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Replace the M-Audio Transit USB soundcard's drivers System
I have an M-Audio Transit USB sound card. This is good card; the sound is very decent and price is very good, too ($70). And M-Audio claims full support for Mac OS X. Also, there are some raving reviews around and so on, so I bought this card, installed the very latest drivers from M-Audio site and very soon found that after a long sleep (one hour is enough), this sun of a gun freezes my laptop (TiBook 1Ghz) to death if plugged in afterwards. Nothing works, just mouse moving and only a hard reset can revive my laptop from its coma. M-Audio support is full of brilliant comics -- they answered that this is the known issue and they'll fix it eventually. Then they gave me most useless advice I ever had from support people -- don't use sleep in your laptop. I wonder if they know what a laptop is.

I'm a sysadmin from the old school, and can't be scared away that easily. So after some digging into this problem I found that their buggy driver is the culprit. In short, it looks like it doesn't clean up after itself when unloaded, and when it's loaded by the kernel the next time, something is getting severely corrupted and plugging in a card again will freeze the whole system. Also this card doesn't have flash memory, so every time you plug it in, someone needs to load firmware into this beast to make it work. This "someone" is a daemon that comes with the driver package and resides in /Library -> StartupItems -> M-Audio Firmware Loader -> M-Audio Firmware Loader. If you run ps axw in a Terminal, you should see this process after driver installation.

As soon as the firmware is loaded, this card acts like totally normal USB card, complying with standard audio USB protocol. And Mac OS X (10.3.3 at least) has a generic driver for such devices! We have an alternative now -- just need to remove M-Audio's clumsy drivers from system, but keep the loader in place. When I did this, the card was recognized by system's own driver and has worked flawlessly since. The only thing which is missing after that is the latency tune up option; otherwise, Audio MIDI from Utilities does everything that the M-Audio preference panel does. Here is procedure:
  1. If you have drivers already installed, remove them. If not, go to the next step. Use the OS X Package Manger tool to delete the "M-Audio Transit USB" package. After that, you still should have the FirmwareLoader.pkg installed (check in the Package Manager). Then just reboot and you're all set.
  2. Open the .dmg with M-Audio's drivers on it. You should see M-Audio's package, control-click on it and choose "Show Package Contents." Now you are inside of the package, go to the Packages folder and double-click on FirmwareLoader.pkg only -- don't touch other one! This way you'll install the loader only. Reboot. This is it.
Now if you plug your card in, you should see a new sound device (Transit USB) in the Sound preferences panel. I have used this setup for couple days now and it works fine for me -- no sound quality degradation noted so far. Put your comments if you find something. Also, you may wish to install Rogue Amoeba's freeware LineIn [156KB download]; it may be useful. Also discover Audio MIDI in Applications -> Utilities, as it may be useful, too.
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Replace the M-Audio Transit USB soundcard's drivers | 13 comments | Create New Account
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Replace the M-Audio Transit USB soundcard's drivers
Authored by: jmdevaney on May 18, '04 11:14:36AM

Haha, I have an M-Audio mobile pre for use in GarageBand that acts as my main soundcard in OSX and for no good reason will just stop working (So Sleep Involved) and Like the hint above if I unplug and replug it will lock the system. Only a reboot has fixed the problem. Has anyone else had these problems with the mobile pre?

Dual G4 1.42Ghz
2Gb Ram

Jdevaney :

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Replace the M-Audio Transit USB soundcard's drivers
Authored by: cobalty on May 18, '04 11:28:03AM

In a similar note, I have a M-Audio Sonica that was broken by the 10.3.3 update. I cannot get opitcal audio out anymore. Had a similar experiance with customer support. We're looking at it and will eventually come out with a driver. Their excuse was that 10.3.3 was extremely new and they hadn't had a chance to test it. My thoughts on that, gee you think that you would have tested the beta that Apple so nicely provides to third party developers. You think this hint would get my sonica working as well?

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Replace the M-Audio Transit USB soundcard's drivers
Authored by: atverd on May 18, '04 11:59:05AM

Just give it a try. It looks like Sonica uses FirmwareLoader too, so the hint should apply. Transit has optical out, but I never used it and don't know if it still works with that generic driver.

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Replace the M-Audio Transit USB soundcard's drivers
Authored by: howiemac on Jan 11, '06 03:58:14PM

following your superb hint, my optical out is now working a treat - it was horrendous before under m-audio drivers - totally unusable! Thanks for bringing me much joy!

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Replace the M-Audio Transit USB soundcard's drivers
Authored by: deleted_user18 on May 19, '04 02:39:27AM

Mine works in 10.3.3.

But sometimes I have audio drop outs, maybe because of high CPU load.

Anyway M-Audio support is non-existent. If Sonica werent' the only USB Audio Hardware for Macs with Digital Out to connect iTunes and Sony Amplifier I never ever would buy anything from them again.

So now I am rid of this awful driver. Every time I rebooted my Mac I had to turn oft the audio "enhancment" features in the PrefPane.

This is the best hint ever!!!

I did not use a package manager (it installs quite a lot things in /usr and overwrites tar something which I do not like) to remove the M-Audio driver. I just went into /Library/PrefPanes, /Library/StartupItems and /System/Library/Extensions and removed the three M-Audio parts.

The I rebooted and had to reconfigure Detour (great shareware to route only iTunes to your amplifier) because Sonica is now called "Sonica" and no longer "M-Sonica".

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I have Sonice Theater
Authored by: dombi on May 18, '04 11:43:41AM

I have Sonica Theater, and M-Audio's drivers made my system extremely unstable. I had constant freezes, sound problems and so on. I emailed M-Audio many times and asked them how to remove the drivers from my system. They responded (after a while), but never game me an answer on how to uninstall the driver, instead I things such as "we cannot reproduce your problem", "check that you are running the latest software"...

So I reinstalled Panther from Scratch and never installed any M-Audio drivers since. Panther recognizes Sonica Theater...and of course I cannot customize the speakers' settings, but at least the stability of my system is back.

Even though M-Audio says on their site that their drivers are compatible, I had to find out the hard way, that they have no clue...and probbaly will not even try to fix their software. Just see if their product is supported by the OS, and if so use it...otherwise be prepared for a long, and painful journey.

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Sonica preferences
Authored by: badger brigade on May 18, '04 02:12:08PM

Still waiting for a driver update for the Sonica that will remember settings in the System Preferences pane as well. They seem to think that having TruSound, Dialog Enhancement and TruBass turned back on whenever the device is plugged is what everyone obviously wants.

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Sonica preferences
Authored by: deleted_user18 on May 19, '04 02:41:37AM

Ahhh! So I am not the only one with this problem.

So the M-Audio support lied to me ("Never heard of this"). Will never ever buy something from these people!

But this hint is great! One less Kernel Extension and PrefPane to think of.

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thanks for the tip i'll try it, but stay away from m-audio!
Authored by: alec kinnear on May 18, '04 11:50:27PM

i've gone through the same tedious lies and nonsense from m-audio since buying a transit in february. these crooks advertise full panther compatibility and have close to none.

there are no user forums at m-audio and for good reason.

niels larsen the guy in charge of the UK division and a self proclaimed vice president of the company happily jots off threats of solicitors and legal counsel if you press too hard for resolution.

in my case, after three months of incompetent tech support from a chap named richard connor, i wanted either working drivers or a refund. neither was forthcoming.

i would suggest giving edirol ( a try (the UA-1X and UA-1D use the native drivers out of the box) for simple high quality audio out of your mac.

buying an m-audio transit was one of the worst computer-related purchases i've ever made.

stay away, o friend, stay away.

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update - doesn't work with VPC
Authored by: alec kinnear on May 24, '04 01:23:02AM

the transit does work more reliably by following this hint. still kernel panics if you launch Virtual PC.

if anybody gets it to work with VPC running let me know (btw, i could live without sound from the PC but no more m-audio kernel panics please).

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Replace the M-Audio Transit USB soundcard's drivers
Authored by: atverd on Sep 14, '04 06:23:23PM

M-Audio just released a new version of the driver (1.5.9). So far works ok.

I'll post my feedback here if there will be any problems again.

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Replace the M-Audio Transit USB soundcard's drivers
Authored by: blueridge on Dec 06, '04 10:50:07PM

I tried removing the M-Audio Transit drivers, but you can no longer get AC3 (digital dolby) audio out of iDVD, which is the main reason I bought Transit. Everything else works just fine with their drivers removed. The main problem I am having with my iBook G4 and Transit, is if you restart the iBook, Transit disappears from the Sound Control Panel. The only way to get it back is to unplug/replug the USB cable. M-Audio support told me they do not have an iBook to verify this bug with. They suggested that I 'download the Boot ROM for my system' (this is a Mac, not a PC???). Who is doing the tech support here? Will someone please send them an iBook to verify this is a bug that needs fixing. I have seen others with iBooks with similar problems. This is with 1.5.9.

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Replace the M-Audio Transit USB soundcard's drivers
Authored by: iRon on May 07, '07 04:57:31PM

After several long years of plug 'n pray whenever I plug the Transit in to my Powerbook, I stumble across this, and whaddaya know, it works!

I have determined an alternative though to the technique described, that's easier (this assumes you already have M-Audio's drivers properly installed):

Go to the folder /Library/StartupItems/ and remove the folder "MAudioTransitUSB" from there (you'll need admin privileges), and you're good to go. Just restart, and your computer won't freeze if you plug the Transit in a second time.

This technique also has the advantage of leaving the Preference Pane in tact, which means you can turn on the AC3 passthrough mode to listen to DVDs in surround sound (but you'll have to reset this every time you remove/insert the Transit, but at least it doesn't crash).

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