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Reply 20 of 24, by SirNickity

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That's baffling that some manufacturer would go to all the trouble and expense of populating a header when there's no DAC. Or maybe there is a DAC but the firmware doesn't support the audio playback functionality -- which is even more perplexing, since that's even more BOM cost for absolutely no purpose. I've never heard of this before.

Not all drives support playing audio digitally, though usually it's the older stuff. The Creative / Panasonic MKE drive would, but I remember only getting it to work with a special DOS utility. (It's only useful for ripping audio CD tracks to .wav files.) Then, I upgraded that PC to a Creative / Panasonic Hex speed IDE drive and that didn't support ripping at all. Finally, the HP CD-RW I got next would rip discs. Most of them. It had trouble with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, right in the middle of the swing craze.

Anything more recent than that support digital playback / ripping pretty much obligatorily. Although, nothing beats a good Plextor with C2 error notification and EAC or CDParanoia. Again, this is really only relevant if you're using it to extract audio, not for real-time playback. Technically it's the same thing as far as the drive's concerned. It's just what you do with the CDDA data once it's read from disc.

Reply 21 of 24, by Doornkaat

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SirNickity wrote:

That's baffling that some manufacturer would go to all the trouble and expense of populating a header when there's no DAC.

I guess they either used the same PCB for multiple configurations and they used the same machine with the same settings for through hole parts, separating the PCBs only for SMD assembly or it's a simple i/o board that's used on multiple drives with only the main pcb differing.
Sometimes it's cheaper to have less different parts and have to change settings and inventory less often than to leave out a connector.

Reply 23 of 24, by Jo22

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Speaking of test programs, old Audio-CD programs for DOS or Win 3.x should also do.
They do command the CD-ROM drive to playback CDA tracks on its own, just like DOS games do.

Alternatively, Media Player of Windows 3.1x (& 3.0 MME) also could work.
If I remember correctly, Win 95 (& 3.0 MME ?) even had its own CD player application.

This one should definitely work. It uses MCI commands only.
As early Windows 3.1x media titles do, as well.

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Reply 24 of 24, by Xenphor

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I got another drive, a Sony CRX140E, which had a headphone jack on the front, so I thought that would be good sign that it might support analog audio, and it does. Unfortunately, it seems to take awhile to recognize cds, whereas the LG recognized them pretty much instantly. It's working in all the games where digital over IDE didn't work, and now I can actually mix the audio better in games that don't let you adjust it, even if they did work with Daemon Tools/IDE. I still don't get cd audio out in DOS games, but I guess that's because of my YMF744, because I can hear the audio in the headphone jack. I don't have a sb-link connector on the MB to help with compatibility, and the line in on the YMF744 doesn't appear to function in DOS.

There's also the issue of having to juggle both Daemon Tools for the games that work with its analog audio support, and a real cdrom drive for the ones that don't. It's kind of pain to manually switch drive letters (have to go into device manager and then reboot) because a lot of games expect to see D:\. Is there an easier way to swap them?