I installed the xmms-mp3 and gstreamer-plugins-mp3. so rhythmbox plays mp3s fine, but xmms just scrolls through the list of songs and thats it. i also made sure that alsa was selected as the output method and i even disablede the redhat mp3 placerholder plugin, to no avail.
if it helps my sound card is a sb live value
edit: for some reason xmms didnt like the m3u file i was loading.