Ubuntu 12.10, HP Pavilion laptop, KDE desktop environment (but it's not a Kubuntu install, which I doubt bears on the issue; sometimes I run xfce4 too)
I've got a Griffin iMic USB audio device. Sometimes, it works; sometimes, it doesn't. Since I've started using KDE, it seems like it's more often the latter.
In KMix, I've used the "Master Channel" dialog to select the iMic device (which is correctly listed). In the "Audio Setup" dialog, I've bumped it up as the preferred audio for everything. Yet, any audio (from browsers, audacious, rythmbox, whatever) always goes to the native audio in the laptop.
I realize that Linux audio is a wildly bizarre subject area, so I'm mostly looking for things to try and diagnose what's wrong. Are there drivers I can unload/reload? Diagnostic commands that'd help me figure out why the management UIs are all wrong/confused?. Config files to change? I'm comfortable using the command line.
edit — when I run gstreamer-properties and click the "Test" button, I do get sound out of the right place. This makes me think there's some daemon running or something that's confused.
edit — progress: I got audacious to use the right device. I went to the "Preferences" dialog in audacious, clicked the "Preferences" button there underneath the audio system selection (which was set to ALSA), and then found the iMic in the (surprisingly long) list of choices. Specifically:
So that works. Browsers, not so much.
edit — installed Phonon VLC backend, selected it, no change.
edit — I rebooted and started xfce instead of kde and now it works. Whatever. I'm still interested in any suggestions. Linux audio is so ... indescribable.