I like hearing most audio over my computer's speakers. I like taking calls using a wired headset.
I have a random HP desktop PC that came pre-installed with Windows 7, 64. It has Realtek Audio and an application called Realtek HD Audio Manager. The help file from the Realtek app is dated 2008 and applies to Vista (and is what comes pre-installed!)
The desktop has a slew of input and output jacks on the rear and microphone in and audio out jack on the front.
Right now, to make a call I plug the headset in, and the audio automatically switches. When the call is over I unplug the headset, and the audio switches back.
But what I would prefer is the exact same setup, but with no need to plug or unplug the headset. VOIP/IM goes to the front headset when plugged in, all other audio goes to the speakers.
The apps I use for phone calls are:
- Gmail / Google Talk / Google Voice
- Other various IM programs
How does audio work on Windows 7, that is, is there any standard mechanism that VOIP/IM programs follow so that they direct audio to a plugged in headset on the front port while all the other sounds go to the speakers on the rear ports?
What do you do? What is Windows 7 capable of?
Are there specific applications I can install, or (inexpensive) pieces of hardware I can buy to make this easier?