Hi Terry,

> Outside of my Python program

Good, it's a lot easier to experiment and observe directly at the
command line.

> I can cd to a Playlist directory and issue:
>
>       mpg321 -m -a hw:1,0 <filename.mp3>
>
> and it works, playing from the USB device designated CHANCEL. Staying
> in the same directory I kill playback of the above file

Kill how?

> and issue:
>
>       mpg321 -m -a hw:2,0 <the same filename.mp3>
>
> and it now plays from the USB device designated TOWER. If I then kill
> that playback

In the same manner?

> and move to the directory which contains the bells and issue:
>
>   mpg321 -m -a hw:2,0 <a bells filename.mp3>
>
> The playback fails with the error:
>
>       can't open libao driver with device hw:0,0 (is device in use?)
>
> as mentioned previously. If I run top, a Zombie mpg321 process shows
> up.

How are you identifying it as a zombie?  What's the arguments for that
process?  `ps ww 42' where 42 is its process ID shows them `weally
wide'.  Does that tell you if it's the one that's also using hw:2,0?
Could it be you've been running your Python program and that's an mpg321
from a leftover Subprocess.Popen?

Cheers, Ralph.

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