I've searched different threads and have seen audio related postings such as "dual audio", "dual zone", "multiple audio output", etc. The one that initially perked my interest when I saw the title was dubbed "dual zone" but ended up not being what I thought it would be. Pretty much all the postings speak to outputting the same sound to multiple outputs at the same time in varying formats (i.e. as stereo thru analog outputs and surround thru the digial outputs at the same time).
I am quite new to the forums (i.e. this is my first posting) and haven't done an extensive search so what I am suggesting may have already been suggested and struck down for whatever reasons. However, I would like xbmc to support multi zone playback in the sense that someone can be watching a movie with surround in the one room while others are listening to music in another room using a single xbmc instance. My particular htpc has hdmi, optical and analog outputs. My home theater receiver supports dual zone. I would like to be able to pipe hdmi/optical thru zone 1 and at the same time pipe stereo analog thru zone 2. It would be nice to be able to start a music playlist in xbmc, pipe it thru the analog output and send it to zone 2 on my receiver and, at the same time, start a movie for the kids, pipe it thru the hdmi/optical output and play it thru zone 1 of my receiver. I would be offloading the video processing to the GPU which leaves plenty of processing power to decode my music (flac, mp3, ogg, etc.).
Another scenario would be to select, say, music playlist A and pipe it thru the analog output and, at the same time, select music playlist B and pipe it thru the hdmi/optical output.
Perhaps when playing music in both zones, visualizations can be toggled to apply against either zone 1 or 2. If your playing a video on a zone then the display would stay with that particular zone. For ease of initial programming perhaps zone 1 would be able to play videos or music and zone 2 would be locked to play music only. Hopefully I am making sense here.
Perhaps this already exists in some fashion thru xbmc and I just don't know how to do it. If so, by all means please educate me. Also, if this has been discussed elsewhere, can someone point me in the direction of the related posting?