Warning: this is really just a bit of a whinge, but might just conceivably help someone......
Background is, I'm trying to get set up to record sound (for videos) using a minidisc recorder. Initially my plan was to record the sound on a portable recorder, then import it using a NetMD which connects via USB. Only problem is that even when you recorded it yourself, the software won't import recordings into the PC. Being Sony, there doesn't seem to be alternatives.
OK I thought. I'll replace the souncard (onboard jobbie) with a proper one with optical inputs. Not some noname brand, but a soundblaster. Can bring in the audio via that. Bought it, installed it apparently OK. Can I import from the optical in? Can I bottom. Absolutely no signal. Manufacturers website tells you to try different controls, only they have removed all of these controls in the latest drivers. Diagnostic routines say everything is fine.
So I spent most of yesterday afternoon and evening mucking about downloading different drivers and packages, that made no difference. Another few hours this afternoon searching the online support again, and the forums again. Still nowhere.
So I decided to rewire some things and try different sources. First, using the cards own optical ouput. Now that seemed to work fine. So plugged in the minidisc, and got sound for a few seconds then silence. A sat receiver and freeview box with digital ouput, again worked.
More searching, more playing, more frustration.
So I started to wonder if there was some sort of content protection on th minidisc. The MD player manula doesn't mention it, the souncard manual, forums, and support doesn't mention it. So I looked for SPDIF and copy protection. Ah, theres a thing called SMCS, which controls copies on digital sources. AAAAAAARRRGGGHHH.
So, it seems the sole reason I was having problems was that I was testing the input using a disc that had originally been recorded using a digital to digital link. As soon as I recorded using analogue in, I can import it to the PC. Now why oh wny isn't this mentioned somewehere, especially in the resources available at the souncards manufacturers.
Reminds me of a problem I had some years ago with a media PC. Connected to a TV via component cables, and would not play DVDs. Again a copy protection system, but was it mentioned anywhere? No, in fact the Sony Centre told me it would work perfectly, and the box even stated it would work via component video.
So, if these systems exist, for legitamate reasons, why on earth won't they tell you 'you can't do that' instead of having people butter about for hours.
Sorry, rant over......