This is a Sony VAIO with the Realtek audio system. Windows7 and Audacity 2.0.0. Audacity can see only the microphone/line as input and the speakers/headphone jack as output. The mixer software will not reveal any other connections to the sound card. Sounds like a bad deal for Audacity.
But, Freecorder, which I gave up because of the malware load, can grab the sound from the card. How is it Freecorder can do it but Audacity can’t. I must be missing some way to show the card to Audacity.
I don’t know the details for Freecorder (I don’t use it) but one method that software use to get round the lack of sound card support for stereo mix is by providing a “virtual” (software) sound card. The audio from the browser (or other audio application) then “plays” through the virtual sound card. The virtual sound card then forwards the audio to both the real (hardware) sound card and to the recording application (which may be Audacity or may be a recorder built into software.
SoundLeech looks as if it doesn’t have any explicit limitations. It can capture independently from different devices at the same time (for example, two different streams in different browsers) but only offers CD quality WAV (no MP3). After I muted a YouTube video then started recording with SoundLeech to see if it depended on the audio volume, it did not start and has not started since (maybe I need to reboot)…
My guess for what happened is sometime in 2008 with v 1.93 or so Realtek started to respect requests from Sony, maybe Dell, maybe others, not to expose the loopback ‘Stereo Mix’ device. So more recent software looks to see whether it’s running on a Sony/Dell machine, and if so does not expose Stereo Mix and does not allow the Manager cpl applet to run.
That’s the most clear suggestion I’ve seen yet that Microsoft ask that (I’ve seen some driver providers say that but Microsoft deny it). However I’ve never yet seen Microsoft say this “asking” is due to piracy concerns.
A tech support guy at HP told me recently that because so many products are now sold online where visitors can ask questions before they buy, they couldn’t afford not to provide stereo mix. Offered up for what it’s worth…