Vista Goodies: Volume Mixer
Add this in the column of really cool features that you didn’t expect. When you double-click the volume icon, you get a lovely set of mixer pots. These let you adjust the volume of all the running applications, in addition to a master fader. Talk about sweet, you can finally silence IE without diminishing the volume of your iTunes library.
Audio as a whole seems to be handled a lot better in this new version of Windows. It seems like the OS does high-quality audio internally now instead of the nasty KMIXER sampling we had before. Time will tell, however, and more advanced tools come out to check into the details.