in case anyone is considering Delorme, here is a e-mail I got from their tech support regarding the nav audio issue. Very prompt and curteous service, but there is definantly a feature gap in their software.
My latest reply:
Thanks for the quick response. When I refer to inability to play MP3 while hearing Street Atlas directions, I mean both audio stream would be playing. You can not understand the words that Street Atlas is saying while music is playing since both sounds are playing at the same time. Thus when I need to use Street Atlas, I need to shut off all audio source except Street Atlas and do a 6 hour road trip without any music just so I won't miss any exits. Or else, I can listen to music then hear an incoherent voice directions once in a while playing simultaneous with the music. You can easily reproduce this. This greatly limits the usability of Street Atlas to coexist on a traveling laptop.
Since Delorme do not consider this a Bug, are there plans for you guys to support this "feature" in any future release? Like I mention before, this is one feature lots of customers are looking for and would be a great selling point for lots of us that integrate PC navigation in to our cars.
Besides the above, do you guys have any fix for the GPS tracking issues I mention earlier?
DeLorme Support wrote:
>Thank you for contacting Delorme technical support. Multiple sound cards
>are currently not supported in our software, this is not a bug, we simply do
>not support this as an option. The inability to play MP3's while hearing
>Street Atlas is a limitation of your sound card. Most users can actually
>play music such as MP3's while using our software if their sound card
>supports it. Most newer PC sound cards (including my Gateway here at
>Delorme with a integrated Soundmax soundcard) can easily play back Street
>Atlas directions while playing MP3's.
>DeLorme Technical Support
>Please include original text when replying.
>Technical Support: (207)-846-8900
>Customer Service 1-800-511-2459
>Direct Sales 1-800-452-5931
>Many answers can be found at our on-line knowledge base at the link below.
>Sent: Tuesday, January 13, 2004 12:04 PM
>To: DeLorme Support
>Subject: Re: Street Atlas USA 2003 support request lt
>Thanks for the reply. So Street Atlas 2003 supports whichever sound
>card that Microsoft's speech engine uses? or does it only default to the
>first sound card in the machine? If it defaults to the first sound
>card, is this bug fixed in Street Atlas 2004?
>Anyways, I spoke with Microsoft and was able to get the speech engine
>configure for a 2nd sound card. I am able to play and get voice
>recognition from another software. Yet it does not work with Street
>Atlas 2003. Microsoft believe it is a Street Atlas issue. Can you
>check with your development team and file appropriate bugs so this issue
>get fixed? This is crucial for users that would like to use Street
>Atlas in their Car PC since by having sound play out of the same sound
>card. The voice navigation feature are pretty much useless if music
>(such as mp3) are being played at the same time. By enabling this
>feature, you would enable a workaround that would open up more
>opportunities for traveling users. Since most users that takes their
>laptop with them on travel would also be playing Mp3 out of their laptops.
>Another workaround is you somehow mute all the audio stream and only
>enable Street Atlas to play out of the sound card when it needs to.
>When there is no directions, it allows other software to use the sound card.
>Either way, I hope to hear a fix from you guys soon. Besides this issue
>and not able to find a way to calibrate the map and gps, the software is
>calibration issue: The GPS tracking follows all the bends and curve on
>the road correctly. Most of the time, my GPS tracking is showing me
>going off road, where the road I'm suppose to be on is either off to the
>right or off to the left. Very rarely am I dead center on the Map
>road. If there is a way for me to calibrate and center on my Earthmate
>to Street Atlas, it would be great.
>DeLorme Support wrote:
>>Thank you for contacting Delorme technical support. We do not support
>>multiple sound cards or sound devices. The speech engine is Microsoft
>>based and you would have to speak with Microsoft on how to use their speech
>>with a second Sound device.
>>DeLorme Technical Support
>>Please include original text when replying.
>>Technical Support: (207)-846-8900
>>Customer Service 1-800-511-2459
>>Direct Sales 1-800-452-5931
>>Many answers can be found at our on-line knowledge base at the link below.
>>Sent: Tuesday, January 06, 2004 1:56 PM
>>To: DeLorme Support
>>Subject: Street Atlas USA 2003 support request
>>Customer question submitted on 1/6/04 1:55:51 PM.
>>Product: Street Atlas USA 2003
>>Operating System: Windows XP
>>I'm running Street Atlas USA 2003 and have a question on how to setup
>>the voice playback for the route directions. I have a built in sound
>>card in my laptop and a usb headset. I would like to set the usb
>>headset to play back the route directions. I set the Preferred device
>>in the Sounds and Multimedia properties to the USB headset and it still
>>plays it out of my laptop sound card. I even checked the Use only
>>preferred devices and that still plays it out of my laptop sound card
>>instead of the USB headset. I have no problem playing Audio out of
>>windows media player. I also set the Speech Properties audio output to
>>use specific USB audio device. Is this a bug within the software that
>>it only plays out of the built in audio device? I would like to be able
>>to play the speech directions out of my USB headset. thanks in advance.