The cord runs from my computer to the stereo in the living room. There is a second problem, which S picked up on. It's only playing one side of the sound. Like, it's losing half the stereo. I'm not sure why this is, because I don't know anything about mono and stereo and sound and wires. Nothing I made in electronics class (I did take one) ever worked. And I had to do some splicing, because the plug on one end of the cord would not fit through the hole in the floor. So I cut the plug off, ran the cord through the hole, and spliced the plug back on on the other side. I'm actually pretty sure I did this part right. What is the most likely explanation for the failure to convey the full sound to the stereo? I know it is playing correctly right out of the computer, because I can hear the whole sound in headphones plugged into the same out as the cord connects to. Could it be the kind of cord I have?
I tried one sloppy solution to this, which is to find a player that can mix stereo down to mono. Oddly (to me), I was unable to find such software. Mplayer appears to be able to do it with "-channels 1", but a) Mplayer crashes like that's its job and b) In the minute or so that mplayer will run before taking a dive, I'm not confident that that option is working either. Doesn't such player software exist? I realize I could recode all my music, but I'm looking for something that can do it on the fly. I experimented briefly with mpg321, mp3blaster, xmms, and various others.
Other than fretting about this, I've been working on the novel (up to about 7000 awful words right now, far short of where I should be to finish by the end of the month), studying Python and German, cooking, and tending the fire. Tomorrow I will do more of the same, plus watch football, maybe get a haircut, and try not to get worked by S at Scrabble.