Windows 7 Audio Bitrate Downgrade due to DRM?


New Member
Feb 26, 2009
A separate problem I have with audio in WIN7 is a large reduction in sound quality. Regardless of the lack of EQ-ing I mentioned in my other thread, my audio should still have a level of quality to it that just isn't there. Music encoded @ 320kb/s sounds like a poorly encoded 128kb/s.

I have rebooted into XP and tried the same files in WMP 11 and flattened my EQ just to compare. In XP, my audio sounds fine. None of that "audio tape that has been eaten" sound that comes from low bitrate audio - you know, that fluttering sound you get from cymbals and other hi frequency sounds on a crappy MP3? That is what my audio sounds like in WIN7, but not in XP on the same machine using the same external drive.

I heard a while back that Vista will downgrade your audio and video depending on your hardware setup. I can't remember exactly how it worked but it had to do with copy protection and maybe DRM. Any ideas if this is my problem? And if so, any fixes?

Current configuration:

From the soundcard (Sound Blaster circa 2004, can't remember the model#), I'm using a 1/8"(miniplug) to stereo 1/4" connection that goes to a mixing board, then from the mixing board to my stereo system.
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