[nSLUG] Sound problem (isn't there always?)

Aaron Spanik a.spanik at ns.sympatico.ca
Sat Oct 11 19:05:14 ADT 2008

On Sat, 11 Oct 2008 14:58:18 -0300
"Daniel Morrison" <draker at gmail.com> wrote:

> 2008/10/11 Aaron Spanik <a.spanik at ns.sympatico.ca>:
> > While many older CD-ROMs would output analog via a patch cable to the
> > sound card, most of the CD/DVD drives you buy today no longer even have
> > that connector on the back (and many soundcards and motherboards no
> > longer have the connector either). Playing audio CDs on a modern linux
> > usually involves transferring the data off the disc and using the
> > soundcard to do the DAC.
> Huh.  I went looking at some specs on currently available LG drives,
> and you're right.
> My only reaction is: WTF are they thinking?  Drives from a few years
> ago gave you a choice: analog audio, or digital audio extraction.  New
> drives give you no choice: DAO only.
> It must be a cost savings issue.  What a pain.  DAO is great if you
> want to rip mp3s.   It's total overkill and a waste of CPU if all you
> want to do is listen to your audio CD.
> Maybe they figure that in this digital age, nobody wants to use their
> computer as a glorified stereo anymore.  Hmph.

I'd guess cost would be part of it, considering audio CDs hold music in
a digital format, so there'd have to be a DAC in the circuitry.  My
guess is that in most cases, especially as of late, the DAC in the drive
wasn't going to be as good as the DAC in the average soundcard and was
only adding cost and complexity.  You also don't tend to see systems
without sound these days, which may be another factor.

Also, the world is moving away from CDs and towards DVDs and the way
people listen to music is vastly different.  I expect a non-trivial
percentage of CDs are purchased, ripped, and put on a shelf, rarely to
be retrieved again.  And although there's such a beast as an "audio
DVD", the kind of folks who even care about it right now are the sort
of people who would never be happy with the DAC in a consumer-grade DVD


Aaron Spanik
a.spanik at ns.sympatico.ca

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