I'm pretty reasonable, usually, in looking for computer bits.
I've been messing with computers since the days of the Apple ][,
and I know that I have information that many sales types don't have.
So, when I went searching for a new sound card for a computer,
I began my search on the web.
This ought to save me losing patience with droids that don't know the difference between a S/PDIF and a Spliff interface.
So I dug,
quite a lot, as it turned out,
looking for a soundcard with a S/PDIF input on a coaxial connector.
I invite you to try this at home,
using your favorite search engine.
I want to transfer music from minidisc to my computer,
where I will edit it
and burn it to CD.
The minidisc recordings are of choral rehearsals, mostly,
with some music lessons
and some personal performances thrown in.
They are not intended as anything but archives,
aural snapshots of a specific point in time.
Eventually, I determined that the best bang for the buck
for my purposes
was the Soundblaster Live.
The folks at Soundblaster do not make it easy to search for interface types.
And once you've got things figured out,
it's tough to tell the dfference between their versions.
and of course, they're all different.
Sound Blaster Live! Platinum 5.1
Sound Blaster Live! Digital Entertainment 5.1
Sound Blaster Live! MP3+ 5.1
Sound Blaster Live! X-Gamer 5.1
Sound Blaster Live! MP3+
Sound Blaster Live! X-Gamer
Sound Blaster Live! Platinum
Sound Blaster Live!
Sound Blaster Live! Player
Sound Blaster Live! Value
Sound Blaster Live! Value Digital
Once I determined which one I wanted, I then set about trying to find one.
I began with the printed version of Ottawa Computes, and let my cellphone do the walking.
It turns out that the vendors don't have a clue, either.
They list "Soundblaster Live!" in their ads,
when they really mean "Soundblaster Live! Value".
Nobody understands what a digital interface on co-ax is.
They don't believe that sound cards have external interfaces
that accept digital input.
They have empty boxes
for the product that I want sitting on their shelves,
but they don't have the product in stock and they can't order them.
And none of them seem to have any idea that a SB LIve! is not the same as a Live! Value, which is different from a Live! X-Gamer, etc., etc., etc.
People are griping about the downturn in technology sales.
The growth has slowed,
upgraders are not upgrading,
new computer owners are not coming out of the woodwork.
Small wonder, seems to me,
if a knowledgeable user, armed with complete
(and in theory correct)
can not get any retailer to take my money.
So, does the story have a happy ending?
I went to Steve's Music (good luck with that link), and bought an Echo Audio Mia.
Works like a charm.
Living well is the best revenge