You can do that easily. If you're on Windows click on the volume icon and then click 'mixer'. You can just put that volume mixer anywhere on the screen and it will show you what levels of each program running.
If you want something more animated and 3dish then you might want to program your own. Or, depending on your soundcard, you can pipe the output levels into media center and use those visualizers.
Those are if you don't want to google something else.
yes but that would show it for an individual program wouldn't it not as an overall? and even if im wrong on that i dont that would have the smooth modern look of a gadget that can be placed on the desktop.
because after all i was hoping for something to throw on the desktop itself like a gadget. so i might just have to make one. i was hoping i wouldn't have to though. all well...