card to use outputs 1 &2 for tv, 3 & 4 for music.

you will run into problems as soon as you want to listen to music in location A, for example. it is not unreasonable, but configurations becomes problematic.

I did a little searching on media extenders- they can be expensive! check out the creative soundblaster wireless extender, it auto finds your wireless network, etc. and is on the cheaper end at $199.

no cheap way to do this and have it be idiot proof, yet. a year or two, probably.
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