Last week we learned a bit about the chaotic jumble that is audio on Linux, and about the new PulseAudio sound server that just may create bit of order, and perhaps some more user-friendliness. Several Linux distributions default to using PulseAudio, such as Fedora, Ubuntu Hardy Heron, and Mandriva. Many others now include it in their software repositories, or you can follow this guide for installing the latest version from source code.
Application support for PulseAudio is not quite complete. Notable problem applications are Skype, Flash Player, and Real Player. I shall refrain from my usual sarcastic commentary on the inability of the vendors of closed, proprietary applications to keep pace with FOSS development, because a person should exhibit a bit of class now and then, however insincere. Visit The Perfect Setup for instructions on getting these to work.