Voquette Netlink/MD Bundle Review

David Derby ([email protected])
February 2000

Voquette Product Review from a non-technical person

I received the Voquette bundle from my wife for Christmas, and I have to say that I am sorely disappointed. The cost was $250 which included the Sharp MD-MT15 (which retails at about $200), the Voquette software (which is on their website for free), and a Voquette Netlink adaptor (which must have made up the extra $50).

Two points:

  1. I love MD's. I use mine constantly
  2. My computer hardware configuration is a Hewlett-Packard Pavillion 8575C (essentially a 550 Mhs PIII)

I opened the package in eager anticipation of recording mania. My major beef is with the Netlink adaptor cord which never worked. One portion of the cord hooks into your keyboard ouptut on the back of the computer and is supposed to provide power to the MD recorder; the other portion goes into the line out of your computer with a female plug to be able to hook your speakers on top of the adaptor. Doing this renders the speakers almost inaudible, so if you want quality sound, you have to unhook everything when you are done. However, the keyboard portion never worked on my system unless I physically held it in. It just wouldn't make a connection. When I called Voquette customer support, they offered to send me a new one, but I figured that 2 of junk is junk so I said no thank you.

At its essence, Voquette is just treating your computer as a component stereo system, and records the sound to your MD as it plays (in analog by the way). The software is best for recording streaming media where it manages links well. Also, with streaming media, the sound quality is such that it doesn't really matter if you record in analog or digital.

The software also crashes my system quite a bit. I'm not sure if my computer isn't powerful enough, if it is Windows 98 or the Voquette software itself, but I had no luck multitasking (writing school papers and recording at the same time)

For recording MP3's, I had much better success using my musicmatch software and setting the autoDJ to play 74 minutes of the music of my choice while I recorded from the line out or speaker output.

My advice: buy a sound card with optical output, and download the free software if you really want to record streaming media, but do NOT waste your money on the netlink adaptor unless you know it will work and like to monkey with the back of your computer.

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