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Startup programs in Windows 8

They're in %appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

Multiple speaker sets in Windows 8

Sick of advertising, games, calls, interviews and who-cares-what on the radio, I recently purchased a set of bluetooth speakers so I'd be able to hear the music playing on my computer in my kitchen as well.

The idea was that sound would play from all speakers at once, but that was a bit optimistic. Apparently, since Windows Vista, it's not possible to redirect sound to multiple output sources at once any more.

Enter Virtual Audio Cable (VAC). One of the (many) uses is sending sound from one program into a virtual audio cable, and connect this virtual cable to as many output devices or programs as you want.

After downloading and installing the trial version, reading a few pages of the help file was all it took to get up and running. A short overview of the steps needed:

  • Open the VAC control panel and make sure there's a cable configured. The default settings are okay
  • Configure your media player (XBMC in my case) to send its output to the cable you just configured (Line 1 in my case). I had to restart it for this change to take effect
  • Now run Audio Repeater (MME)

    • Set its input device to Line 1 (Virtual Audio Cable)
    • Set its output device to your first set of speakers

  • Run it again (right-click the tile, then select "Open new window")

    • Set the input device for this instance to Line 1 (Virtaul Audio Cable) as well
    • Set its output device to the second set of speakers

  • Repeat for as many speaker sets as you'd like to connect :-)

That's all there is to it - I now have music in both my living room and kitchen at once.

There's an AutoIt script in the Read More link that will start two instances and pipe output from VAC 1 to the third and fourth item in the list of possible outputs.
I know it'd be cleaner to select them by name, but I can't be bothered to figure out if it's possible, and if so, how.

NOTE: VAC is not free software. 24 euros (without support - livin' on the edge :p) for something that should've been possible from the OS is a lot. 24 euros for something that can do as much as VAC can isn't all that expensive :-)