Sonica and AC3 Digital Sound

tim.shepherd

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 4, 2002
9
0
Wellington
I thought I would point out that M-Audio's Sonica http://www.m-audio.com has new Jaguar drivers that allow the SRS features of the Sonica to work under 10.2. Also if you use the VLC AC3 Edition DVD Player, you can now enjoy Dolby Digital Multi-Channel sound from your Macintosh. I haven't tried the new Apple DVD Player yet. The Sonica only supports Optical digital sound, so if you have an older amplifer with Coax/RCA digital input you might need the CO2 or CO3 from M-Audio as well to adapt the Optical to Coax/RCA. The line-out is amazing, expect big sound from this little box.
 

Pepzhez

macrumors regular
Jan 23, 2002
161
0
I've never used this thing, though M-Audio makes very good equipment. I wonder, though, why USB? I have a tough enough time managing 16 bit/48 kHz audio in and out of a USB device. I can't imagine how 24 bit/96 kHz is going to work reliably in USB's rather limited bandwidth.

I've really come to dislike USB, period. It's not adequate for audio; it seems flaky for printers, mice, keyboards and the like. All of the trouble-free connectivity and hype about USB never translated to reality, if you ask me. And I couldn't care less about USB 2.2, or whatever it's called. So what if it's faster? Still the same problems and still not as fast and reliable as Firewire. (Isn't USB an Intel invention?)

Other than MOTU, is ANYONE making Firewire audio devices? This one should be a no-brainer - reliablilty, plenty of available bandwidth, etc. I just don't understand why so many (M-Audio, Roland, etc.) are continuing to develop USB peripherals for this purpose. It is not as if Firewire is an esoteric standard. Try capturing video (Mac or PC) without it!

But it would be nice to see more affordable Firewire audio devices around. I wonder if it's all about licensing fees. Perhaps Roland saves 2 cents by choosing USB over Firewire. Who knows?!
 

Pepzhez

macrumors regular
Jan 23, 2002
161
0
Sorry, no. I wanted to confirm this and it's true: USB is an Intel invention and they hold the patents and collect the roylaties. Apple was an early adopter, though.

http://www.usb.org/
 

vniow

macrumors G4
Jul 18, 2002
10,281
0
I accidentally my whole location.
Actually...

Originally posted by Pepzhez
Sorry, no. I wanted to confirm this and it's true: USB is an Intel invention and they hold the patents and collect the roylaties. Apple was an early adopter, though.

http://www.usb.org/

Actually, Intel was just one of seven companies to develop it:
Q2: Who created USB?
A2: USB was developed by a group of seven companies that saw a need for an interconnect to enable the growth of the blossoming Computer Telephony Integration Industry. The seven promoters of the USB definition are; Compaq, Digital Equipment Corp, IBM PC Co., Intel, Microsoft, NEC and Northern Telecom.
clickety clack
 

DaveGee

macrumors 6502a
Jul 25, 2001
677
2
Originally posted by edvniow

Didn't Intel invent USB?

Ummm, no. Apple invented it. You see it on the first iMacs before anything else.
Open mouth and insert foot to the heal. :p
 

bousozoku

Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
13,951
3
Gone but not forgotten.
Intel pushed it into its reference motherboards and other companies followed suit. It languished until Apple added it to the iMac. Then, USB became popular and Microsoft felt the need to add it to their O.S.es.

It remains a mess. I have around 10 different USB products, none of which seem to work in the harmony suggested my USB promoters. 127 devices? Sure. All 127 at once? Don't bet on it.
 

tim.shepherd

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 4, 2002
9
0
Wellington
Right, here is the Sonica report.

I tested the Sonica running on 10.2 (Jaguar) with the following applications,

iTunes 3
VLC AC3 S/PDIF Edition 4.3
Apple DVD Player 3.2


The VLC DVD player, worked perfectly, it gave me high quallity video (double that of SVIDEO) and a Dolby Digital 5.1 AC3 stream to my amp.

OS X also provide Stereo sound over the same optical connection via the Sonica, so I got great sound from iTunes.

Apple's DVD Player 3.2 does _NOT_ support the AC3 stream, _YET_. It gave me the Prologic surround sound via the stereo track.
 

bousozoku

Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
13,951
3
Gone but not forgotten.
I hope I'm as impressed with it. I just saw one for the first time yesterday and found the price to be reasonable. Now, if I can find the S/PDIF cable for my CSW DTT2500, it might just be amazing. Hopefully, it will use the optical cable.