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Dell Colludes With RIAA, Disables Stereo Mix

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the please-test-for-crazy-conspiracy dept.

Bug 377

RCTrucker7 writes with a link to a Maximum PC story, which begins: "Details of Dell's surreptitious collusion with RIAA (Record Industry Association of America) have emerged. Apparently, the computer manufacturer disabled the Stereo Mix/Mono Mix/Wave Out sound recording function on certain notebooks to assuage RIAA. The hardware functionality is being disabled without any prior notice and one blogger has even alleged that he was asked by Dell's customer support staff to [shell] out $99 if he desired the stereo mix option. Gateway and Pac Bell are the other two manufacturers to have bowed to RIAA at the expense of their customers' satisfaction and disabled stereo mix without warning." (There are some workarounds posted in the comments of the linked article.)

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well. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24146749)

ololo fiors pos

jk see ya later.

-alu

Any...facts in this case? (5, Insightful)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 6 years ago | (#24146765)

I know it's fun to use hearsay and draw wild conclusions which make a boogeyman out of various unpopular (some rightly so) parties, but is there anything here besides a bunch of conjecture and reporting of anecdote as fact?

Re:Any...facts in this case? (5, Informative)

minerat (678240) | more than 6 years ago | (#24146805)

Nope. If you trace back the trail of links, the link for appeasing the riaa goes to a forum post that only mentions the details of the registry workaround. This was already determined to be hearsay on days ago when the story broke. Congratulations to the /. editors for their diligence.

Re:Any...facts in this case? (5, Informative)

Trails (629752) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147181)

Indeed. Techdirt [techdirt.com] had an article about this two days ago.

Re:Any...facts in this case? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24146839)

Get off the internets!!!

Re:Any...facts in this case? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24147215)

"Details of Dell's surreptitious collusion with RIAA (Record Industry Association of America) have emerged.

I'm glad they cleared that up. I've never heard of an organization called the RIAA, have you?

Re:Any...facts in this case? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24147435)

It's better than not saying it, and filling an article with cryptic acronyms, regardless of how ubiquitous they may be to some people. STFU and GTFO.

Use? (1, Flamebait)

allanw (842185) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147313)

How often is stereo mix actually used? People are overreacting; they think recording is disabled. That's ridiculous: tons of people use microphones, for gaming, voice chat, they couldn't afford to turn recording off. What is disabled is some boolean in the driver, not in the hardware that allows stereo mix to work.

How many people even use stereo mix? You record what's playing through your speakers. Any decent sound editing program is going to have some kind of mixer that will combine your recording with whatever you were playing along with.

The only use I see is for a program like FRAPS, which records your screen and sound.

Re:Use? (4, Informative)

allanw (842185) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147331)

Sorry to reply to myself, but I forgot to add that Dell is not the only one that distributes drivers that disable stereo mix. Lenovo has these problems too:

http://forums.lenovo.com/lnv/board/message?board.id=Special_Interest_General&thread.id=316&view=by_date_ascending&page=1

It's quite a popular thread, and Lenovo reps have posted too.

Re:Use? (1)

Annymouse Cowherd (1037080) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147523)

I used it often. I was dismayed when i found that my new motherboard does not have the feature :/

Next Story: (5, Funny)

Deltaspectre (796409) | more than 6 years ago | (#24146787)

The MPAA has decided that asking large computer manufacturers to disable any Video Out options, so pirates are thwarted.

Re:Next Story: (5, Insightful)

edalytical (671270) | more than 6 years ago | (#24146955)

Oddly enough the screenshot feature of Mac OS X is disabled when you are playing a DVD. I'd take a screenshot of the error message, but I obviously can't.

This seems to be the current trend. You can't print bank notes from Photoshop, you can't record audio on your computer, you can't take screenshots. I'm sure this is just scratching the surface of treacherous computing...

Re:Next Story: (1, Interesting)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147043)

Same thing happens in Windows XP (haven't checked Vista but it's probably the same). If you're playing a DVD and take a screenshot the area where the DVD was (if you were playing it in a window) is black.

Re:Next Story: (1)

Deltaspectre (796409) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147093)

The cool part, leave the DVD up and move Paint or wherever you pasted the screenshot to over it and you'll see sections of the movie :P

Re:Next Story: (4, Informative)

ericlondaits (32714) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147139)

AKAIK the DVD plays in an "overlay" layer... it's not rendered to the player's window like normal windows graphics but it's rather placed on top of it (in a similar fashion to directX, I assume). That would explain why screen captures (which must work at windows UI graphic level) don't capture DVD or divX frames.

Re:Next Story: (3, Informative)

CCFreak2K (930973) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147449)

Yep. Video overlay [wikipedia.org] . This occurs for pretty much any video in any video player that uses overlays. No conspiracy there.

Re:Next Story: (1)

Drantin (569921) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147455)

That was the way it used to work for regular videos even... if you turned off playback acceleration, you could take screenshots but the video was a bit choppy...

Last time I tried that was around 2000 or so, I'm not sure how to do it with current versions of media player, but you could try looking for programs made to take directx screenshots. They're made for games but I believe they work for that overlay layer the media player uses...

Re:Next Story: (5, Informative)

Oronar (942125) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147149)

You have to turn your hardware acceleration off.

Right-click
Properties
Settings Tab
Advanced
Troubleshoot Tab
Drag slider to the left

Take you pictures and just slide it back to the right.

Re:Next Story: (2, Informative)

Oronar (942125) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147187)

Right-click your desktop.

Seriously need an edit for comments. =/

Re:Next Story: (3, Informative)

setagllib (753300) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147161)

Welcome to the dreadful hack that is the Windows graphics overlay system. It allocates a very specific color that will be treated as a video area by the video card, so that it won't overlap windows that should be on top. It's clever, but XVideo in the open source world is much better. As usual.

Re:Next Story: (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147205)

Nah thats a bug with Windows.
Try taking a screenshot of WMP's visualisations as well.

Re:Next Story: (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24147225)

This isn't anything special. A screenshot in Windows isn't the video out. It is what the Win32 subsystem sees. The only thing that the Win32 subsystem sees when you are playing a DVD is the window surrounding it. This is because the program running the DVD will be accessing the hardware outside of the Win32 subsystem.

Re:Next Story: (2, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147067)

You can't print bank notes from Photoshop

Bet you can print 'em up in GIMP. Don't let the Government find out about that though, bad things might #$*&(*@&*(*!)(*)!*)(#*)@CARRIER LOST

Actually, in all seriousness I'm not advocating the forgery of banknotes. Just pointing out the rather obvious fact that open source software isn't going to come crippled for my "protection". Wonder how long hardware will remain the same? Was this crippling of the notebooks done in software or hardware?

Either way, why are people still giving Dell money?

Re:Next Story: (4, Informative)

MBCook (132727) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147213)

I seriously doubt Photoshop would stop you, but that's just me. It seems a little pointless to have photo-editing software try to do that.

That said, for years scanners, copiers, and I believe laser prints have been designed to try to detect people copying currency and refuse to print. It may happen in ink jets and other printers too. I believe it is only the high end models though.

There is also the "invisible" yellow dot tracking that so many printers do today (you can Google it, or I know it's been discussed here years ago).

Re:Next Story: (3, Informative)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147257)

I seriously doubt Photoshop would stop you, but that's just me. It seems a little pointless to have photo-editing software try to do that.

Are you sure [slashdot.org] about that?

There is also the "invisible" yellow dot tracking that so many printers do today (you can Google it, or I know it's been discussed here years ago).

I'm well aware of it. I guess the anonymous "printing press" was just too much for the Government to contemplate leaving around.

Re:Next Story: (2, Insightful)

InakaBoyJoe (687694) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147361)

You must be new here. When did we ever see CARRIER LOST? It was always NO CARRIER.

And don't even get me started on the immediate follow-up with "... in all seriousness". :-)

Re:Next Story: (5, Interesting)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147371)

Actually you can still take screenshots. There are three easy ways. One is to use Grab.app. Another is to use the 'screencapture' command line tool in Terminal. And lastly you can use any third-party screen capture program. Apple half-assedly only disables the standard keyboard shortcuts. This is typical of their compliance with required terms for media playback. For example, the standard DVD player contract also requires making a reasonable effort to disable debuggers. Apple does this by calling ptrace(PT_DENY_ATTACH, 0, 0, 0) during application startup. This causes the application to crash if it's being run in the debugger, and causes any debugger attached to the application later to crash. It's laughably easy to work around, though; just set a breakpoint on the ptrace function, then tell the debugger to return immediately when it's hit. Presto!

Re:Next Story: (3, Insightful)

great throwdini (118430) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147445)

Oddly enough the screenshot feature of Mac OS X is disabled when you are playing a DVD. I'd take a screenshot of the error message, but I obviously can't.

This limitation in OS X has been there for a long, long time; it's nothing new. I don't think it's part of any trend. The blocks in place for Grab.app, etc. aren't terribly hard to circumvent, targeting casual users who will give up before querying Google for workarounds. Last time I checked, you don't need anything that doesn't ship with OS X itself to take screencaps of DVD Player.

Though I do agree that Apple bothering to throw up blocks at all seems a bit odd, if but a half-hearted attempt akin to the CD burning limitations of iTunes. Must be some mildly interesting history behind the original decision there...

Re:Next Story: (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147505)

Lol, and I was about to buy a mac. One of the things I love to do is take screenshots of DVDs to write up on blog posts. Is that illegal or something ?

Re:Next Story: (1)

nawcom (941663) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147045)

From now on instead of seeing the video you have to use your brilliant imagination and computing intellect to watch them. I can see the commercials for this new technology now...

Re:Next Story: (5, Funny)

LordRPI (583454) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147163)

In other news, the RIAA is pushing OB/GYNs to disable the hearing component of newborn babies brain's at birth. A special chip will be implanted and used to re-enable hearing at a cost of $99. As an easter egg, this chip will automatically deduct $0.99 from the parent's bank account anytime the baby has a tune stuck in their head.

Why is RIAA asking this? (5, Interesting)

BabbageTuring (1227694) | more than 6 years ago | (#24146807)

Is this to prevent home grown artists from recording their own high quality material?

Re:Why is RIAA asking this? (5, Insightful)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 6 years ago | (#24146825)

>Is this to prevent home grown artists from recording their own high quality material?

As a musician, I would want to challenge this as abridgement of my rights, and I'd want to make a (worth $Billions$) anti-trust case out of it.

Re:Why is RIAA asking this? (5, Interesting)

Lumenary7204 (706407) | more than 6 years ago | (#24146931)

Parent modded as "Funny", but you know, the "Independent musician invoking antitrust against the RIAA" thing might just have something going for it.

Too bad you'd need a huge chunk of capital just to get the legal ball rolling...

Re:Why is RIAA asking this? (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147011)

As a musician, I would want to challenge this as abridgement of my rights, and I'd want to make a (worth $Billions$) anti-trust case out of it.

It isn't about recording audio input from microphones, it is about making a copy of whats going out to the speakers.

Any musician would be using more than simple playback software, probably some sort of mixer-board sort of thing, and would be able to record their own audio before even sending it to the speakers in the first place.

Re:Why is RIAA asking this? (5, Insightful)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147177)

>It isn't about recording audio input from microphones, it is about making a copy of whats going out to the speakers.

Don't try to dictate to me how I may, or may not, use my tools, thank you.

Re:Why is RIAA asking this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24147325)

yeah, maybe if you can afford that stuff. some of us *like* recording various bits in a simple sound recording application (sndrec32 comes to mind) and playing them at the same time into another recording, just for screwing-around purposes.

why do i need a mixing board or expensive software to see if a few superimposed tracks are going to work well together when i've been provided the tools for such a simple task for over a decade?

Re:Why is RIAA asking this? (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147417)

why do i need a mixing board or expensive software to see if a few superimposed tracks are going to work well together when i've been provided the tools for such a simple task for over a decade?

Because there is plenty of free mixing board software and what you propose to do with sndrec32 is more than a little masochistic.

Re:Why is RIAA asking this? (2, Insightful)

batura (651273) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147311)

As a musician, you should simply buy a computer from a different manufacturer.

Re:Why is RIAA asking this? (3, Informative)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147419)

Dismissed at the pleading stage for failure to state a claim for which relief can be granted. There is no legal theory on this planet that would make a third party (even a disreputable one like the RIAA) responsible for the Dell's choice to include or exclude some features from a driver. Perhaps you could proceed in a fraud case against Dell IF somewhere they claimed stereo-mix as a feature or, and this is a huge stretch, general merchantability.

More broadly, I suggest you stop thinking of the legal system is a cure-all for every practice you don't like. The law is not meant to be an all-encompassing tool for redressing every wrong but rather a minimal standard of civilized decency. While I'm no fan of the RIAA, and many of their tactics are indeed illegal (I'll let NYCL flesh those out), this particular odious act is still well within the law.

Re:Why is RIAA asking this? (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 6 years ago | (#24146891)

If they want high quality they would use an XLR input box connected to firewire (or at least USB2 with a buffer). Trying to record using an unbalanced stereo input in a noisy RF environment just doesn't work well, I've tried.

Re:Why is RIAA asking this? (3, Informative)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147063)

correct - any musician wanting decent sound quality will use an spdif (or similar) interface and do the analog/digital conversion outside the computer.

these days, if you need only 2 channel stereo you can use a usb-audio input device and there are ones that have spdif toslink (opto) inputs. then you front-end that with an a/d converter, maybe a small mixer and you're all set. can be done for $100 or so and you'll get bit-perfect recording. usb-audio (asynch) drivers are driverless! so there's nothing 'they' can disable on you.

same with usb-audio style spdif out devices. those run in synch mode and they are also driverless (mac, win, linux, bsd, you name it). you can find usb audio dongles that support 2496 samplerates and even DD5.1/DTS via raw mode.

no one that would be 'serious' would use the analog i/o ports on a notebook for recording.

BUT that does not let dell off the hook for hobling their own goddamn hardware. no excuse for that kind of behavior. shame on dell. I will remember this stunt for the next time an IT manager type asks me which brand of hardware we should go with.

vote with your dollars. avoid dell and when asked, TELL them why.

Re:Why is RIAA asking this? (2, Informative)

XanC (644172) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147175)

We're not talking about recording from input; we're talking about making a copy of the output as it goes to the speakers. I don't think there's any D to A involved in recording this way, although you do lose a generation, and of course if the source was compressed you're in extra trouble.

Re:Why is RIAA asking this? (3, Interesting)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 6 years ago | (#24146977)

if you are trying to record anything in high quality using the sterio plugs on your laptop, you are doing it very, very, wrong

Re:Why is RIAA asking this? (4, Funny)

Kopiok (898028) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147119)

I've just been using my laptop's built in microphone.

Re:Why is RIAA asking this? (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147219)

>if you are trying to record anything in high quality using the sterio plugs on your laptop, you are doing it very, very, wrong

Yes, when I do serious work, I do it on the Studer desk with the Iz Radar V.
So?
How does this change my argument that crippling my hardware in a specific way, does not limit me from using it for a specific production technique?

Recording the stereo mix of a consumer sound device is a legitimate technique, and for the *RIAA* to be the party suppressing the capability is unacceptable. All the twittering jibes about how "you shouldn't do that" don't add up to anything.

Re:Why is RIAA asking this? (1)

marco.antonio.costa (937534) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147407)

Not necessarily. You can do wondrous things with stereo plugs in your laptop, two good quality mikes and a 64studio distro.

Its a very nice GNU/Linux flavour, unfortunately I had to ditch it because its basically crippled for general use. 1.1 Xserver, Abiword, and to top it all off GAIM instead of the newer, more stable and slicker Pidgin. It was back to ubuntu hardy for me. I was sad tho.

Re:Why is RIAA asking this? (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 6 years ago | (#24146991)

Not at all, If you sign up with the Riaa, then you can sign over all rights and record to your hearts desire.

Re:Why is RIAA asking this? (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147233)

This has been the real motivation behind their attacks all along. The restrictions placed on consumer minidisk players(the much more expensive "pro" version didn't have these restrictions) is the first time I became aware of what they are up to. I didn't know what a bunch snakes Avid was at the time. Gotta keep those barriers as high as possible...

Re:Why is RIAA asking this? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24147265)

You don't need this to record.

What has been disabled is the loopback, which lets you record the music that the computer is playing.
Youtube for example.

Re:Why is RIAA asking this? (5, Insightful)

gnuASM (825066) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147501)

What has been disabled is the loopback, which lets you record the music that the computer is playing. Youtube for example.

Yeah, or even your own LEGALLY COPYRIGHTED drum/beat/synthesizer loops. Or even the audio off your home videos to use for your own LEGAL reuse in your own LEGAL compilation home videos. Or even your own LEGAL automated answering service that may need to record messages. Or any of a plethora of other LEGAL uses.

As a poster has already stated, do NOT tell me how I should/can or shouldn't/cannot use MY hardware.

Re:Why is RIAA asking this? (-1, Troll)

vvillyhill (1323705) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147301)

No. It is part of the Jew World Domination.

Michael Dell is a Jew.

http://www.israelnewsagency.com/jewisrael194800.html [israelnewsagency.com]

"Michael Dell (born 1965), Jew founder of Dell Computer Corporation."

And you know, RIAA is a cartel controlled by music companies largely controlled by Jews.

Got it?

Re:Why is RIAA asking this? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24147475)

Oh, it's those money grubbin' Jews.

You fucking racist.

And your moderator, too.

Because they are probably not.... (4, Insightful)

Em Ellel (523581) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147403)

Is this to prevent home grown artists from recording their own high quality material?

Basically we are talking about Dell screwing up one driver to which people are ascribing various conspiracy theories. If you are actually read any of the blogs they are all just speculating and pointing to each other. Some of the more serious blogs outright say it is just random speculation, but that does not stop them from spreading the FUD. Something tells me if Dell made some secret deal, this would affect ALL of their computers, not just ones based on specific chipset. They wouldn't be selling alternative audiocards, and they would not be posting workarounds all over the place.I think that old variation of Occam's razor applies - "don't attribute to malice what can easily be explained by stupidity." Its not the first driver Dell screwed up - its not going to be the last. This one just happened to somewhat fit into a conspiracy theory.

-Em

boycott (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24146809)

Maybe it's time to boycott the RIAA.

Re:boycott (2, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147353)

No, here is the thing. Anytime someone doesn't buy something from the RIAA, they automatically think that it is pirates. So they increase this sort of stuff. The RIAA has been used to a monopoly for so long, they don't know how to deal with a decrease in profit, so they blame someone else.

Re:boycott (-1, Flamebait)

vvillyhill (1323705) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147373)

or better yet, exterminate Jew Power in America. We need a dictatorship.

Re:boycott (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24147483)

MOD PARENT DOWN! Insightful?

Dell is getting pretty weak. (2, Interesting)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#24146811)

I see this as a symptom of Dell's decline. There was a time when Dell would have told anyone other than microsoft to get lost if they tried to dictate how they should do business.

-jcr

Re:Dell is getting pretty weak. (1)

FilterMapReduce (1296509) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147211)

Yeah, this ought to obliterate any remaining reputation for geek-friendliness that Dell may have acquired by selling computers pre-loaded with Linux. Of course, they mostly ruined it already by charging more money to not get Windows [slashdot.org] .

Re:Dell is getting pretty weak. (1)

Drakin020 (980931) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147431)

That or the RIAA is shelling out tons of money.

You forgot...Money buys people in America.

In other news (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24146829)

Dell colludes with MPAA, RIAA, and DRM activists -- removes CPU and hard drive to prevent copyright violations

Re:In other news (1)

nawcom (941663) | more than 6 years ago | (#24146967)

I'm sure they (and by they I mean the ones that claim to put copyright stickers on sound frequencies) are okay with CPUs and hard drives. it's the physical memory modules they have the problem with - so you'll have to buy your own. Which will probably be better, knowing how much more memory with "ACME Computer vendor" stickers stuck on them cost compared to the original manufacturers. Yes Dell and Apple, I mean you.

packard bell? (4, Funny)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 6 years ago | (#24146837)

From the summary:

Gateway and Pac Bell are the other two manufacturers to have bowed to RIAA at the expense of their customers' satisfaction and disabled stereo mix without warning."

Is that the Packard Bell that so many of us loved to hate? Really, did they even reach the technological prowess of having stereo recording in their systems?

I really thought their systems pretty well disappeared back in the mid to late 90s, and were buried in a junkyard with rusted-out Yugos somewhere.

Re:packard bell? (4, Informative)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 6 years ago | (#24146939)

in the US yes, but in Europe they are still a major player.

Re:packard bell? (5, Funny)

germansausage (682057) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147049)

Just like David Hasselhoff!

Re:packard bell? (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147425)

Wow, I've never been more happy to be an American.

Re:packard bell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24147059)

The same Gateway Inc. that was bought out by Acer in 2007 and became a privately held company?

Re:packard bell? (2, Funny)

ShadowFalls (991965) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147271)

Packard Bell is the thing that holds up my desk. Best use I ever got out of one. Though its still shaky at times, I give it a boot every once in awhile. No power cord attached naturally :)

Mobile? (1)

zmjjmz (1264856) | more than 6 years ago | (#24146899)

Should this be in YRO? This is still a non-story regardless.

Recommendations? (1)

dfay (75405) | more than 6 years ago | (#24146905)

I hate the idea of giving companies like this any more business, at least until they become very repentant and remember their one and only source of revenue.

That said, I frequently get asked by relatives to recommend a computer they should buy. I've been in the habit of recommending Dell because they seem to be well built and inexpensive. I build all of my own because they are generally gaming machines, but it's just not worth it to build (and support to some degree) a PC for everyone that asks. And besides, I find that it's hard to beat the Dell deals any more unless you're building something special like a high-end gaming box.

Anyway, does anyone have suggestions of good places to get pre-built PCs without supporting this kind of anti-consumer behavior?

Re:Recommendations? (1)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 6 years ago | (#24146949)

"one and only source of revenue."

Other than advertisers and crapware?

"Anyway, does anyone have suggestions of good places to get pre-built PCs without supporting this kind of anti-consumer behavior?"

I hate to be "that guy" but, maybe Apple? I haven't ever tried on my Mini so I don't know if there is a way to record the mixer output.

Re:Recommendations? (1)

Hes Nikke (237581) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147121)

http://www.cycling74.com/products/soundflower [cycling74.com] works pretty well for recording mac output.

the mac mini kinda sucks though. they're priced WAY to high for what they are, they should be... $300. i'm VERY happy with my macbook though.

Re:Recommendations? (1)

dfay (75405) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147255)

"one and only source of revenue."

Other than advertisers and crapware?

Good point. However I'd still argue that this is a secondary effect, because that revenue is going to end up being proportional to the direct consumer revenue.

"Anyway, does anyone have suggestions of good places to get pre-built PCs without supporting this kind of anti-consumer behavior?"

I hate to be "that guy" but, maybe Apple? I haven't ever tried on my Mini so I don't know if there is a way to record the mixer output.

I should have mentioned that Apple isn't a viable choice. Not that there's anything wrong with that! It's just that it seems like all of my family are accustomed to PCs (although they call me when things go wrong...)

Blood thicker than water (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147185)

"That said, I frequently get asked by relatives..."
Dude! where are your priorities? Family, or FOSS?

I joke with the above- really. However, if you CAN enlighten then,then why not?

  The install of Ubuntu or (in my case) Kubuntu is both easier and faster than any version of Windows since Win 95. If you are unsure, then dual-boot is easy as long as Windows is installed first.

Dual boot is your friend...until you learn better!

Re:Blood thicker than water (1)

dfay (75405) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147305)

I do promote FOSS generally, but most of the people I know just stick with Windows.

However, that's not even a concern here since we're talking about buying a PC, not just the software. Whether it's installing Linux or using some different Windows drivers that skirt around Dell's stupidity, I'm sure I could get around the actual limitations.

But I don't want to give Dell any more money. I would much rather send business to a company that puts their customer before the RIAA thugs.

Re:Recommendations? (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147237)

If someone asked me that, my advice: go to a computer store and ask them to assemble one for you. That will probably get you better prices and better quality parts than most "big name" computers.

Re:Recommendations? (1)

dfay (75405) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147367)

This may be the route I take if I find the right place. Unfortunately, there are goons here (in Salt Lake City, UT) worse than Dell. One sleazy outfit called Totally Awesome Computers is at the top of that list.

Surely there must be an online place with reasonably good support that doesn't cripple their products at the whim of the MAFIAA?

SHELVE? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24146923)

I think you mean "shell."

Other options... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24146973)

Well how very stupid. What exactly are they preventing people from recording? I mean, if it's internet radio (like pandora.com, aol radio, et al) you can just get something like Stationripper [stationripper.com] to record it. Or is this just to prevent people from recording their OWN CD's to a computer? Ummm.... isn't that a ok fair-use thing to be doing? Don't they have something BETTER to do then hassling legit uses of their music???

Re:Other options... (2, Insightful)

megaditto (982598) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147347)

Just guessing here, but one could rip iTunes Store recordings, or plays-for-sure (whatever the MS store is) tracks, or audible audio books just by playing them and capturing the high-quality PCM streams while it plays. Then convert into mp3 or whatever.

Essentially, this would let you exploid analog hole without requiring any cables for line in/line out loopback. And since the waveform never leaves your sound card, the quality of the recording is near perfect.

Re:Other options... (1)

PIBM (588930) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147473)

Sadly, the input is not in a lossless state (already compressed) and the waveform you obtain has some noise on it, which, when compressing it again, will lead to a different result. You can try using an original recording, and compress it once. Keep that one, and use it to compress & compress & compress again, always at the same quality.

Tell me the result after 20-30 compressions at the same bit rate.

This is just another useless annoyance (5, Insightful)

ShadowWraith (1322747) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147003)

If this is true, what does the RIAA intend to gain from this? It won't stop or even discourage piracy. People recording streams or radio broadcasts do have easy access to simple tape recorders, and mass distribution pirates will simply use a different machine. All this does is annoy people and put a dent in Dell's sales. What is the point???

Re:This is just another useless annoyance (1)

bane2571 (1024309) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147199)

even sillier, $5 cable from earphone jack to mic jack, problem solved.

I'd be more likely to think this was just an under informed choice to make the built in mic less likely to clash with the sound output in anyway, thereby making the whole thing more user friendly.

A lawsuit waiting to happen? (4, Interesting)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147017)

If Dell advertises "ACME sound chipset ABC123" but doesn't deliver all the features of that chipset, are they guilty of false advertising?

Just asking.

I upgraded to XP and it works... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24147073)

I bought a Dell XPS M1530 laptop back in February, it came with Vista and I couldn't use my brand spanking new laptop to record from my stereo mix into Audacity.

The only fix was to either use the analogue hole, install the XP driver for the sound card (which caused crackling in the speakers), or to upgrade to Windows XP, which I've been using for the last 3 months now... it's a whole lot quicker now!

I'm never buying a Dell ever again...

Re:I upgraded to XP and it works... (1)

nawcom (941663) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147103)

or to upgrade to Windows XP

strong wisdom this AC has, very strong.

What does Dell stand to gain? (2, Interesting)

Therefore I am (1284262) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147079)

Scratching my head at this one. I can see that the Music Industry is still grasping at any tiny straw it can, but what gain for Dell? Did money change hands, or was there some coercion? I just don't get it. Any ideas on this.

Re:What does Dell stand to gain? (1)

ameyer17 (935373) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147249)

Pure speculation here, but I think it went something like this

RIAA: Disable stereo mix recording in your laptops or we'll sue
Dell: OK, we'll disable that for you

Re:What does Dell stand to gain? (4, Informative)

Koiu Lpoi (632570) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147309)

As it turns out, the editors are basing this on complete hearsay. Nobody knows if the RIAA were even involved in this.

Re:What does Dell stand to gain? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24147399)

An agreement to not be sued for selling high end music pirating hardware, you know, computers.

TWITTER RIDES AGAIN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24147083)

http://slashdot.org/~twitter/journal/206773 [slashdot.org]

Spread this far and wide so people know what he's doing!

This is the same dell that made you $200 for a (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147133)

This is the same dell that made you $200 more for a better video card that only coasted $100 more in a store video card upgrade in the past so it may be more of dell ripping you off then the RIAA.

Re:This is the same dell that made you $200 for a (1)

prestomation (583502) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147307)

Sure, Dell rapes you on the upgrades, but the baseline is very nicely priced. I've seen other's comment, but it's just not even worth it to assemble your own machines if the baseline Dell's are enough. You can still upgrade the desktops if you want, of course.

I bought a C2D laptop from Dell last fall. The Vostro line was new. They were the same exact cases as the Inspiron(still are), but were priced at like 60% of that other line with the same specs(!).
Also, speaking of video upgrades. Right before I bought mine, a 8400M was $100 over the Intel, while the 8600M was $200 over(as you alluded to). But, strangely enough, the day I actually ordered the machine, the price stayed the same, while the 8400M became the baseline option and the 8600M being the $100 upgrade, which I was more then happy to pay for.

It's almost claustrophobic... (1)

ibanezist00 (1306467) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147167)

Does anyone else think that at the rate things are going, it's going to be illegal to listen to anything, at all, anywhere? And that recording devices will cease to exist for the consumer?

Honestly, I don't see what the RIAA intends to gain from this. First off, there is always the analog hole, which makes DRM fundamentally impossible by principle. Secondly, you'd think that scandals like the Sony rootkit issue would make them realize that more restrictions hurt the legitimate consumer more than stop piracy. Thirdly, stereo mix recording actually has legitimate uses, and I've used it only for those kinds of purposes, personally.

Honestly, the MAFIAA needs to just suck it up and realize that they're never going to stop this, and they're just hurting more legitimate consumers along the way. "Piracy" has been around since the existence of recording and copying devices, just that it has become more prevalent recently.

Re:It's almost claustrophobic... (2, Insightful)

GuyverDH (232921) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147391)

Piracy to use the term loosely, hasn't become more prevalant. Sales are declining because they keep putting out garbage, with audio-compression schemes to increase volume and distortion levels.

Then they wonder why they're losing money...

Good gawd *IAAs, get a clue...

Re:It's almost claustrophobic... (1)

ibanezist00 (1306467) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147463)

I definitely agree, after readig what I posted, I realized I also forgot to say that a lot of stuff these days is crap, anyway.

Dell is late to the party (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24147241)

I think that the KDE developers have been colluding with the RIAA for years. Their strategy in this case seems to be a "security through obscurity" approach. They don't physically prevent the user from doing anything, but the KMix dialog box always has a huge array of undifferentiated sliders and pushbuttons, different on each system, none of which are documented or clearly labeled. Over the years I've never been able to figure out how to do much of anything beyond clicking randomly until I hear some sounds. I certainly doubt that I would ever figure out how to make illicit recordings via the mixer hardware.

dear riaatards: (2, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147245)

1. anyone committed to do music piracy will commit music piracy and any software or hardware hurdles you throw up cannot stop them

2. anyone committed to not do music piracy will be irritated by the software and hardware hurdles you throw up to stop music pirates

congratulations for punishing your paying customers and doing nothing to stop music piracy

fucking retards

your business model is dead

just die already

Sometimes... (5, Insightful)

nexuspal (720736) | more than 6 years ago | (#24147279)

I wish Slashdot had a mechanism to mod news stories into oblivion... Especially ones like this, with no real facts, and no basis in reality...
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