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6/7/01 Thursday's News: Story DetailReturn to News Page

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Reader Reports on XITEL USB/Digital Audio Adapter:
Last Updated: 6/11/2001

In reply to the earlier post on Xitel's USB to Digital Audio adapter, several readers noted using them with both OS 9.x and OS X (requires the device to be connected before starting OS X however).

This 7500 owner with PCI USB card reported a problem with his Sony recorder and DG3 USB adapter:

" A problem for the groupmind: I'm having problems recording from my Macintosh computer using the Xitel MD-Port DG2.

Per your tech support instructions, here is my information:

1. I have an Apple Power Macintosh 7500 (MetaBox G3/400 MHz) running OS 9.1, with 96 MB of RAM. I am using an Entrega 2-port USB PCI card, and a USB Microsoft Intellimouse. I am using Apple's iTunes v1.1 as my jukebox player.

2. The serial number on the base of my DG2 is: S01005905633.

3. My minidisc unit is the Sony MZ-R700 Minidisc player/recorder, which came with the Xitel MD-Port DG2 Digital PCLink adapter.

When I connect the adapter to my Macintosh with the USB cable, and then run the optical cable to the minidisc unit, the minidisc recognizes the digital signal. So I press RECORD, placing it in SYNC mode, and then I press PLAY in iTunes. Instead of recording, however, the minidisc displays NO SIGNAL. Nothing is recorded.

Now, I have performed this same process on a co-worker's new Apple iBook running OS 9.1, and it works fine. I have recorded several minidiscs this way, so I know the equipment is functioning and the above process is described correctly.

My fear: does USB audio not work on third-party PCI USB cards? That's the only thing I can figure out...
Any help/advice mucho appreciated!
clarkman "

" Mike:
There have been many positive reports of this adapter on the MD boards. You simply hook it up to a USB port and record. The downside (and this is true on both platforms) is that it records ALL sounds, so any background sounds or application-specific sounds will also be recorded.
Dan Frakes "

" I have a USB to MD adapter that was included with my Sony Minidisc portable (MZ-R700DPC) recorder/player. It looks exactly like the XITEL.

It is extremely easy to use. Just plug it into a USB port (it recommends not using a hub with other USB devices as there may be some intrference that is also recorded, but I have tried it with a hub and found no problems so far). The other end of the device plugs into the Digital In port of the MD recorder. No drivers or other programs necessary for hook up.

You will need a player (SoundJam, iTunes, etc.) to play your mp3's or music files. Once you hit record on the MD, start your MP3 player and that's it. The new MD players will record anywhere from 2-6 hours all on an 80min MD (maybe $3-5 each?). The only downside is recording your songs means having to play all 2-6 hours of music while it records. It's not like downloading files onto an MP3 player, but for the price/ease of use, it's a good deal.
Chris "

" I have to concur, the DG2 runs smoothly under 9.1 - no drivers required - and it significantly improved the quality of audio recordings on my Sony MD.

Unfortunately I cannot say the same for its performance under OS X. As mentioned before by a reader, for a while the trick was not to boot up with the DG2 plugged (it'd cause a kernel panic). Unfortunately nowadays I get a kernel panic every time I plug the DG2 (no matter when).

I am currently running OS 10.0.3 and I suspect that the problem got worse after a automatic Software Upgrade. Unfortunately I do not record frequently, so I am unsure of when it happened. Any ideas? Thanks.
Manolo "

" AN-1 is Analog, their DG-2 is digital. I have been using the latter for a few months now, works great even in MacOS X on my PowerBook. The trick to get it working in MacOS X is it has to be plugged when one boot up the machine; if one plug in the USB connector when the machine is live, be prepare for a kernel panic (have that since 10.0, still the same with 10.0.3).
It works fine without any problem in 9.x without any driver...=)
Highly recommend the DG-2
Tim "

" Hi Mike. Re: the Xitel, I bought it last week - the thing is smooth and runs like a dream. No s/w drivers, just plug and play USB with OS 9.1. (Didn't work with 8.6). Sound is great - no analog to digital conversion needed. The DG2 costs even less than the DG1 did, if I recall correctly, and the newer one doesn't suffer from the same incompatibility issues - I use it with my Sharp 833 portable recorder (the DG1 was incompatible with Sharp MDs)...
Rich "

" I have had a Xitel DG-1 for about a year and it works well. I have only tried it in OS 9 on a G4/400 AGP (non gigabit) and an original iMacDV SE. When you plug it in it routes all audio to the DG-1, which has a TOSLink plug on one end and a USB plug on the other end. TOSLink is a pretty standard optical audio connector format, it is used on ADAT machines and high end home stereos. I have a Sharp MD722 minidisc player/recorder that has an optical miniplug connector. By using the supplied TOSLink to optical miniplug cable (aka lightpipe) I can record purely digital audio to my MD unit. I haven't tried it on OS X yet but when I do I'll let you know if it works.
Ben "

" I have the older model the DG1, which only works with a few Sony MD models but not decks or all MD players as the new DG2 is supposed to. That being said, it works flawlessly with my Sony MD and digital audio G4. Make a playlist in SoundJam with 3 second silence (I have a special mp3 file I keep on hand for that) and go. The MD records each track as a separate MD track with no fuss no muss *grin*

I also own the AN1 which provides an analog sound signal which I used before I had the DG1.

Both work the same: Plug into USB bus and they appear as 'speakers.' Select the speaker for sound out and record away.
Brian "

" I have had a Xitel DG1 optical converter for about a year now. This is the previous version, not the newer DG2 which sells for $50. I haven't been able to determine what the differences are, the web site only states that now ALL MD units are supported. The unit that i have has certain limitations on which MD units can be used (although I am not sure why exactly).

I can report that the unit works great in both OS9 and OSX, with iTunes and just about any other audio program I have used it with. It is fully plug and play, and was recognized immediately by the OS which began routing all audio through it. I use this device full-time to send the optical signal to an MD deck which converts the signal back to analog and sends it on to my stereo.

The only big problem I have had so far is under OSX. If I unplug the USB cable while using OSX I get a kernal panic. This is repeatable and happens every time I unplug the device. Also, the unit is supposed to support automatic track marking, but this doesn't seem to work with any mac software I have used (OS9 or X). The website used to say this feature requires MusicMatch software on pc, but I can no longer find this reference. I haven't tried MusicMatch on mac because it is a poor substitute for iTunes.
alex "

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