timidity vs my USB sound card

timidity refused to play MIDI files with cryptic error messages:
can't create mcop directory
and, after I had created /tmp/ksocket-<myuser>:
sh: arts-start: command not found
Couldn't open output device
It turns out that the problem lay with my USB sound card, which I had set as the primary card in YaST to get the sound output from online flash movies etc. on it (Firefox is not handled by Phonon, so you have to do it permanently via YaST), and which I had unplugged. Setting the on-board card as the primary card again solved the issue. I suppose plugging in the USB card might also help, but I don't have it with me right now.

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