I think Dev already answered that here: http://www.4front-tech.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=472
. I wish automatic allocation worked too, but what I can manage without it.
Here's what I do: I use KDE, so I assign the aRts sound server its own channel (/dev/dsp2), xmms its own channel (/dev/dsp3), then I symlink /dev/dsp to /dev/dsp4 which takes care of everything else that I cannot configure to use a particular /dev/dspn
. I can't imagine more that 3 sounds playing at once. I never had any conflicts, anyway.
To link /dev/dsp to /dev/dsp4, I just put this in /etc/rc.local:
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/usr/local/lib/oss/bin/soundon #start OSS drivers
rm /dev/dsp #remove the dsp link that OSS creates
ln -s /dev/dsp4 /dev/dsp # link dsp to dsp4