how to detect activity or non activity on soundcard

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hi everybody,

at home i have a mythbuntu media pc. it will shutdown if no tv recording is sheduled and no user programs like mediaplayers webbrowsers and so on open. this works with an preshutdown script which simply checks if one of the programs i define is still active. this works very good. the only problem is that sometimes i forgott to close vlc player or some other programs. 

so i have a new good idea to safe power consumption ;) my new plan is to monitor if the pc outputs sound. if this pc gives no music or tv sound it is on for nothing ! the best way i think is to monitor the output of soundcard or device if there is activity at the last 15 minutes. if not shutdown.

But how i can detect this ?

 

Any hints or new directions are very welcome

 

ps: i had a idea to detect when als is going in power safe mode, but this only works if outputs set to mute. so this is no alternative.

 

Greetings from Robert from Cottbus, Germany !

 

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