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M-Audio Transit reports from 2004 to 2006Return to News Page
M-Audio Transit (USB) Owner Reports (2004 to 2006)
Posted: 5/18/2004
Reports last Updated: 2/3/2006


This page has feedback/problem reports/tips (in 2004 to 2006) from owners of M-Audio's Transit high-resolution (USB) mobile audio upgrade. (link may have a session ID that could timeout - and I have to enable cookies to view their site -otherwise it constantly loops.) Some later noted the OS X 10.3.4 update helped (at least initially) but many later reported problems still.

Transit Owner Comments: (most recent first)
(If any other M-Audio Transit owners have a similar or different experience, let me know. Include your OS version, Mac Model and Transit driver version used)

Feedback on Driver 1.6.3:

(added 4/4/2006)
"M-Audio updated it's Transit driver to version 1.6.3 last week. (reader FYI - I posted info on their updated drivers for Firewire and USB products in the news on March 23rd, including Intel CPU Mac drivers and M-audio's comments in the March 24th news.)
I've updated those drivers and updated to Mac OS X 10.4.6 today. I contacted M-Audio's tech support and spoke with a technician about my problems. We came to the conclusion that it is probably my hardware causing issues. As you may know from my previous e-mails, I'm running an upgraded cube. I've done some research (primarily on cubeowner.com - a great resource) and have decided to try the replacement VRM ($99) offered by Gigadesigns (out of business now). It seems that I could be over-stressing my original VRM from my upgraded CPU, hard drive, and video card. (and an ADC display, which unless an ext. PS is used also draws power from the Cube.)

I have also switched up my USB setup. The cube has 2 USB busses, bus number 0x18 is port #1 and the USB over the ADC port. bus number 0x19 is port #2. I have my keyboard, mouse and bluetooth dongle on port #1. My 7 port hub connecting my printer, UPS, USB to serial device, and MIDI keyboard is connected to port #2. (is that a Powered Hub?)
My Apple Speakers and the Transit are hooked up to the back of my 20" ADC Cinema Display. (Is your ADC display drawing power from the Cube? (that eats into the power budget of the Cube) - or are you using a DVI/ADC (ext. PS) adapter?)
Right now, this setup is almost flawless. I can barely get the audio over Transit to mess up! Once I get my new VRM installed, I'll be running some more tests. But for the time being, connecting the Transit to the back of the Cinema display seems to help out a lot.

I am also curious as to what "Watchdog detected dead controller" in the system.log exactly means. I get that when audio fails on the Transit. Does it actually mean the USB controller on my motherboard occasionally doesn't receive enough power?
-Adam "

I think so - it's been noted in the past (even by those w/o a transit) from other Cube owners. See previous reports below. (Bus powered devices and ADC displays tap power from the Cube's power supply. Personally I'd avoid using an ADC display with the cube for that reason.)


Feedback on Driver 1.6.2:

(added 2/3/2006) "I recently resubmitted a support request to M-Audio regarding my Transit woes... (G4 Cube system)

Audio will frequently drop out or make loud popping and screeching noises, sometimes so severe that the unit fails to continue working. The only way to regain audio is to alter a setting (like latency) in the M-Audio Transit USB system preference pane or restart. Once audio drops out completely any application that tries to play a sound through the Transit hangs. Trying to force quit a program after this point doesn't work and requires a forced restart. Problem is present on both digital and analog outputs and has persisted through several operating system reinstalls, upgrades, and various versions of the Transit USB driver. Connecting the Transit to a powered USB hub or directly to the computer makes no difference.

Messages like the following are present in system.log:

Feb 1 04:40:29 G4-Cube kernel[0]: IOAudioStream 
[0x2582700]::clipIfNecessary() - Error: attempting to clip to a  
position more than one buffer ahead of last clip position (2f9a,552)-> 
(2f9b,756).
Feb 1 04:40:29 G4-Cube kernel[0]: IOAudioStream 
[0x2582700]::clipIfNecessary() - adjusting clipped position to (2f9b, 
552)
Feb 1 13:28:07 G4-Cube kernel[0]: USBF: 123334.107 AppleUSBOHCI 
[0x1e6c800] Watchdog detected dead controller (hcca #: 52364, hc #:  
52872)
Feb 1 14:12:32 G4-Cube kernel[0]: USBF: 125999.170 AppleUSBOHCI 
[0x1e6c800] Watchdog detected dead controller (hcca #: 30374, hc #:  
30869)
Feb 1 14:12:37 G4-Cube kernel[0]: USBF: 126004.170 AppleUSBOHCI 
[0x1e6c800]::Found a transaction which hasn't moved in 5 seconds on  
bus 25, timing out!
Feb 1 14:13:37 G4-Cube kernel[0]: USBF: 126064.171 AppleUSBOHCI 
[0x1e6c800] Watchdog detected dead controller (hcca #: 30200, hc #:  
30310)
Feb 1 14:13:42 G4-Cube kernel[0]: USBF: 126069.171 AppleUSBOHCI 
[0x1e6c800]::Found a transaction which hasn't moved in 5 seconds on  
bus 25, timing out!

Occasionally when restarting after the Transit fails, the following message appears before the system restarts (my Macintosh boots into verbose mode)

    coreaudiod[60]: didn't act on SIGTERM

My only solution at this point is to install the Transit USB 1.6.2 drivers, restart, make desired changes to the Transit, remove the Transit kernel extensions in /System/Extentions and the preference pane and leave the firmware loader as is, restart and Mac OS X will use it's generic USB drivers for the Transit. The aforementioned problems still persist using this method, but the system will not hang.

I've become very frustrated with this issue. I'm almost beginning to believe it's a problem with coreaudio or a hardware failure in my Cube. (there's been other reports on USB audio problems (similar errors - dead controller) like this with Cubes in the past - going back a long time. I always wondered if it was due to power load on upgraded Cubes but I think there may have been some reports even from non-CPU upgraded Cubes in the past.) I've put a good chunk of change into my Cube and I'm to the point where I will swap out any part to try to get this fixed. I used to work for an Apple Specialist for 3 years and never saw an issue like this, anyone else out there have any ideas? Are there any other optical digital out USB 1.1 or FireWire solutions out there that have better support? Thanks!
(I asked what OS he was using)
I'm running Mac OS X 10.4.4 (build 8G32) with a PowerLogix 1.2 GHz G4 (7457) CPU module.
I'm trying to remember, but I think one of the processor upgrade companies offered a replacement VRM (DC-DC) board that was supposedly more powerful. Perhaps that could help.
-Adam R. "

Powerlogix and Sonnet years ago mentioned an improved VRM board but I don't think either ever actually shipped/sold one. If any readers have a replacement suggestion for Adam, let me know. (Update - see Adam's later report above w/note on GD VRM - has any Cube owners used one of these?)


(added 12/27/2005)
"...very interested to read about ongoing issues with the Transit. My setup is a PowerBook G4 12inch Al 1GHz; 1.25 Gig RAM; Mac OS X 10.4.3; Transit driver 1.6.2. Also have a FireWire LaCie HDD, and a USB hub, Apple keyboard and Macally mouse on the 2nd USB port. The Transit has one USB port to itself.

I have had recurring trouble with the Transit USB since new: i.e. frequent hangs of system (OS) and freezing of the audio when coming out of sleep. Each time M-Audio releases a driver update I pull the Transit out of storage and try it for a while.

So I've been running 1.6.2 since you announced it here. My test is to stream some Internet radio and feed it through the Transit. What happens now is that after about 3-6 hours of that, the audio starts "looping"; basically playing the same 100-200 milliseconds worth of audio over and over. It's recognizably part of the radio stream. The only fix was to unplug the Transit from the PowerBook. Upon reconnecting, it started to play audio normally again. So far I haven't had to reboot; that was always required with earlier drivers.
I've had three reoccurances of this "looping" audio freeze. So the Transit goes back into storage for another 4-6 months I guess.
Cheers! -Bruce W. "


(added 12/26/2005)
"Hi, here are my experiences with the Transit-USB Audio and 1.6.2 drivers.
The Transit is connected to a 450Mhz Cube with ATI 7500 card/ 120GB Maxtor HD, the other USB port is just connected to an Apple keyboard with a Mouse. I'm just using Digital I/O. The test duration was about a week, with listening to music a long time, playing games and working with various applications.

The Good:
With this driver it's possible to use low latency, open a couple of programs, start iTunes, bootup Classic and play Carmageddon without the sound stopping unexpectedly. I tried this several times without problems. With the 1.6.1 drivers, the sound was likely to stop while playing iTunes and just starting Classic. But there has been some sort of variance in after what amount of time the sound was stopping, iTunes could play for hours before getting an error. At least I didn't encounter any of the error messages stated in earlier reports.

The Bad:
Two times, when playing iTunes, the sound changed into a mix of a looping white noise + some sot of buzzing. In this situation, doing the trick with changing any of the settings in the prefs pane, the process hung, as well as any other process that attempted to produce a sound (this includes terminal app). The affected process could not be killed anymore. The only way out was to press the reset button or pull the plug.

Song in iTunes ends and white noise (looping sample) and buzzing:

2005-12-21 10:49:45.495 System Preferences[285] 
-[MaudioUsbTransitPreferences ValidateAvailability] interfacesAvailable = 0
2005-12-21 10:49:45.496 System Preferences[285] 
-[MaudioUsbTransitPreferences ValidateAvailability] bitDepthsAvailable = 0
2005-12-21 10:49:45.496 System Preferences[285] 
-[MaudioUsbTransitPreferences GetPreferences:] ** INTERNAL ERROR ** Invalid
availability
2005-12-21 10:49:45.496 System Preferences[285] 
-[MaudioUsbTransitPreferences ValidateAvailability] interfacesAvailable = 0
2005-12-21 10:49:45.497 System Preferences[285] 
-[MaudioUsbTransitPreferences ValidateAvailability] bitDepthsAvailable = 0
2005-12-21 10:49:45.497 System Preferences[285] 
-[MaudioUsbTransitPreferencePane ConnectToUserClient] Unable to get
preferences from device.

When changing latency in PrefsPane:

2005-12-21 10:57:25.453 System Preferences[299] 
-[MaudioUsbTransitPreferences ValidateAvailability] interfacesAvailable = 0
2005-12-21 10:57:25.454 System Preferences[299] 
-[MaudioUsbTransitPreferences ValidateAvailability] bitDepthsAvailable = 0
2005-12-21 10:57:25.454 System Preferences[299] 
-[MaudioUsbTransitPreferences GetPreferences:] ** INTERNAL ERROR ** Invalid
availability
2005-12-21 10:57:25.454 System Preferences[299] 
-[MaudioUsbTransitPreferences ValidateAvailability] interfacesAvailable = 0
2005-12-21 10:57:25.454 System Preferences[299] 
-[MaudioUsbTransitPreferences ValidateAvailability] bitDepthsAvailable = 0
2005-12-21 10:57:25.454 System Preferences[299] 
-[MaudioUsbTransitPreferencePane ConnectToUserClient] Unable to get
preferences from device.

This problems occured two times, each when the machine has booted not so long ago (the first time during opening the Transit Preferencess, the second after playing the second song in iTunes).
Regards, Jens"

There's been some past reports (in general) of USB failures (interface dropout) from Cube owners so I'm curious if any other Transit owners with a tower system have seen any problems w/driver 1.6.2. Let me know your results w/1.6.2 and include your OS version, Mac Model, etc. in reports.


(Note: reports below were from before driver 1.6.2 was released)


More notes/tips on Upgraded Cube USB Problems:

(added 10/7/2005)
"Hi, just read the reports about the M-Audio Transit, here's my experiences:

I have a M-Audio Transit USB connected to a Cube, with the original CPU (450Mhz), 768 Mb RAM, a 120Gig Maxtor (upgrade), and an ATI 7500 (also an upgrade). Before I got the transit, I had a cheap USB-Sound adapter with a philips chip, and and no problems whatsoever.

The Transit USB is connected to an amplifier via digital-out, and from time to time I use analog-out to connect my headphones.

When using the Transit, after a while the sound suddenly stops, and I have to change a setting in the M-Audio Prefs-Pane. When changing a setting in this situations, the machine is hanging for some seconds, as decribed by other readers in the report. (some noted the log shows USB failure errors - see older reports below.)

To workaround this, I removed part of the driver installation from the /Library/StartupItems/ folder. (I don't have my Mac around right now, so I'm not sure about the path names).

There are two startup items: a loader for uploading the firmware to the Transit, and the M-audio Transit audio driver.

Leave the firmware loader untouched, and remove the other. (I think this was an older tip from the past. There's some basic support for USB audio devices in Core Audio, (first reported by Creative labs USB audio device users), although you won't have support for many features of the device without a 3rd party driver.) After restarting the machine, you'll can't use the prefs-pane /and thus the special features of the Transit) anymore, but the Transit will appear as a normal USB-Audio device in the Sound-Prefspane.
This solved the sound-stop-change-setting-hand problem. (Just for the record I asked if he had installed the latest 1.6.1 Transit driver and what OS version he's using.)

However I recently got an iPod and are now having severe problems playing audio while syncing the iPod.
Regards, Jens "

Sounds like the same issue of USB failures/dropouts when taxing the system/doing I/O others have reported in the past.


(added 10/5/2005 - update from Blake's earlier reports below)
"... No ADC display...
I removed the hard disk and put it into an external firewire case and everything seems to work now.. (no internal HD)

Here's the full hardware rundown:
Powerlogix clear cube case replacement
Powerlogix dual 1.7ghz (7447 w/DFS enabled via CPU Director)
Connected 3D radion 9250 (flashed PC card)
(someone later asked for the above ROM file but I do not have it. This reader report was from 2005.)
Maxtor 300GB disk
M-audio USB Transit
Belkin bluetooth adapter
EyeTV 500
HP Pavilion 32" LCD tv
Now I'm tempted to splice in a second power supply for just the hard disk and see if that works.
Haven't had much luck finding good info on 3.5" hard disk power usage. (most drive vendor's specs on models include power use. For instance a 2A max draw on the 12V DC would be 24W, and some spec sheets include typical or read/write/idle power use.)
However now that it's working I just may enjoy it for a few days before breaking out the soldering iron.
-Blake "

I asked Blake to report back if the problem reappeared in heavy use.
Blake's earlier reports follow (with the internal drive installed).

(added 10/3/2005 - updated 10/4/2005)
"Regarding the User who's cube was stopping working with the Transit. (see report below from 9/30/2005)
I have just finished building a fully modded out Cube to use as a Media hub.
And was having the exact same problem with the transit making static and then stopping the audio output.
However when I installed Powerlogix CPU Director 2.1 the problem went away.

I suspect the fact that the 1.7ghz cpu's where running close to 200 degrees F was causing some kind of issue.
(I always suspected that high power draw caused the USB failure problems. CPU Director 2.1 when used with a DFS compatible powerlogix upgrade, reduces the CPU clock speed in half which reduces the power used as well as heat. In the recent review of 5 Powerlogix CPU Upgrades I included a page on CPU Director 2.1.)
After installing CPU Director which enables the dynamic frequency switching my cube was running much cooler (107 F) and the transit has been working for a few hours with no issues.
I'm running OS X 10.4.2
Transit driver 1.6.1
Powerlogix dual 1.7Ghz (7447) processors

Great site by the way, my media hub cube project relied heavily on the info provided here.
I will be adding a cpu upgrade report after a week or two..
Blake"

I asked Blake if when the system is really taxed (keep CPU director open and check that the CPU speed reported is the full/max speed) does the problem ever occur? (I've always suspected it was high power draw that triggered the USB 'failures' - when DFS is enabled the CPU speed is cut in half when the CPU isn't taxed heavily (the best guess is a 50% load triggers full speed, less kicks back to 1/2 CPU speed). this would lower power draw (and therefore heat). Blake later replied:

" After a few more hours of testing the problem showed up again. I happens every time the hard disk is accessed heavily. So I'm beginning to think it's a low power issue as well.
The disk is a maxtor 300GB drive. I can be playing music in iTunes and duplicate a large file using the finder and the audio will die right away. During that test the cpu's stay mainly at 850Mhz and jump to 1700MHz a small percentage of the time.
(In my tests with CPU Director 2.1, playing a song in iTunes alone (no visuals or other apps running) would not kick the CPU to full speed, but even saving a file in Grab would blip the CPU speed up to full speed.)

I'm also seeing snags or pauses when playing back movies in VLC hopefully it's just the same issue. After I check out the power requirements of some of the drives I have on hand I may substitute something that uses a little less juice.
-Blake "

I doubt the difference (delta) in brand/model of hard drive vs another's power use would change this (i.e. swapping in a different internal drive - The delta is likely small compared to the total of other components like the dual CPU's load - especially at full clock speed.) Although I/O use has been noted before as a trigger for this kind of problem, even on single CPU Cubes. (Just for the record I asked again if he was using an ADC display which also taps power, but he said no.)


Cube w/Upgraded CPU USB problems:

(added 9/29/2005)
"I recently replaced the heatsink/fan on my GeForce 3 card in my G4 Cube. Ever since that swap, I've been having terrible problems with my Transit again. The audio makes loud chirping noises (much like when you try to play a severely scratched CD in a standard CD player) for no consistent reason - not transferring anything over AirPort or FireWire and system load is minimal. However, it happens more often when any of those aforementioned events occur.
Furthermore, it will chirp and hiccup to the point where it decides to stop working completely, forcing me to pause all audio, change a setting - say the latency setting - and then start my audio again. If i forget to stop iTunes or vlc, the computer will hang for half a minute and then audio will resume. Sometime the m-audio system preference will hang completely, forcing me to hold the power button and restart. Using USB Prober from Apple's developer tools, I get the following error when the audio drops out completely:

    1554.953 [1] AppleUSBOHCI[0x1f39000] Watchdog detected dead controller (hcca #: 50633, hc #: 50969)

and another example:

    2544.881 [1] AppleUSBOHCI[0x1f39000] Watchdog detected dead controller (hcca #: 57717, hc #: 57896)

I don't know where to point the blame anymore. It is the Transit itself? Mac OS X? my Cube's USB bus? something not correctly grounded inside my Cube? Regardless, m-audio's drivers for this device are pitiful, there is no reason it should just die and start locking up my system. The device should reset itself safely with out me having to dink around in the system preference hoping to nudge it to work again.
I urge any owners a G4 Cube and/or Transit with problems anywhere remotely related to problems like this to fill me in on their experiences. Thanks!
-Adam R."

I remember some other Cube owner's (upgraded CPUs, etc. usually) mentioning USB error messages (some think it's due to taxing the PS too heavily.) I asked Adam if he's using an ADC display (which also taps power from the Cube's PS). I'd also write M-audio tech support to see if they had any ideas. (See the later reply above for a reader that said installing Powerlogix's CPU Director 2.1's DFS (with a PL upgrade) helped - I'm assuming the lower power draw helped.)


Feedback on Transit Driver 1.6.1:

(added 7/5/2005 - updated 3:00PM)
"Transit Driver: 1.6.1
Firmware Version: 1.0.1
Mac OS: 10.4.1

I just picked up the Transit USB device today and have not had any luck actually getting it to do ac3 pass through. I first installed the drivers that came on the CD and then upgraded to 1.6.1. I ran the permissions fix and the m-audio device would show up under DVD prefs as output. However when I select it and press play, nothing is outputted.
So i removed the drivers and started from scratch using 1.6.1 Ran the permission fix again, still no output. I noticed when using Audio Midi Setup under Audio Devices, when the DVD player starts to playback the DVD, the Default and System Output switch to Built-in Audio as opposed to M-Audio USB. And under Audio Output, it changes from 2-channel to Encoded Digital Audio.
Any ideas on what I am doing wrong?
-John D.
(I asked if he checked the main system sound prefs (output settings) and he later wrote.
Thanks for the reply, I went ahead last night, de-installed, then re-installed, made the permissions fix and plugged it in, this time it worked. I have no idea what changed and I will try and poke around to see if i can find something in case other people are having this problem. If I find anything I will let you know, otherwise its working like a champ! Thanks again!"

I've seen some OS X problems with USB devices (after an OS update typically) helped by disconnecting/reconnecting the device. (But there were previous reports on the permissions issue in tiger which also affected some other addons/startup items)


(added 6/2/2005, follow-up to an earlier post)
"It's been about a week since I installed the new drivers. My previously reported issues with the Transit dying when╩transferring data over FireWire and occasionally AirPort still exist, and in addition, when my CPU usage hits 100%, it likes to die as well. Most of the time I can recover it by messing around with the Preference Pane options. I don't see any interesting errors in the console.log either. I need a simple keyboard shortcut that will reset my transit, or better yet, a driver that is smart enough to realize what's going on. I really wish I could recommend this product to my friends, it's amazing when it works, but sadly has something missing in the driver or hardware to make it stable.

On a sidenote, I have begun some research in refurbishing Lombard/Pismo batteries after you posted a link about re-celling about a month ago. I'll be making a page with my findings shortly. I've found some useful╩resources and methods of resetting the internal╩circuitry that might prove helpful. I'll keep you posted.
Adam Renie
adamrenie.com "


(added 5/24/2005)
"M-Audio updated their drivers for the Transit on the 20th to v1.6.1. I downloaded and installed it and everything is working like it used to! (he's running Tiger based on a past report. I asked for a driver download link.)
www.m-audio.com/images/global/drivers/Transit_OSX_1.6.1.dmg
I just tested Dolby Digital and DTS passthrough in VLC and DVD player, everything works.
Adam Renie
adamrenie.com "

Adam previously had problems installing the 1.6 driver under Tiger and the previous tip on startup item permissions didn't help. (The tip helped some that had already installed the drivers under 10.3.x, then upgraded to Tiger.)


(reports below were before driver v1.6.1 was released)

(added 5/10/2005)
"OS 10.4 (Tiger), Driver 1.6
Just a note that the permissions fix posted in your report fixed my problem.
-Jonathan Y. "

See below for the Tiger permissions tip from a previous Transit user report.


(added 5/9/2005)
"Specs:
Transit USB (v1.6 drivers)
Fresh-install of Tiger (retained Panther on another partition) Powerbook G4 (Ti) 800 (DVI)

Tiger recognised the Transit USB without drivers. (There's been Core audio (limited) support for USB audio devices (old reports on the Creative Labs USB device about a year or more ago), but I don't know if that's been ever improved later.) Digital passthrough was not "recognised" by DVD player, which was rectified by installing the latest M-audio drivers.

Things were going well with the occasional 'drop outs' in sound (easily corrected by changing outputs in the M-audio pref pane) until I shut down. On restarting, M-audio drivers failed to recognise the presence of a USB transit. On a hunch, I rebooted into Panther which duly recognised the Transit, and then went back to Tiger.

Please post this info in your Reports section. Hopefully your contact at M-audio can look into this. Thanks.
Regards, Salman S. (Salsa) "

I asked if he tried the previous posted Tiger permissions tip below (startup item permissions fix) for Tiger.

(from 5/3/2005 mail)
" This weekend I upgraded my G4 Cube and PowerBook G3 to Tiger (8A425) doing an Archive & Install - Preserve Users. Both of my Macs had the Transit USB driver installed and working in Panther, but once upgraded, the Transit had limited functionality and showed up as simply "Transit USB" in the Sound preference pane (I believe it should read M-Audio Transit USB when correctly installed). I was hoping Tiger would handle the device natively, but alas it did not. I decided to re-download the 1.6 driver, run the uninstall, and then re-install. Upon first restart, I was alerted that an item in the Startup Items folder ("/Library/StartupItems/MAudioTransitUSB") does not have the proper security settings. I instructed it to "Fix", restarted again, and had no luck. I imagine a simple reworking of the driver is needed on M-Audio's part, and I have just e-mailed them about it. I cannot even get limited functionality out of it, I've tried removing all Transit items sans the Firmware Loader, and other combinations to no avail. System profiler shows it only as a USB device (product 0x2806, vendor 0x0763) and the Preference Pane has no information available. I'd like to hear from other users to make sure this is normal, and my Transit hasn't become damaged since updating to Tiger. The above problems exist on both my Cube and PowerBook.

Under Panther, the 1.6 driver worked great, fixed the audio clipping problem and I experienced less hiccups. I previously reported occasional audio cut-out and I have since discovered on the cubeowner.com forums that it is an inherent problem associated with power draw on the USB and FireWire busses of Cubes. I'll be doing a little more investigation on that front.

Tiger's new Audio MIDI Setup Utility includes a configure speakers button. I'm interested it exactly what this is used for and if any Mac users have been able to use it with their multichannel setup. Attached are some pictures of my system profile readings, error messages, and other interesting findings with the 1.6 M-Audio driver installed. Take particular note of #4, I don't know why Accounts, Bluetooth, and Network report "M-Audio Transit USB 1.5.7f1" as their version. As always, thanks for your assistance...
Adam R. "

I also asked Adam if he tried the manual (terminal command) Tiger permissions tip below.


Transit Tips for Tiger (from a reader mail - don't have a Transit personally to test.)

(added 5/6/2005)
"Here's a fix to make the M-Audio Transit USB card work in Tiger...
Before I upgraded to Tiger my system (Mac mini 1.25 GHz with 1 GB RAM) was running OS 10.3.9 with QuickTime 7.0 installed but without the recent security update installed. My Transit card was connected and working fine, using Transit drivers v1.59.

I originally used the "upgrade" option to install Tiger and my Transit card continued working fine after I upgraded to Tiger.

I was experiencing some minor Bluetooth/sleep-related problems so I decided to reinstall Tiger using the "archive & install" option. Not only did this not fix the minor Bluetooth/sleep-related problems, but my Transit card stopped working after I re-insalled Tiger!

I tried re-installing the Transit drivers v1.59 but that did not fix the problem. I the tried installing the beta Transit drivers v1.6 and that did not fix the problem either :/

I even tried repairing permissions, resetting the PRAM/NVRAM and the PMU, all without progress.

Then I looked in the system log and noticed this message:

    "SystemStarter[203]: "/Library/StartupItems/M-Audio Firmware Loader" failed security check: permissions"

After some trial and error changing permissions in Terminal without progress, I located this page on the Apple website:
http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=300962
Apparently, the proper permissions for startup items in Tiger are 0755...
So I used the following command in Terminal:

    "sudo chmod -v 0755 /Library/StartupItems/M-Audio\ Firmware\ Loader/M-Audio\ Firmware\ Loader"

And that fixed the problem! My Transit card is now working fine in Tiger using beta Transit drivers v1.6. This fix will probably also work with Transit drivers v1.59.

So this explains the conflicting reports about the Transit card working for some people and not for others in Tiger.

You may have to disconnect/reconnect your Transit card for this to work. I hope this helps :)
-tnkgrl "


(Note: reports below were from before driver v1.6 was released)

(added 3/17/2005)
"Hi I am still having bugs with the M-Audio Transit. Basically the sound drops out intermittently. To remedy this without restarting I select a different output in the M-Audio pref pane and reselect the one I want. The speakers pop and audio returns. The M-Audio techs suggested leaving the pref pane open to avoid this issue.

Seperately the start of any sound played through the transit is clipped - this makes it useless for editing in Final Cut Pro or audio applications - the reason I bought it...
Nils
(Just for the record I asked for the driver version used and his mac model/OS info. Also asked if he had contacted m-Audio tech support.)
M-Audio Transit USB
Driver: 1.5.9
Firmware: 1.01

Hardware Overview:
Machine Model: Power Mac G4 (AGP graphics)
CPU Speed: 400 MHz
Memory: 1.31 GB
Bus Speed: 100 MHz
Boot ROM Version: 4.2.8f1
System Version: Mac OS X 10.3.8 (7U16)

M-Audio Tech said:

    " I would recommend that you uninstall all your M-Audio driver software through the Terminal utility, reinstall with the latest version from our website, and then repair your disk permissions (see below).
    This should fix the problem with the Transit.

    As far as the issue with Final Cut Pro, I have heard this before, I believe you need to get the next incremental update for FCP to fix this, it may be 4.5.1 or something like this, check with Apple for details on this.
    Hope this helps, let us know if you need further assistance.
    John von Seggern
    Technical Support
    M-Audio"

This reduced my problems, less drop outs.

    " I checked into this further and this error with the beginning of the sounds being cut off is a rare but known issue which we are striving to rectify in a future driver release.

    A possible workaround is to leave the Transit control panel open when you are working with audio, try this and see if it helps.
    John von Seggern
    Technical Support
    M-Audio"

(I asked if leaving the control panel open helped (or if he was still having some dropouts at times).)
I have not had a drop-out while the M-Audio panel is open. However, the start of any sound is still clipped and I don't hear short sounds at all. For instance, to hear system alerts I need to route them through "Built in Audio: Internal Speakers" in the "Sound" pref pane.
-Nils "

After getting the note on the 1.6 driver update - I wrote Nils to ask if he'd tried it yet.


(added 3/14/2005)
" Problem: Transit to do AC-3 Pass-through on my PowerBook 12" (10.3.8) and Apple DVD Player (was working in VLC).

I Googled for hours (M-Audio Tech support was not very useful) and either my searching skills are poor or this info was not out there. Anyway I found a "fix", or undocumented fact. I figured I'd post it where people care the most and I made a point of calling M-Audio Tech support to tell them to add that to their KB.

Anyway, in the setup instructions, M-Audio tells you to select the Transit in SysPrefs->Sound/Output which is what I did... Then I configured the Transit for AC-3 output and guess what VLC can play Surround no problem but not Apple's DVD Player (Under Prefs->Disc Setup/Audio Output you cannot select anything but System Output).

Then it occured to me the OS was talking to the Transit in Stereo for things such as the OS warning sounds and the like so obviously Apple's DVD Player cannot start talking surround on a stereo channel... so it goes to the default.

Anyway to make a long story short if you want to have proper pass-through you have to select your internal speakers (anything but the transit) in SysPrefs->Sound/Output and then launch DVD player again... In Prefs->Disc Setup/Output the Transit will be there!!! Too simple for me to figure out!
Hope that helps another poor guy.
Eric"


Feedback on 1.5.9 Driver Update: (most recent first)

(added 9/29/2004 - updated 9/30/2004)
" This is a follow up to my comments added to your page 9/22/2004. I suppose I spoke too soon, the audio cut out issues are worse now that i got a Kensington usb -> bluetooth adapter for my Sony-Ericsson T637 and started running Salling Clicker. The adapter blinks every so often while it's connected to the phone, and apparently that's enough transfer on the USB bus to confuse the Transit.
Changing a setting in the preference pane (like from 16-bit to 24-bit sample depth seems to re-initialize the device and things resume like normal. However, I have experienced twice since the 1.5.8f to 1.5.9 driver update, my computer completely freezing, no cursor movement at all. I suspect it's the Transit driver, since it seems to be when something is about to play. I'm to the point where I am looking for other digital audio out solutions.
Adam R.
(I asked if he sees problems w/o the USB Bluetooth adapter installed.)
Yes I did have problems with without the USB -> bluetooth adapter installed. The audio would hiccup and cut out, about once a day (as opposed to half a dozen times a day now, varying with usage), but going to the preference pane can changing a setting (like I do now) would fix it. Like I initially posted, there is about a half second delay in sound output if he computer hasn't be playing sound recently, essentially clipping the beginning of the sound, which is very annoying as well. I don't think I've read anyone else complain about this other issue. I worked for a Apple Specialist back at home for several years, and have troubleshooted to the best of my ability (short of replacing parts in my Cube and the Transit itself), and this problem and still stumps me. Seems like there are several fundamental design flaws in the Transit: playing the beginning of sounds, and reliably continuing to play sounds... Thanks for you time, let me know if there is anything you want me to test or try to figure out this issue. "

Although I know a programmer at m-audio reads the site (from past mails) I'd also send any problem reports to their tech support. (May not help but I'd do it anyway.)


(added 9/28/2004)
" I also just recently installed the updated (1.5.9) driver. I still experience the same issues I've seen in the previous driver version, where the system will lock hard after unplugging the device and plugging it in again (days later, in my case).

I am highly unimpressed with this device, and I am especially upset since I had purchased it to serve as a laptop user's reference device for my software development.
Cheers, Chris"


(added 9/22/2004)
"My experience has been similar, but different. I am using the Transit with my iBook G4, and have latest driver installed 1.5.9 and running 1.3.5.

After initial problems, I trashed preferences, repaired permissions, and the Transit worked okay again, at least with GarageBand. HOWEVER, when first booting the devices is not recognized by the iBook at all. Only if I unplug/replug the Transit will the various preference panels recognize it. A work-around for me but not a solution. Tech support at M-Audio has not been good.
Jon "

I don't own a transit personally but I've seen a similar problem with other USB devices (i.e. printers) after an OS update, but usually after doing that once the problem is solved. If anyone else sees this or has a tip for Jon for posting here, let me know. thanks.


Update - see the 9/29/2004 follow-up to the report below which noted he's still having problems.

(added 9/22/2004)
"First off, I visit your site frequently, and I love it, always up to date and relevant, what a Mac site should be! I purchased my M-audio Transit earlier this year, and has been a handful. Here is what i'm working with:

A 1.2 GHz G4 Cube (7457 PowerLogix upgrade - I have statistics before/after this upgrade I need to compile and send to you, if you're interested), 20" Cinema Display, 1 GB RAM, 120 GB Western Digital SE HD, CubePort (internal modem serial replacement - for my Newton), 40GB 3G iPod, iSight, AirPort. Mac OS X 10.3.5 (Build 7M34), Preference Pane Version: 1.5.5, USB Driver Version: 1.5.9, Firmware Version 1.01.

It seems ever since I got it (the transit), I had one issue or another. Right off the bat, I noticed it took a split second to start playing sound, thus system alerts had to be routed through my Cube's Apple Speakers, or I wouldn't hear alerts at all, unless they were over a second or so long. I don't understand why that is, I tried various latency settings to no avail.
Before this new driver (1.5.9), the sound would cut out and make the kernel_task consume all unused cycles for no apparent reason. The driver or coreaudio must have crashed or got set into an infinite loop of some kind. With the new driver, it still hiccups (almost like interference) and cuts out when I'm transferring to (but not from) my iPod, or transferring through AirPort, but at least this time I can go into the Transit's preference pane and get audio back. The hiccuping may be due to the Cube itself, since I've heard the same hiccuping on the Apple supplied speakers before. Anyone have a logic board replacement fix this or perhaps a powered USB hub fix this? Digital pass-thru works great, Dolby Digital and DTS in all it's glory!
Hopefully M-audio is still working on more robust drivers.
Adam R. "


(added 9/13/2004)
"Transit USB Audio Feedback following 1.5.9 update
This is further to my e-mail sent on 6/8/2004 concerning the M-Audio Transit USB Audio. All problems concerning DVD playback, "locking up" the CPU after some time and excess CPU loading after some time have been rectified. I tested it out on my PB 800 DVI (1gb ram) under OSX 10.3.5. M-Audio has done a fine job. A more timely update of course would have been appreciated though.

My wish list: redirecting bass to the subwoofer channel and allowing one to adjust output from each channel seperately.
Kind regards,
Salman S."

I hope all the other owners that had problems in the past (see reports below) find the 1.5.9 driver update from earlier this week helps.


Note: Reports below were before the 1.5.9 driver update dated Sept. 14th, 2004.

(added 9/13/2004)
"I also have a transit USB device from m-audio with their April 22nd, 2004 beta Transit update/Firmware update. I must say that I have been really pleased with the device in the past, only having the problem described once every now and then. It was buggy but at least it was working. It seems that, since I've upgrade MacOS X to 10.3.4 then to 10.3.5, the problem is more and more present, occurring a couple of minutes after I started emitting sound through it. I've tried with the different latency levels, that didn't work for me.

It seems like, when there is a peak in the cpu usage, the drivers are not able to send the information to the device. That can happened with all types of usb audio interface (it is normal...). However, the device fails to recover from that situation.

I had this dump in the system.log:

 Sep 13 15:53:10 localhost kernel: M-Audio Transit USB: AsyncRead 
 Correcting late USB submission: cur 20801159 submit 20801135 added 81
 Sep 13 15:53:10 localhost kernel: M-Audio Transit USB: AsyncRead 
 Correcting late USB submission: cur 20801162 submit 20801138 added 2
 Sep 13 15:53:10 localhost kernel: M-Audio Transit USB: AsyncRead 
 Correcting late USB submission: cur 20801166 submit 20801142 added 3
 Sep 13 15:53:10 localhost kernel: M-Audio Transit USB: AsyncRead 
 Correcting late USB submission: cur 20801169 submit 20801145 added 2
 Sep 13 15:53:10 localhost kernel: IOHIDSystem: postEvent LLEventQueue 
 overflow.
 Sep 13 15:53:10 localhost last message repeated 58 times

I haven't had problem switching sound source, I use a menu extra called Soundsource which was more than useful.
If only there was a way to reset the coreaudio without restarting, half of the problem would be solved!
(By the way, my machine is a quicksilver G4 733mhz with upgrade HD.)
Regards, JS "


(added 9/13/2004 from a 8/27/2004 email)
"Hi, I just bought a M-Audio TRANSIT USB and have some problems. I am using the latest drivers from site and am running 10.3.5.

Machine Model: Power Mac G4 (AGP graphics) 
  CPU Type: PowerPC G4  (3.3) 
  Number Of CPUs: 2 
  CPU Speed: 1.4 GHz 
  L2 Cache (per CPU): 256 KB 
  L3 Cache (per CPU): 2 MB 
  Memory: 1.31 GB 
  Bus Speed: 100 MHz 
  Boot ROM Version: 4.2.8f1 

I've had no trouble with iTunes or regular system sound stuff. iTunes sound is much better than the apple output.

Peak 4 seemed to work fine.

Haven't tested the digital i/o.

The DVD player had static in the sound output and crashed my system when I tried to adjust the sound output settings (It was initially set to system sound even though I could hear it through the transit). It gave a message "sound output device unplugged, switching to system sound" then died.

I don't use the DVD player so this is not a big issue but still I don't feel safe plugging something so unstable into my edit system.
Nils "


(added 9/13/2004 from an 8/26/2004 email)
"Subject: Transit Bit-For-Bit Accuracy Tests (iBook)
We've been testing the M-Audio Transit with an Apple Mac iBook [an 800 MHz G3 iBook running OS X (10.2.8) running the latest Transit OS X driver (1.5.8f2 build 101)] to determine if the Transit is a bit-for-bit accurate S/PDIF interface.

For a recording application, at M-Audio's suggestion we used Amadeus II v3.7. (They also suggested Sound Studio but we haven't tried it yet.)

PROCEDURE
We have a suite of four test files that we use for testing our own products. Each of the files lasts at least one hour. The four files were recorded at 16/44.1, 24/44.1, 24/48 and 24/96. Each consists of a 3:13 song followed by 2 seconds of silence that is looped continuously.

We outputted each file from our PC to an Alesis Masterlink recorder via an M-Audio Audiophile 2496's S/PDIF output. When we send the Masterlink's file back into the PC via the Audiophile 2496's S/PDIF input and then use Adobe Audition to Mix/Paste an inverted version of that file with the original, we get perfect cancellation (complete silence). This procedure confirms that the digital audio path from the PC to the A2496 to the Masterlink and back again preserves bit-for-bit accuracy.

We then sent the files from the Masterlink to the Apple iBook via an M-Audio CO2 (to convert coaxial to optical) to the Transit. All iBook services that might have interrupted the recording were disabled, including screen savers, local area networks (AirPort), sleep functions, energy savers (e.g., hard disk shutdowns) and alarms.

RESULTS
For all combinations of word widths and sample rates that we tested, we're pleased to report that the Transit was bit-for-bit accurate in preserving the data stream.
We'll announce our findings on our Web site and in a few relevant Net/Web newsgroups.
Warm regards,
Len M.
Core Sound
www.core-sound.com "


(added 8/27/2004)
Just finished several weeks of dealing with M-Audio regarding the Transit, with different results than most of what is on the page to date.

I bought the Transit as a gift/trade for a good friend with a G4 TiBook M8407 667Mhz 1GB RAM 30GB HD/DVD/CD-RW. He's running both Panther 10.3.4 and 9.2.2 (hasn't updated to 10.3.5 yet). Except for brief testing at other settings, all tests were 16 bit and 44.1 kHz. All tests were using the electrical ins and outs, as we do not have any appropriate optical in/out hardware.

All i can say is, if folks think the M-Audio OS X drivers are bad, they should try the OS 9 drivers. Speaking as someone who used to work at Apple doing software QA and before that spent his life in the land of analog audio, the Transit drivers versions 1.5.3f1 and 1.5.1f4 (both available on the M-Audio website and the 1.5.3f1 on the CD that came with the Transit) are crap, crap, crap! They absolutely fail to function on the input side: level meters in all software we tested (except BIAS Peak LE) displayed garbage that had no relevance to input levels; level controls in everything failed to operate; playthrough (source monitoring) rarely worked. Playback only via the Transit under OS 9 seems to generally work without problems.

Of course, that was not enough... with the M-Audio driver software active, audio applications such as Coaster 1.1.3, Amadeus II 3.7.2, Sound Studio 2.0.7, and Peak LE 3.2 demo became wildly unstable. Disable the Transit extensions, and all the software returns to its normal stability. Please note that all these programs work normally with the Griffin iMic (within the severe limitations of that inferior device) on the G4, and with the built-in Apple sound hardware on the 8500, 8600, and 9600 series (and likely the rest of the PowerSurge series Macs). Both the iMic and the Apple hardware use the Mac OS drivers. Edirol's UA-1X, a competing product (not tested by me) to the Transit, claims as one of its features "uses OS native drivers". I can see why!

Not even sound items unrelated to the transit are safe. With the Transit extensions active, it became impossible to select the G4's built-in microphone as an audio source (got a -227 error, totally repeatable). Disable the Transit extensions and, oh gosh oh gee, everything works correctly.
I must add that all these tests were via the Sound Manager. M-Audio claims that the Sound Manager sucks (notwithstanding my experiences to the contrary), and that my friend and i should be using OS 9 software that supports ASIO drivers. Well, whaddaya know?, those are all $$ payware programs. :-) BIAS Peak LE is one of them. I know some folks get great results with Peak... it has never worked for me. It wasn't stable enough on my friend's G4 for us to care, unlike all that "awful" shareware we use. ;-)
I found no way to get the native OS 9 USB etc. drivers to see the Transit, so ignoring the poor M-Audio drivers under OS 9 does not appear to be an option. Without the M-Audio drivers, the Transit was invisible and not selectable in all our audio software.

This is a major disappointment to my friend and myself, since we prefer OS 9 at present. Nevertheless, the actual Transit hardware has few, if any peers anywhere near the same price, so we decided he would keep the Transit and use it with OS X. That is because, unlike most of what has been reported here, the Transit 1.5.7f1 drivers for OS X have been totally problem-free for us under 10.3.4 (1.5.7f1 from 28 Oct. 2003, on the Transit CD-ROM. The most recent non-beta drivers). (Note - their later 1.5.8 drivers are also 'f' suffixed. Personally I'd consider any letter suffixed driver to be a work in progress/not a final release) Just like a commercial: install and use. Not a single problem. Firmware on my friend's Transit is 1.00. (the later 1.5.8f2 driver update included a firmware 1.01 update also- see bottom of page for listing.)
No, the system has not been used extensively for weeks and weeks (yet). No, we did not test DVD playback (my friend refuses to use his G4 for watching video DVDs). My friend shuts his Mac down daily, so weeks and weeks w/o a restart has not been tested by us. Still, we beat on it pretty hard before making the decision to keep the Transit, and not once was there an issue. Works just fine with Amadeus II 3.7.2, which BTW i recommend as a nice shareware stereo audio recording and editing package.
The Transit SW defaulted to medium latency, and since we were having no problems, we did not change it. We tried both Core Audio and the Sound Manager. No surprise: Core Audio (apple default drivers, see prev. comments on this below) works better, although unlike under OS 9, the Sound Manager at least basically works under 10.3.4 (some monitoring dropouts). If my friend runs across problems with longer-term use, one of us will report back here.
I did notice that having the Transit plugged in did seem to cause the G4 TiBook fan(s) to kick in, though we did no organized nor documented testing of this. That would not surprise me, as hardware of the Transit's performance level (yes, it meets its analog specs╔ i measured them) requires a good bit of energy.

    Summary:
  • OS 9: Forget it. Consider emailing M-Audio to let them know they lost another sale due to bogus OS 9 drivers.
  • OS X: Proceed with caution, for reasons noted in other posts here. Make sure you can return the Transit if it is unworkable on your system.

My recommendation for non-portable use: Use a different Mac with good built-in audio hardware, like any A/V Macs. For the work i do, which is mostly personal digital remastering of analog recordings, the built-in hardware on my 8600/300 is fully sufficient. For portable use, keep shopping and best of luck!
Maybe M-Audio can open source the driver code, since i would think they'd be making money on the hardware. Maybe that way at least someday their software will actually work for nearly everyone.
Hope these additional findings help,
-Nick"

For other OS X user experiences with the Transit (most not so postive, but many were using the latest drivers at M-audio's site) - see below.


(added 8/9/2004)
"I also am having problems with the M-Audio Transit. Upon removing a MIDI/USB keyboard, I lost USB functionality and sound output (out of the Transit) when using GarageBand. I had similar problems also when attempting to access System Preferences.
Daisuke K. "


A 3rd follow-up from a transit owner:

(added 8/9/2004)
"Hi. I originally sent this a month ago, but it looks like you never got it. (yes i did - added 7/13/2004 - see below) I added a bit more after contacting M-Audio a few times.

I've emailed twice about the Transit. At first, DVD Player would quit during the menu loading of certain movies. This was fixed by 10.3.4. However, a new problem arose after the update, that I didn't see until recently. My computer would restart itself every few days, and I couldn't figure out why (OS X Server is by default set to restart on a hang). I turned off this option, and the restarting stopped. I later noticed that after a few days, the kernel would be taking up 100% of the CPU, and would only be fixed by a restart. Every time this happened, I checked the CPU graph in Server Admin, and compared it with logs. I linked it to the Transit. I also found that once the CPU usage shot up, I was unable to hear any sound, and if I tried to change the Transit settings, the computer would hang with a spinning beach ball, which could only be fixed by a forced restart. I have tried changing the latency settings, as one person suggested, but that didn't fix it.

I emailed M-Audio tech support a few times, but they refused to even attempt to answer the issue, stating that my dual 450 G4 did not meet the minimum 500MHz requirement (even though I was assured that it would be fine when I contacted them before I bought it, just to make sure). I found the logs in the system the correspond to the issue with the CPU going to 100%, and the driver crashing:

Jul 26 02:12:42 www2 kernel: M-Audio Transit USB: AsyncRead Correcting 
late USB submission: cur 1027976060 submit 1027976036 added 50
Jul 26 02:12:42 www2 kernel: M-Audio Transit USB: AsyncRead Correcting 
late USB submission: cur 1027976064 submit 1027976040 added 3
Jul 26 02:12:42 www2 kernel: M-Audio Transit USB: AsyncRead Correcting 
late USB submission: cur 1027976067 submit 1027976043 added 2
Jul 26 02:12:42 www2 kernel: M-Audio Transit USB: AsyncRead Correcting 
late USB submission: cur 1027976070 submit 1027976046 added 2

After M-Audio saying that they wouldn't help because of the requirements, I pointed them to your now very long page of Transit problems. Hopefully they don't continue to ignore the problems the Transit drivers have. I bought mine 7 months ago as part of a $5000 of additional equipment I bought to have a computer controlled home theater, which is now basically useless since it might crash in the middle of a movie, or as before, not even play certain movies.

Here are the specifications of the computer running the Transit:
Dual 450MHz G4, 1792MB RAM, Radeon 8500, Mac OS X Server 10.3.4
(name withheld by request) "

I really wish they would be more proactive on these problems...


(added 8/6/2004)
" Recently bought an M-Audio Transit adaptor for a good price to connect to my 5.1 channel sound system via optical out, and also to pass-through AC3 sound.
I have a Powerbook G4/800 (DVI) with 1 GB ram running OSX.3.4.

Having installed the drivers, I set about to configuring DVD player for digital out in its preferences. It locked up the system! With further reboots and experimenting, I noticed that if I set the default ouput in the Sounds system prefs pane to on-board, I was able to change the DVD player prefs to digital out. I was able to listen to Dolby Digital 5.1 channel sound now.

When not watching DVD's, I noticed that after some time, the system would slow down and become choppy (for want of a better word). I would have to reboot the system.
Also, when I would put the powerbook to sleep, after sometime, it would wake up from sleep (with the lid still closed) and both fans would be roaring and the Powerbook would be warm to touch. Simply removing the M-Audio USB connector would fix it.

I was able to alleviate all of these problems by only installing the firmware of the Transit. The driver software (latest April, 2004 beta build) has two installers (revealed by "Show Package Contents" in the Finder), one for the system prefs and the other, the firmware. Having removed the first using OSX Package Manager, I lost the digital out option in DVD player, very disappointing but now it behaves itself.

Before I removed the driver package, I tested the "high latency" trick, but to no avail.

Here's hoping that M-Audio comes out with some better drivers.
Regards, Salman S"

Although it doesn't have 5.1 audio, the Audio topics index page has a reader review from 2003 on the Echo Indigo Audio PCcard. (Review tests done before Panther was released however and noted OS X 10.1.x and 10.2.x drivers - not sure if they have 10.3.x drivers available now.)


(added 7/13/2004)
I have also the same problems with my Transit USB Converter and Cube 1.25GHz (upgradet with Sonnet Cube Kit). After changing to high latency it takes a little bit longer, til the sound is lost, but then the kernel task is up to 95% and I have to do a shutdown to get it back working again.

I can reproduce the whole thing by letting EyeTV run and then start another application so the cpu activity goes up to 100% for a few seconds. I unplugged now the Transit converter and use again the iMic from Griffin. The quality is lousy there, but at least my computer is working normaly with itl

Has anyone experience with other digital audio devices and 10.3.x? I am thinking of ordering the Edirol converter that apple sells in their store.
Greetings from Tobias L. "

There were some past reports on the USB Creative Labs MP3+ (no specific drivers for it - just using panther's basic core audio)


The PB G3/Wallstreet owner with USB PCcard that reported earlier on problems (see 7/8/2004 dated report below) sent a follow-up on his problems with the Transit:

(added 7/13/2004)
I thought I should let you know the latest advice from M-Audio. Here is their last email:

    Hello,
    Be advised that you are barely meeting the minimum system specs. Furthermore, make sure that when you updated that you got the 10.3.4 combined update and not just the automatic software update. This is available at www.apple.com and contains many components for Core Audio the automatic software updates do not have. Let us know."

...I had done the automatic software update, and also tried the stand-alone updater, but not the combined update. (in an earlier mail to him I had suggested he try the Combo Update, which is an old tip for odd OS X problems after .x updates, although it is not a fix for every problem.) I am downloading it now, who knows, it may be the answer.
(he later wrote he still had problems)
Whatever the case, as far as Spark LE is concerned I can report it wasn't successful. I tried to play back some audio, and it crashed after 10 secs. Sound was then muted and the computer slowed down considerably. Restart appeared possible, but after waiting for ages I eventually did a reset.

I think that the crashes are mostly between Spark and the Transit, while I haven't checked whether the drop outs and other problems have been solved through all this updating (I also updated my Quicktime version).

Someone also told me he went back to older versions of Spark, so that may be a way to success as well.
(I asked if he was still seeing problems with other apps, not just spark) I haven't been able to thoroughly test it yet. The crashes were limited to Spark it seems, even before the combo/updates.
(I asked if he had a 500MHz CPU upgrade in the Wallstreet)
On the German site the requirements are different. But yes, I do have a 500 MHz G4 in my Wallstreet. Needlesss to say, I didn't tell them that I was using a USB PC Card, since they don't support it.
Johannes "


(added 7/13/2004)
I've emailed twice about the Transit. At first, DVD Player would quit during the menu loading of certain movies. This was fixed by 10.3.4. However, a new problem arose after the update, that I didn't see until recently. My computer would restart itself every few days, and I couldn't figure out why (OS X Server is by default set to restart on a hang). I turned off this option, and the restarting stopped.
I later noticed that after a few days, the kernel would be taking up 100% of the CPU, and would only be fixed by a restart. Every time this happened, I checked the CPU graph in Server Admin, and compared it with logs. I linked it to the Transit. I also found that once the CPU usage shot up, I was unable to hear any sound, and if I tried to change the Transit settings, the computer would hang with a spinning beach ball, which could only be fixed by a forced restart.

I had had the latency set to "Medium," and I just changed it to "High." (a tip from a previous owner report below)
I will try this for the next few days/weeks, and see if it fixes my problems.
(name withheld by request) "


Transit Latency Settings Tip: A reader replied to the problem post yesterday (below) with a tip he said helped with problems he'd seen with the Transit:

(added 7/9/2004)
"I also had problems with occasional kernel panics and (more often) just lack of sound after few minutes of normal use. I had to restart the system to use Transit or switch to internal sound output . I'm using both 10.3.4 and newest beta driver from M-Audio.

What actually solved my problems was to change latency in Transit's settings (System Preferences). After switching from low to high latency I can't hear any significant difference in sound or any delays but all Transit related problems are gone.
Maybe it helps.
With best regards, Grzegorz L.
(I asked if he was using a USB PCCard and for system details)
I'm connecting Transit to built-in USB ports (or sometimes powered USB hub) of my PowerBook G4 1Ghz.
One additional comment: I'm not using UCB PC card, and my Transit related problems were not solved by 10.3.4 upgrade only (as other are reporting) until I tried to switch latency settings. So I hope same thing could be useful in case of PC Card adapter. At least it's worth to try.

It seems to me, that all Transit problems are related to data transmission on USB bus: the driver is not able to recover if there's not enough throughput or processing power. With high latency setting driver is using larget buffer I suppose.

One additional comment: processor speed of Wallstreet is below minimum recommendations specified by M-Audio for Transit compatibility (G3 500Mhz), so it's quite possible that even on highest latency setting there's not enough power to work with it. "

I asked Johannes, the PCcard/Wallsteet user below (via email) if he could try this tip to see if it helped, and he said he already had it set at high. If anyone else with Transit USB problems tries the latency change tip, let me know.


Although two previous Transit owners said updating to 10.3.4 seems to have solved their problems, a PowerBook G3 Wallstreet owner (used XpostFacto to install panther) using a USB PCCard interface said he's still having problems:

(added 7/8/2004)
"After reports at your page (below) that the Transit problems were solved in 10.3.4 I went out to buy one today. However, I have major driver problems - crashes, loss of sound, occasional pops or drop-outs etc. I have written to M-Audio, if they come up with anything I'll let you know.

I am running the latest drivers. I have to run it in 24 Bit mode, maybe that is still a problem? (don't know if the previous reports used 24bit)

I also tried using Apple's generic drivers. They seemed to not crash, but the sound was terribly distorted in Spark, so I gave up.
If anyone knows a fix I'd like to know.
(I asked for info on his system)
It's actually a (heavily upgraded) Wallstreet Powerbook with a USB PC Card. I doubt this has anything to do with the crashes, though, since I have used another Audio device (also in 24 Bit) which didn't crash. It has other problems, but those are confirmed for onboard USB, as well. The other device works flawless in OS 9 by the way. The Transit I haven't tried (in OS 9).
Johannes G.
(he later wrote)
I have just trashed the preferences for the Transit itself, and that seems to have eliminated the crashes for now. I have only played back yet, not recorded. The next test is whether it will allow me to do 100% reliable recordings, this will take some time to find out.
(later in the day he sent a follow-up)
That was premature, I had two crashes since I wrote the last email. One seemed to have to do with Classic running at the same time, but the second one occurred without any obvious cause.
So I guess one will have to wait for a new driver version before this thing has any real value, at least for me. "

If any other PCcard USB interface owner is using a Transit, or has a suggestion for Johannes, let me know. (I asked if he had tried applying a combo update, disconnecting/reconnecting the device, etc.)


10.3.4 Helps?

Another Transit owner that reported problems in 10.3.3 wrote that 10.3.4 helped:

(added 5/28/2004)
Hi. I wrote a while ago with issues with my M-Audio Transit. DVD Player would crash when loading the menu of a DVD, if the sound output was set on digital out. This was 100% reproducible before, and would always crash in the same spot. I just tested with several DVDs, after updating to 10.3.4, and none of them crashed. Looks like I finally have a fix after almost 5 months of pulling out my hair. :-)
(name withheld by request)"


(added 5/27/2004)
"hiya, i had same problems with transit and ibook;crashes on connecting after sleep etc etc
but osx ipdate 10.3.4 released today has fixed it so tell others !!
-alan
(I asked Alan if he was using the m-audio drivers or had removed them. )
yeah,latest drivers (which were useless - kernel panics etc etc) but as soon as i installed osx revision it all works beautifully. i've plugged and unplugged after putting ibook to sleep both sleep yesterday and today and its all working fine, no more kernel panics!
i didn't remove the m-audio drivers cos to be honest i wouldn't know how to get the transit woking without them
but they're working now with osx revision so i'm happy
alan "


(Reports below are before 10.3.4 was released)

Followup to a previous owner report on driver problems (he tried using it without any m-audio drivers as others noted)

(added 5/21/2004)
"This is a follow up on the yesterday's message I figured out how to make the core work, very simple, actually. Transit doesn't work at rebook if plugged-in.
To make it work you have to unplug and plug again the card. this with core drivers and/or m-audio drivers.
till now using core audio drivers everything works fine. Using itunes, and dvd player and all the rest. I don't have multichannel system so I don't know about that.
Thank you
L. Maddalena"

Unplugging/replugging USB devices is also a common troubleshooting tip in the past (such as after an OS X update, driver update, etc.)


Another Transit owner using it w/o the drivers:

(added 5/20/2004)
"I had the same problems (as others reported below) on a 12" G4 PowerBook 1Ghz 768 RAM. Removing ALL the M-Audio drivers solved the problem.
-Jim
(I asked if he was running 10.3.3 and using basic coreaudio support only as did owners of the cheaper ($39) Creative Labs MP3+ USB device reported)
yup using 10.3.3 and only using the Transit for stereo audio iTunes output right now -- on the PowerBook.

My dual G4 Tower is hooked up to a 42 inch Hitachi Gas plasma display (yup it's my monitor) and I haven't tried audio output for DVD's yet.... I have a Panasonic progressive scan player for home theater applications. "


This Transit owner is the only one to date not reporting frequent Kernel Panics with thedrivers installed (but did note some other problems):

(added 5/19/2004)
" Hi. I haven't had any kernel panics due to the Transit, but I can't say my experience has been completely pleasant, either. Up until the newest version just released, I had to manually switch between stereo and AC3. Since I switch between iTunes and DVD Player, it was very annoying.

Even the new version doesn't handle switching very well. I will often have to quit iTunes, change the settings, restart iTunes, change some settings again, etc., before it works.
They seem to have finally fixed the DTS issues I used to have with the Transit (after I emailed them about 10 times between January and April). The biggest issue I have had since the beginning, is DVD Player will crash with certain DVDs when Digital Output is selected. When I asked about this issue, they said they don't support Mac OS X Server (I use my server to play DVDs). I figured out a trick I can use to get it to work with most movies, but not all. Some movies I just have to watch in Stereo. I have tried everything within my means to fix the issue. It's still there on a fresh install even.
(I asked what the OS version used was)
Sorry. Mac OS X Server 10.3.3.
(name withheld by request) "

NOTE - This user later reported (above on 5/28/2004) that OS X 10.3.4 update seems to have solved the problems.


This Transit owner ended up removing the drivers and using only the 10.3.3 basic coreaudio support. (I assume similar to the Creative Labs $39 MP3+ USB audio device reports here in the past on the 10.3.3 feedback page)

(added 5/19/2004)
" I, too, had lots of problems with the M-Audio Transit USB thingy. But fear not, as there is an easy fix. By the way, I am using a Ti-Book, 1 GHz, 1 GB RAM, OS X 10.3.3. My Transit has the most recent firmware and software upgrades.

Every time I plugged this darned device in to a USB port, bammo, kernel panic. Actually, I have no idea what a kernel panic is, I just like how it sounds. What I mean is: whole computer frozen, had to reboot, lost whatever data was not saved. If that is not what a kernel panic is, well, it should be.

Once my poor 'puter rebooted, the Transit worked fine for listening tasks (mostly CDs ripped to iTunes). Interestingly, it did not work with the game Unreal 2004, rendering all sounds in a bizarrely distorted fashion. Of course, there is no good reason to use the Transit for games anyway, so no biggie.

I tried to record (optical or analog transfer of music from mini-disc to computer). It worked, but with lots of static on the transferred tracks. Where on earth did static come from on an optical transfer?!

So, I was feeling not so happy with the Transit, but being that M-Audio has such a good reputation, I did some research. I found some info on some audio professional website suggesting that the Transit is not the problem, but rather its drivers are. So I threw away the M-Audio drivers and, viola! Perfection. Everything is working just as it should now. Turns out, the OS X Core Audio drivers are just fine for running the Transit.

Moral of this story: M-Audio drivers bad. M-Audio Transit good. And OS X once again saves the day.
Happy computing, Marc "

He didn't go into details, but I assume there's only basic functioning similar to the Creative MP3+ reports.


(added 5/19/2004)
" (unfortunately) I got caught with Transit M-Audio.
I was searching for a better sound output and as a second reason the amplifier is far away from the computer and that's why i decided to buy an external sound card and plug it through an usb cable.

here the problem: KERNEL PANIC not so often but enough for me to ...... I wrote to the M-Audio Tech support and I HAD NO REPLY AT ALL ...

I use the latest driver. I reinstalled it again from scratch. NOW, I don't know what to do.
Thank you, Luca "

I really don't know what to suggest (other than what I did earlier - but nothing seems to help with these drivers to date). The above user noted using no drivers (assuming only basic support w/o them though, such as seen with the USB Creative Labs $39 MP3+).


(5/18/2004)
" I have to say that i'm really shocked by the people at m-audio. they are advertising their hardware as compatible with mac os x. which it isn't. at least not with the drivers they supply.
the amount of grief i've had trying to get an m-audio transit to work with both a PB867 and DP 1.25 G4 is outlandish.
(he later wrote the PB 867 12in is now running 10.3.3, the DP 1.25 G4 tower is running 10.3.2)

they lead you on in tech support to suggest that the devices might work - but weeks of tweaking not what i signed up for when i gave them my $100. i just wanted better audio output for listening to music. simple analog stereo output. (if the builtin stereo output/headphone jack isn't satisfactory, although it has no Creative Labs OS X drivers, some 10.3.3 users reported on basic functioning with the $39 list MP3+ USB audio device on the 10.3.3 feedback page)

after the return date for my purchase had gone by (retailer rules), m-audio finally admitted that the drivers really don't work for everybody. certainly they haven't worked for me.

the transit is the one thing i own or run which can cause kernel panics.

i don't know what you think about kernel panics, but i don't like getting them. (of course I know they're bad... I generally avoid addons/3rd party kernel extensions just to try and avoid any potential problems in OS X. Maybe that's why I haven't had any for a long long time...) it means one must be constantly worried about data loss at any moment and i'm sure they are not a good thing to regular be testing your disk integrity with (especially as i'm successfully running a HW raid setup/ACARD 6880).

m-audio does not run forums of their own. no wonder!
can you imagine what people would read on them?
i've done some checking around the net - carefully going through versiontracker, macupdate, your site - and across the board, the experience with their product is overwhelmingly negative.
www.macmusic.org/agora/forums/index.php?s=&lang=EN&act=ST&f=12&t=9301&st=30
www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/15959
www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/18583
macupdate.com/info.php/id/12691
macupdate.com/info.php/id/12897
(there's was also a long page here of Revolution 7.1 audio card feedback/tips.)
they advertise mac compatibility. they suggest ease of use.
they deliver kernal panics and endless troubleshooting.
somebody should call them on it. somebody should warn mac users about m-audio and the nightmare they are buying into.
thank you for your revolution 7.1 page. that is quite clear as a whole. i cannot imagine why you yourself are considering buying into this support nightmare (imagine - you will have to question every other third party addition to your mac, every time a kernel panic arises - is it the revolution or is it that new thing - trust me, you don't want this). and it happens every time there is an OS upgrade. and there is a stable driver lag of over six months (since panther was released). (I had once mentioned on that page after some owners reported on using the card OK, I was considering buying one - I have not to date. And I've been waiting on a reply from the programmer if they had ever finished testing with 10.3.3 (to get his comments on the problem reports here that some have mentioned).)

actually i can imagine why you would consider it. the built-in audio output from recent macs, especially powerbooks, is barely adequate. one can listen, but without pleasure. sadly m-audio is not the solution, but rather an expansion of the problem.

the problems go all the way up at m-audio, btw. before i finally gave up on the company - after three months of troubleshooting! - i was dealing with niels larsen who advertises himself as a VP of the company and is based in the UK.
thanks for listening and thanks for xlr8yourmac.com.
all the best, alec k.
(I asked if he had applied the beta driver update/firmware update for the Transit posted at M-Audio's drivers page (dated April 22nd, 2004).)
frankly i don't remember. i tried so many things.
i will doublecheck and get back to you.
in any case, they shouldn't be selling these things as panther compatible and troublefree. i will do the checks and let you know. "

He later wrote he applied the update (firmware update also I assume) and it didn't help. (I suggested some other voodoo/tips like clearing caches (kextcache), removing the old driver before applying a new one, disconnect/reconnect the device, even reapplying the last OS X combo update - but if it's really a driver/extension issue, that won't help.)
The M-Audio drivers search page (w/show beta option checked) lists this as the last Transit update to date:

" Transit USB, April 22, 2004, 1.5.8f2 build 101
Release Notes: Mac 10.3 (Panther),MacOS 10.2 (Jaguar)
This release contains a fix for the AC-3 output problems with the Apple OS 10.3 DVD player. The release also contains corrected input and output latency values that are reported to Core Audio for optional use by audio applications, and updated firmware for the Transit.

-Fixed problem with digital playback when Transit was selected as the default sound output device. Device now vends a PCM format in addition to the AC-3 format when in AC-3 mode.

-Update Transit firmware to version 1.01.

-Corrected input and output latency values reported to Core Audio.

-Updated installer read me.

-Fixed crash in Mac OS 10.3 (Panther) when device was unplugged while active with audio application.

-Fixed DTS digital playback with OS 10.3 DVD player.

-Removed support for Mac OS 10.1 (Puma).

-Fixed 24 bit 96K input only mode, so that sample rate is now correctly set to 96K. "

I also asked if the USB port was set to 16-bit (check settings using Apple's Audio/Midi Setup utility in the Apps/Utilities folder). In the past some USB audio device problems (generally noise, etc.) were due to 8bit settings. But of course kernel panics would not be due to this - generally that's due to a driver/kernel extension problem. (Assuming the RAM, CPU, etc. in the system is OK.)


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