> I suppose that depends in part on what OS you're on
> and how the sound player exposes its controls.
>
> If you're on Linux or the equivalent, fork and pipe
> will work. There's also exec and so on. Don't think these work on 
> Windows.
>
Alternatively, if stuck on Windows, experiment with non-MS-compiled
ruby-versions: cygwin, djgpp, ..
http://ftp.ruby-lang.org/pub/ruby/binaries/

I know too little about the Windows-world to tell you which
works with what implemenation, but I once got read of a nasty
socket problem in ruby .. simply by switching to the cygwin version.