Top critical review
41 people found this helpful
Quirky & Manual/CD Totally Out of Date
on October 4, 2005
I bought my 2496 last week from a reputable mail order vendor. Installation was cumbersome. The "Driver CD" contained no 2496 drivers at all, for Windows or Mac! The manual still refers to a Macintosh installation where you "drag extensions" to the "extentions folder in the system folder." No mention is made of OSX X! Let's see, that would make the manual about 3 years old or more. Indeed, the modification date on the pdf version of the user Manual is November, 2001, yet M-Audio continues to ship this driverless Driver CD and outdated Manual with every 2496. They don't even include a slip of paper directing the purchaser to their Web site for the missing drivers.
I went to M-Audio's web site and was able to find and easily download the OSX driver (2.04) which was updated in August, 2005. After restarting I was able to get it running, however the standard Apple output volume control is not supported by the 2496 on a Mac. Actually you have NO global output volume control. Volume output is solely via application volume controls, such as the control within iTunes, or via your mixer knobs. This makes it difficult to use as a general purpose sound card.
After about two hours, the driver lost the ability to correctly play back music from iTunes, in mid song. It developed a bad stutter, apparently no longer using the correct bit/sample rate.
Technical support took 4 days, and a phone call from my vendor, to get a respones. The suggestion was to re-download the driver and reinstall it. This worked. But I found that whatever bit/sample rate I would record with in one application would become locked in for all other playback applications. For instance, if I recorded in 24/96 in Amadeus II it would later try to play back Garage Band or iTunes at 24/96 despite many attempts to reset it's control panel to 16/44.1. The only work around was to relaunch Amadeus, start a new recording at 16/44.1, quit, then relaunch Garage Band or iTunes.
On my Mac I found I also had to unplug an audio output cable from the mini-phone jack on the back of my computer to prevent a nasty electrical static that started whenever I activated the 2496.
When it works, the sound it great! A vast improvement over the built in sound. But it gets a 3 because of poor driver reliability, out of date manual, and Driver CD that contains no 2496 drivers.
It's going back to the store.