Multi-core processors and vastly improved onboard audio solutions have all but rendered discrete audio cards obsolete, just don't speak such nonsense to Creative, which just unveiled a new generation of Sound Blaster soundcards. Three new cards comprise the company's new Sound Blaster Z Series, including the Sound Blaster ZxR, Zx, and Z, all three of which are PCI Express parts.
(Ed Note:We're currently investigating the RIAA's alleged involvement with the audio problems users are facing on Dell laptops. An official Dell representative has stated that the omission of the Stereo Mix option is most likely an issue with Windows XP, and a driver has been released to fix the problem. We've contacted the RIAA and are awaiting their response. We'll follow up with this story when we have more information.)
Gateway and Pac Bell are the other two manufacturers to have bowed to the RIAA at the expense of their customers’ satisfaction and disabled the stereo mix feature without warning.
The trade group, which comprises leading record labels, has a very controversial past. Although RIAA doesn’t favor home audio recording and file sharing in an effort to prevent piracy, this same, ostensibly prudish organization was all for depriving several musicians of their own musical works by supporting a controversial “work made for hire” clause in 1999 legislation, which unfairly transferred copyrights of musical works to record labels.
There’s a Mafia-style war raging around your PC. The MPEG-2 decoder card? Found face down in a Dumpster. The LAN card? Gunned down as he was leaving his social club. And no one’s seen the poor modem since he was “Hoffa’ed” in the 1990s.