I'm looking for opinions on the available USB sound cards; its between the SB Audigy2 NX and the Extigy. It looks like the Audigy2 NX has more features, but they look like features I dont really need unless I want DVD audio in the future.
Also, if people have used these with linux, I'd love to hear about it. If I understand correctly, ALSA should support both.
My system is going to consist of a Gene4310 board, running a custom mp3 player / AC control written for microwindows in a linux environment. The onboard audio on the gene board is no good; I can hear noise that co-incides with hard drive accesses. I have a Sharp LQ9D021 LCD that I got for cheap that may or may not do the job. Right now I'm going to limit input to mechanical buttons, a remote control, and possibly a rotary encoder. (I'm not going to spring for a touch screen unless I get a new LCD). AC controls and buttons are going to be interfaced to an Atmel microcontroller and that will interface to the serial port. At some point I'm going to use a webcam for the rearview but that is down the road.
I've got an extigy. It's support on linux is a pain. There is a third party driver written for it. The problem is, all sounds need to be converted from 44.1 KHz to 48 KHz. This has to be done on the software side. mplayer and xmms have no problem with this, but problems do start to occur with games, (perhaps) java, and anything not so well established. Other than converting audio to 48 KHz, the driver works nicely and even has AC3 support (for surround sound). You can use a software DSP to convert all sounds to 48 KHz, but it takes a lot of CPU power, which in a carputer is something you don't have.
I'm not too sure about the Audigy 2, but there may be some good support for it. I'd recommend you go with a PCI sound card. Probably the Creative SB Live! 5.1, which has great support in linux with emu10k1.
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