Getting Digital Output from CD-ROM
Many people use CD-ROM drives to listen to music CDs. However, it takes several steps for a music CD in the drive to get to us via speakers; and it is during these steps that the quality sound of a CD degenerates. If the music playback from a CD-ROM drive, which is normally an analog signal, is converted into a digital signal, then these subtle interferences or noises can be effectively prevented.
From Inserting a CD to Listening to Music.
We just insert an audio CD into our CD-ROM drives and expect music from the speakers. This playing process, however, can be divided into a few more detailed steps. Once inserted, a music disc is read by the drive, and in this process the drive extracts the sound signal. This signal, however, comes to us through the sound card, whose role is just to transmit the signal to speakers connected to it. You will find the CD analog outputs on the backsite of your drive and on the internal connector of the sound card. These outputs of the two devices are connected with a cable that is provided with the drive.
Difference between Analog and Digital
As the signal passing through the CD audio cable is analog, electrical interference may distort the signal and cause noise. If the connection from the CD-ROM drive to the sound card is digital, this interference and noise can be effectively prevented. To make the connection digital, you need a special cable and the drive and sound card that support this cable. Most of recent CD-ROM, CD-RW and DVD-ROM drives have CD-digital outputs. However, most sound cards do not feature a digital input.
Connecting the CD Digital Output
Connecting the CD digital output of a drive to the sound card is not much different from connecting the two devices with the existing analog cable. The digital output connector beside the analog one has only 2 pins. After connecting this digital output connector to the sound card, make sure to change the Mixer setting to support CD audio output. If two drives are connected ?two CD-ROM drives or a CD-ROM drive and a CD-RW drive -, then it would be a good idea to connect one drive to digital output and the other to audio output.