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Look Back | Look Forward

Back in 2008 I bought myself an HP Pavilion 6000 series laptop. In many ways (other than cxxhcchht-paTOO!) Vista, it was a good purchase and has served me well. One of my biggest frustrations, however, was when I installed CoolEdit 2000 and went to record a sound that was playing through my speakers.

To my surprise, I discovered that HP employed a Conexant sound device in this laptop which deliberately crippled both the "line in" and "stereo mix" functions, effectively disabling "record what you hear" in response to RIAA thuggery. (There are those who claim that RIAA's involvement in this decision is an urban legend, but that holds no water with me. Far too many computer manufacturers have disabled this feature - an extremely useful one - and it makes no sense to piss off your user base unless there's a 9000-lb gorilla breathing down your neck.) There is a lot of chatter out there about this problem, and there are a lot of unhappy people.

Despite massive stonewalling (or incompetence) from HP tech support agents in Bangalore, someone was finally able to get an honest answer from a tech rep, to wit:

"On reviewing all the previous emails, I understand that you wish to use the 'Internal recording' feature on your Notebook, using which you can record the audio being played on your Notebook without connecting a microphone. Let me assist you in this regard.

Sherbet, from our database I see that your Notebook is preinstalled with the Conexant audio card and I regret to inform you that the 'Internal recording' feature is not available in this card. And you will not be able to record the audio on your Notebook with out using an microphone. I apologize for the inconvenience being caused to you."


Moving forward, I scanned the Net for years until I recently came across this article which gave me hope. I followed the instructions carefully, and glory of glories, I can now again record whatever gets piped through my speakers. VAC (Virtual Audio Cable) is an amazing program, and I've only just begun to discover its capabilities. Eugene Muzychenko has massive computer-fu, and I'm grateful. If you're having the same sort of problems, I recommend VAC without qualification.

In closing, I'd like to say this to Hewlett Packard and RIAA:


(With sincere thanks and apologies to Gary Larson)


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Comments

bayliss
Aug. 13th, 2011 11:11 pm (UTC)
HP has on several occasions made me very angry with unnecessary fixes and very poor customer service. But you knew that already.

But some of the Mac people are kinda stuck up and stand-offish so i guess a PC is the way to go. *rolls eyes*
marmoe
Aug. 14th, 2011 05:44 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the heads-up. I've used the line-in as a cheapo-oscilloscope on occasion. Way to go, HP.

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