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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After reading on this forum about the m-Audio Sonica external USB digital dolby prologic and dts decoder, I went right out and purchased one for my Apple Mac and just plugged it in. What a disappointment.


I have to report that IT DOES NOT WORK!!!!


It just does not do it, 5.1 that is. I was fooled yet again. I am so aggrivated with apple again that I have had it. All you get is some bs synthesized crap in delayed mode that m-audio calls "TruSurround". IT IS NOT 5.1 DIGITAL DOLBY. They even state in the manual near the the end and I quote:


"Note: At the time of this writing, Macintosh OS 9 will not allow you to send a digitally encoded surround signial, such as Dolby Digital (AC3) or DTS, from a digital audio port such as the Sonica's optical digital output. Mac OS X is expected to support this capability sometime in the future."


Now what kind of misleading and false information is this. On the outside of the box its says -- Turn your laptop or desk top into a high-quality homp theater. Sonica's digital output supports all popular surround sound formats, such as Dolby Digital 5.1 (AC3), DTS, and Dolby Pro Logic. No Problem.


I accuse Sonica of FALSE ADVERTISING. BEWARE


What a RIP!!!!!!


*********

UPDATE


Well I am going to partially eat my words on this after a few days if you wish if you wish to read below. This unit still does not work properly with Apple's DVD player, i.e. produce 5.1 DD. If you download from M-audio's site vlc from France v4.3 (unsupported) it does demonstrate DD5.1.


To me this is impressive enough because it demonstrates that Apple Computer has been holding back on us all this time, but at the same time, m-audio is still not correctly advertising in my opinion as the unit is not commercially compatible with apple products.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Alric,

You and I had been around and around on this very topic about six months ago on this very issue, re. Macs and dolby if you recall. I tried out the latest version of vlc per your suggestion and it doesn't seem to do anything. There just isn't a 5.1 option on the Mac side for the software preference here and vlc doesn't invoke it either. Do you know something else here?


Oh, vlc is looking a whole lot better these days. Has any one tried vpc with this and an image to see if you can pass the 5.1 through the hardware?
 

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But wait... that doesn't make sense.


According to Apple's website, the #1 reason why you should use your Mac over a PC is "It just works".


And wait... then there's the #3 reason... "Simply the best in digital music".


I guess that means anything with more than 2 channels isn't music... .
 

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Good one duplicator! You are so clever...this solves everything..


Compromise,


Looking back other people just reported limited success with some DVDs working and some not. I guess M-Audio is pulling a fast one on Mac users too. It should be good for outputting PCM from iTunes though..


Cheers,
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Alric
Doesn't it has to be the VLC version at M-audio's website. I know other people have gotten it to work.
Alric, you are right, the m-audio download of vlc v4.3 does do some sort of weird demo. It does not light up the 5.1 dolby digital light on my Denon on any of my DVD images or DVDs though, but it does do as advertised in their m-audio readme file, which is a bit klugy. Even in their readme file they once again admit though that their box doesn't work on macs yet, but on their url they say it does. These people have nerve. But Apple Computer is truly the real culprit here and always has been.


I am going to call m-audio tomorrow a talk with them and post the results tomorrow.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Alric
Good one duplicator! You are so clever...this solves everything..


Compromise,


Looking back other people just reported limited success with some DVDs working and some not. I guess M-Audio is pulling a fast one on Mac users too. It should be good for outputting PCM from iTunes though..


Cheers,
There is a major bug in Windows that prevents proper playback of DVDs with AC-3 over USB.


I have an eval version of PowerDVD that plays properly over USB using the Sonica.


The problem with M Audio is that they did not find the Windows bug BEFORE releasing the Sonica.
 

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I've got it... and my pioneer lights up with the DD light off of my iBook... . Can't tell you if it's really DD because I use it in the camper, not at home.... it's nice to have surround sound while I'm "roughing it"....


Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Alric,

The version 4.3 vlc does infact light up my Denon Digital Dolby light when I use the proper source material. I finally used Star Wars II both in image and disc mode to make sure and it worked with v4.3 vlc!! I am so happy about this.


This means so much. First of all, it says that Apple computer has been holding out on us all of this time and that the hardware has been 100% capable of delivering the data all along. by the way the sonica produces incredible sound.


However, m-audio is still guilty of saying it works properly with macs because we have to use this funky piece of software from France instead of the Apple DVD player. How is Joe 6 pack supposed to figure this out. In addition, vlc v4.3 is totally unsupported and is not a commercial piece of software. However I will use it from now on because I can get dd5.1 from it. If m-audio supported it and distributed it along with the hardware, that would be a different story. But they don't and they even say so in the their attached text file that they do not support the software.


Apple computer is really cute as well in as much that now we see that their hardware could have given us DD5.1 all along. Why is Apple Computer so reticent about given us what we want? (We are converting to PCs finally at the office. We are one of those companies that Dell should use in their ads to show with a smile who is switching to PCs.)


Alric, you are great. Thank you so much for showing me this about the m-audio download version of vlc. Now we can kludge dd5.1 finally out of a mac.
 

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Yes, Apple is full of contradictions..they make wonderful things like the iPod, iTunes, iPhoto and iDVD. Things that PC users are only experiencing now. And on the other hand they drop the ball on passthrough from DVDs.


Oh well, in real life how many people you know worry about DD passthrough.


I think your office is in for a rude awakening when the Redmont thugs come a'knocking... :)


Cheers,
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Cliff Watson


The problem with M Audio is that they did not find the Windows bug BEFORE releasing the Sonica.
What is this "they did not find .." stuff? We know you work for m-audio. Why are you trying to hide this, Cliff? This is weird. Everyone who is reading this please note all of Cliff's postings in the avsforum post: M-audio revolution

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=187531


Why don't you explain this misrepresented advertising practice with respect to how it works on Apple Computers as long as you are here?
 

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“The problem with M Audio is that they did not find the Windows bug BEFORE releasing the Sonica.â€

â€What is this "they did not find .." stuff? We know you work for m-audio. Why are you trying to hide this, Cliff? This is weird. Everyone who is reading this please note all of Cliff's postings in the avsforum post: M-audio revolution

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/show...threadid=187531


Why don't you explain this misrepresented advertising practice with respect to how it works on Apple Computers as long as you are here?â€



Compromise,


I was being critical of M Audio for releasing a product without making sure that it was fully functional for its intended purpose. Finding a bug in the operating system after releasing a product to market is a big No-No in my opinion.

“We know you work for m-audio.â€


You don’t know Jack about it. Most knowledgeable members of this forum know that I don’t work for M Audio, but over the years, because of my friendship with the owner, I have become the collective voice of the members and have been able to work with M Audio to improve the home theater experience with M Audio products.


If you would like for me to become your voice within the company try harder not to piss me off so early in the morning.


If Sonica does not work on your Mac the way you think it should just return the produce and get a refund.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Cliff,

If you do not work for m-audio, you have my apology.
 

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I just picked up an i-mac (10.1 version/jaguar) with superdrive and currently exploring the sonica possibilities. I think there are two versions of the m-audio sonica. There is the blue box that is supposed to do 5.1. Then there is the silver box unit ("sonica home theater") that is advertised to do 7.1. Does anybody have an opinion or experience with the 7.1 unit? Also running a Lexicon DC-2 preamp and would be curious how the sonica would do with this preamp. Thanks!
 

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Alric, I saw it online at clubmac. It is a little more expensive than the 5.1 version. Don't know much about the unit or how long its been out there. Whadda you think about it? The next best new thing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Chaser,

I believe it is safe to say with a great deal of certainty that the 7.1 unit will not produce 7.1 sound on a mac with the Apple DVD player.


Now it may produce 5.1 sound with the unsupported shareware player from France vlc v0.4.3. or even with less certainty 7.1. You may wish to ask Mr. Watson who is friends with the founder of m-audio.
 

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"You may wish to ask Mr. Watson who is friends with the founder of m-audio."


The Sonica Theater does support 7.1 analog on a PC. I've never owned a Mac.
 
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