I have downloaded Audacity and managed to get it to play a track I recorded onto my 'phone. Now i have a USB microphone for better sound quality and audacity recognises the mic but when I press record nothing records, there is just a flat line.
and audacity recognises the mic
Just to clarify - You selected the USB mic as your [u]Recording Device[/u]?
Try configuring Windows for [u]Listen To This Device[/u]. If the microphone is working you should hear it through your computer speakers/headphones without running Audacity or any other software. (You may get feedback if the mic is too close to the speakers or if the speakers are turned-up loud.)
While you have the audio control panel open, make sure Windows is configured to use your speakers as the playback device… Sometimes it tries to play-back through the USB microphone and that won’t work unless you have a podcast mic with a headphone jack.
Thanks DVDdoug I just tried again and could hear sounds from my speakers as soon as I plugged in. I have no idea what I was doing wrong but it seems ok now. Thanks for your help.