A lot of the features you talk about for Vista are already available in Open Sound System for UNIX. See the screen shot of our virtual mixer panel
http://www.opensound.com/gifs/virtmix.gif which currently shows XMMS (Winamp clone for X-Windows) running on one of the virtual mixer channels. We also have a RIAA-Curve equalizer and Fidelity Enhancer
(aka SRS WoW or DFX) and other features that are system-wide so that any app can use it. A full explanation of our Virtual Mixer (which BTW is kernel based) is at
These features were available back in 2001. We also work on a number of Windows related technologies at 4Front - like VSTs/WMP Plugins/DirectX stuff and so we're looking forward to doing some stuff when Vista comes out.
One of the odd things we're looking into from a research project here is to be able to run a Unix audio app via Windows services for UNIX facilities.....we'd love to talk to someone about melding Open Sound System with Windows Services for Unix.
Dev Mazumdar President 4Front Technologies email@example.com