March 09, 2001, 12:00 AM — Warren D. offers this Windows 2000 tip:
"I have a CD-ROM reader and a CD writer installed in my system. I
wanted the option of playing audio discs on either drive, but only
the CD-ROM reader was attached to the sound card. While fooling
around with Windows 2000 Professional, I happened across the
Digital Audio option. This turned out to be just what I needed.
"To enable this feature, right-click My Computer and choose Manage.
When the Computer Management dialog box opens, click Device
Manager. In the dialog box's right pane, double-click DVD/CD-ROM
Drives. Now double-click the drive you want to activate. When the
Properties dialog box opens, click the Properties tab. Select the
check box labeled 'Enable digital CD audio for this CD-ROM device.'
Then click OK to close the dialog box and save your selection.
Close the Computer Management dialog box and you're ready to play
an audio CD using the Digital Audio option."
Many users say the digital audio option improves sound quality because
a good sound card's DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter) is better than a
CD drive's DAC. However, this procedure will not work with all CD-
ROM/Writer drives. I have a friend who claims his CD Writer won't
record with digital audio enabled. I enabled digital audio on a Plextor
12/10/32A and experienced no problem at all though.
Also, playing an audio disc using this method requires more bandwidth
from the IDE bus but probably not enough to notice.
Thanks for the tip, Warren.