Audio level too low in Microsoft Streets and Trips 2008
I'm having a problem with the audio level in Streets & Trips 2008. It's too low. I've run across this with a few different laptops. Any help?
My Point...Exactly
Hi Tomrod -

One option I've tried is plugging a powered, external speaker into the laptop headphones jack.

I use this $15 RadioShack speaker http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062620

You also need an MP3 cable like the one shown here http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2102949

A drawback to the speaker is that it uses a 9volt battery - but I think you'll find it lasts for a very long time with normal usage. This particular speaker comes with a volume control, which is a nice feature.

Of course, if your car is a newer model and has an MP3 audio jack built in to the stereo, you can skip the speaker and plug directly from the headphone jack to the stereo. That way in 'AUX' mode, you're playing S&T directions right over your car stereo.

Drawback here is you can't listen to music/talk on the stereo at the same time....but if you need the turn by turn, maybe a good idea to skip the music anyway.

If you do plug into the dash, and absolutely need some music - you can buy an MP3 'Y' cable - then - plug your laptop and MP3 player into the 'Y' and funnel both into the stereo (you'll want short cables for laptop/MP3 player end).

Hope that helps!
While I appreciate the advice, and using the mp3 connection is a possibility, I find it disturbing that the software industry has become reliant on "workarounds" than actually addressing the issues. I'm trying to figure out the problem and get it fixed rather than it being a crucial issue for me. Just one of those buggy little things...
This may be considered a shortcoming of the hardware rather than software industry. Maybe laptops just have crummy sound systems because of space limitations and can't compete with automotive noise. Some navigation programs are louder than others but none are always acceptable.

It really does depend on the laptop. I've noticed this when using different laptops in the same car.

On software development -- my perspective is a little different, due to my software-development background. I don't actually fault the S&T team for this particular issue, but I do have my own list of items that I'm annoyed at S&T for.

Part of the problem is that the S&T team is small, especially for a Microsoft team. At the same time, their lack of a truly-widespread beta-testing program allows a lot of problems to slip through that can most easily be uncovered by knowledgeable users out driving around. This nature of this product makes it extremely difficult to test internally, no matter how many people you throw at it. You really need that diversity of use cases that can only be gotten out in the field.

I've been saying this for a year now, but I'm realistic -- I don't expect the situation to change, yet I'd be thrilled if it did.
My Point...Exactly
Yes - I should also say that I believe the 'failure' is with my laptop speakers. Regardless of what audio I'm playing off the laptop - it's just not loud enough in the car.
Marvin Hlavac
tomrod, scroll down to posting #20 of: http://www.laptopgpsworld.com/1614-laptop-speakers-not-loud-enough-what-can-i-do#post11643 - there you will find a link to a software audio amplifier that may help. Let us know if you do decide to test it. I only tested it very briefly. It worked, but I have no need for it as my laptop produces loud enough sound for me.
Thanks Marvin. Unfortunately, they aren't supporting 64 bit yet.
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