What Windows XP-compatible software is closest in feel and functionality to Garageband? Apple's music making package is one of the things I miss about my old Mac, but for now I am stuck with working on two PCs. The last AskMeFi question on this was five years ago; I've tried Acid and Audacity and hate them both. Help me get my groove back!
These days a lot of movie viewing takes place from digital files sitting on a computer and downloaded from BitTorrent. In this environment, is it worth having a 5.1 type surround sound audio decoder? Do most of the movie files on BitTorrent come encoded as multi-channel surround sound these days? And to output 5.1 digital surround from a computer what does one need? A special sound card? Some kind of surround sound decoder separate attached to the computer via its optical out?
All audio on my Windows XP machine stutters. Not constantly, but enough to make listening to music or watching movies annoying. YouTube videos, iTunes tracks - anything. Even if I give priority to those applications. I'm on a Windows XP machine with a 3.2 ghz Pentium 4 and 1.50gb of RAM. Realtek HD drivers. I've tried everything on the Web and on AskMeFi but none of it has changed the stutter yet. So I'm opening this up for debate.
I've just bought a second-hand Shuttle XPC computer with an Nvidia sound card. One fault is bugging me: no sound through the analogue audio outs or headphone sockets on the front or back, even when the operating system volumes are set to maximum. However, I have been told that the previous owner used the optical audio out. Is it possible that he could have disabled the analogue sound somehow? If so how might I re-enable it?