We are unable to provide Windows 7 drivers for the Sirocco and Callisto. the audio driver system in Windows 7 is just too different from Vista for our supplier to be able to convert them. The products came out many years before Windows 7 was released and are, unfortunately, incompatible.
NOTE: The Sondigo Sirocco does not currently have support for Windows 7. We are still working on it, but at the present time we do not have a compatible driver. Please check back soon for more information -- it will be posted as soon as we have an update.
Some users may be able to install the driver using the Windows 7 compatibility mode -- depending on their system configuration. We are working through the issues to try to get a general solution ready.
A Beta Windows 7 Driver is available for the Inferno, from C-Media:
We are working on Windows 7 Support for the Sirocco and Callisto. Please stay tuned.
Salling Clicker + Smart Phone/PDA
If you have a smart phone or Wi-Fi/Bluetooth enabled PDA then the ultimate remote control is the Salling Clicker software, made by Salling Software in Sweden. It really is brilliant software, and works like a charm. With the software installed on the PC and also on the handheld, you can control iTunes directly with a very similar UI to an iPod. In fact, I would go so far as to say it is better than an iPod, because it takes full advantage of the touchscreen and navigation buttons on the device. Hundreds of different smartphones and PDA models are supported.
ATI Remote Wonder
The ATI remote wonder is an RF (Radio Frequency) PC remote. It consists of a handheld remote control and a USB receiver with some software to enable control of almost any application. We've done a bunch of testing with this remote and find it to be really good, with range rivalling 802.11 itself.
The remote wonder is bundled with ATI All-in-Wonder video cards with TV tuners but can also be purchased standalone for around US$40.
There is a big user community that has created plug-ins for the software to enable direct control of different applications, such as iTunes, from the remote. (We are looking into enabling some control of Sirocco functions from the remote also, via a plug-in. More on this soon.
Over the last couple of months many of our customers have been asking about controlling the listening experience away from the PC. Certainly we recognise that there is a genuine need to be able to control what audio you are hearing, even if that is just volume control & play/pause.So we've been doing a bit of research on this and have some across two excellent alternatives: the ATI Remote Wonder and the Salling Clicker software for smartphones and PDAs. Each of these options is deserving of its own blog entry.
A lot of our customers are either using or looking to buy a new wireless access point based on the upcoming IEEE 802.11n networking standard. The IEEE standardization process is stalled right now, but that hasn't stopped vendors releasing 'pre-N' products on the market.
eWeek labs has just published an excellent round up of pre-N products and analyzes how well different companies' products interoperate. The conclusion is that they don't!. A major issue that I can see is that none of the access points seem to work very well at all with Intel's Pro Wireless adapters, which, at least in notebook PCs, totally dominate the market, because of their inclusion in the Centrino chipset-and-CPU bundle.
Our testing here at Sondigo Laboratory Central suggests that the Sirocco unit and the C-Media Wi-Sonic chipset works great with most of the 802.11n products. That is, the link from the access point to the Sirocco is fine, however the link from Intel Pro Wireless-based PCs to the access point is not so great and this can cause problems with the audio stream. The poor quality of the PC-AP link also poses big problems for web surfing, file transfer and general network throughput, but you won't notice it as much because these activities can handle packet losses much better than a real-time audio stream can. After reading the eWeek article, it looks like current pre-N products will take you backwards in performance if you use them with the latest Intel Pro Wireless adapter included in Centrino.
So, if you are using a Centrino notebook PC, and you want to upgrade your access point to get better performance, I would suggest you select a product that has been explicitly tested with Intel Pro-Wireless adapters.
Read the eWeek article here: Review: eWEEK Labs: 802.11n Is a Gamble
In the next couple of days we'll be annoucing pricing and availabilty of our two new products, Callisto and Inferno.Callisto USB Home Theater Adapter: Dolby Digital and DTS Connect optical digital surround sound. Inferno Advanced 7.1 Channel Sound Card: Dolby Headphone, Dolby Virtual Speaker, Dolby Pro Logic IIx and DTS Connect on a sound card for the first time.
Well it was a great show and we met literally hundreds of new people in Taiwan, including quite a few potential distributors and resellers. We also did a lot of research on some new product concepts that we're cooking up. More on that later. As for what others are doing, I didn't really see anything truly groundbreaking at the show. There were the ubiquitous iPod speaker systems, MP3 players and bluetooth headsets, but not a lot in the way of audio products & technologies that I hadn't seen before.
Well we're off to Taiwan tonight to attend and exhibit at the annual Computex show in Taipei. The Show runs June 6-10. This will be the first public showing for Sondigo and we'll be giving a sneak preview of our 2 new products:
Callisto -- a great little USB adapter that allows you to send real time Dolby Digital Live 5.1 and DTS Connect to an AVR or digital speakers.
Inferno -- this is a PCI sound card with the works! Dolby Digital Live, Dolby Headphone (finally in a sound card! -- I wanted to do this product in 1998! :-) ) Dolby Virtual Speaker, Dolby Pro Logic II and IIx, DTS Connect (DTS Neo:PC and DTS Interactive real time DTS 5.1 Surround) and it also has an ASIO driver with 2 millisecond latency at 96kHz. (Oh, and the DACs have output SNR specs of 117dB!)
Sondigo will be in the C-Media booth at the show in Hall 1, Booth A1322