User:BillWharrie/Device and Input selection on Mac
This also relates Bug 11
Mac G5 Dual 2 GHz 10.5.8
iMac Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz 10.4.11
Note: This iMac has S/P-DIF optical inputs and outputs, however it appears that the "Digital Input" option is not displayed unless an optical digital device is connected.
PowerBook G4 1.67 GHz 10.4.11
Although the iMac and PowerBook are running 10.4.11, the "Built-in" inputs are handled differently. This could be down to different sound hardware in the two machines. The iMac uses an Intel chipset, while the PowerBook uses a TI chipset.
While the display of the Input Selector on the iMac when only one choice is available may be non-optimum, I don't think it rates a P2 bug designation.
- Gale:13Dec10: What you see on iMac in Device Toolbar (aggregation of <built-in Device> with <built-in input>) is exactly what happens on Windows Vista/7; the difference is in the Mixer Toolbar selector which here is visible with an indication of what the current selection is, as opposed to Vista/7 where it's either absent or shows something meaningless like "Master".
I think the different skill level on Windows, the XP > 7 migration situation and the fact that no Win Vista/7 users at all will be able to select inputs in a new Audacity installation with the initial interface suggests a higher rating for the problem on Windows than Mac. The daily questions about this from Windows users when there is already targeted FAQ and Wiki help bears this out.
Maybe if the input selector was always there on a new Windows installation, it could be given a tooltip, but there is no guarantee there will be an input selector.
- Bill:13Dec10: OK, now I understand the Vista/7 issue. Despite reservations on the part of some of the devs, it seems that turning on Device Toolbar by default would at least provide a place for users of Intel machines (including Mac) to select inputs and outputs. The aggregation of device and input on Windows 7 can be seen on the manual Device Toolbar page.
- Later that day... I've had a look at the wiki help pages on this issue.    The third one is, I think, the best as it includes screenshots of the control panel.
From the front page of the wiki it is not clear where to go for this help. "Tips and Troubleshooting / Recording Troubleshooter" seems logical but is no help. You have to go to "Operating Systems / Windows 7 and Vista". Given the number of help requests on the forum (where the Windows elves have to tell people again and again how to find the "disabled devices" in Windows control panel) suggests to me that a dedicated page on the wiki would be useful. This page would have screenshots and step by step instructions on how to (at least) get the mic/line input working, and get "streaming" working. Another common issue is users attempting to overdub using the "system mix" as their input.
Simply turning on the Device Toolbar will not help if the devices are not enabled by the system. It seems we need to provide this Windows 7/Vista setup help somewhere.