Morgan Systems
  Development Notes and Bugfixes  

Select Article

We burn the midnight oil so you don't have to.


Vista Line In

What happened to the "playback" mixer properties in Windows Vista?

Vista Mixer - Line In

Listening to Mic/Line-In With Windows Vista

I'm generally not one of those "Microsoft bashers" - on the whole I think MS does a reasonable job at bringing nice features to market that work on a variety of machines.  Having said that, sometimes I wonder what they are thinking and why they feel compelled to reorganize/rework things just for the sake of providing a new look to their user interface.  

Case in point: the mixer control.  If you are like me, you took a little while using XP and its predecessors to learn how to control the sound mixer.   With some experimentation I found I could select which sources were available for "playback" and which were available for "recording."  Having done so, if I wanted to plug my MP3 player (or a tape deck or turntable) in, I could make sure the line-in channel was enabled for playback and just adjust that channel's volume in the mixer.

After a year or more of using Vista, I decided the other day to plug a scanner in and listen to it through my PC.  This ought to be easy, right?  It turns out it was not as easy as I expected.  I opened the Vista mixer control, and all I saw there were sliders for programs, not audio sources.  Don't get me wrong, I think this is a nice addition.  Formerly you could not do things like make windows sounds quieter than other WAV sources, right?  So, this is cool.  Surely, I could look in the Vista "recording control" properties and find a way to get my line-in included here.

Vista's Sound Mixer Program

Wrong again!  Rats!  Vista does include a set of properties for recording controls, but it is not like XP.  I cannot check a box to make one of these appear in the Vista sound control. 

Vista's Recording Control Property Sheet

Fortunately, After a little Googling - in particular wading through a lot of wrong answers, I finally got the idea that I needed a separate program to do what I want since Vista would not do it for me.  That's when I stumbled on a nice shareware utility called, cleverly enough: Audio Control. This program works a little more like what I was accustomed to in XP.  As you can see, I just enabled the line in and set the volume I wanted and viola! ...I was now listening to my scanner through the PC speakers.

Audio Control Shareware Mixer Program

Keywords: Windows, Vista, Mixer Control, Sound, Recording, Playback, Line In, Microphone, Input, Audio


Add your comments

E-Mail:   We will not display your email address.