After four months of study, trial and error, many exchanges on the gumstix mailing list, one factory reflash, and one RMA, I have made audio recordings with the gumstix. When I got the audio card back from the RMA I had a custom built file system on the gumstix. I knew it was missing the audio driver but I figured out how to install it without rebuilding the file system. I could play audio but I couldn’t record anything. I finally reflashed the gumstix with the newest factory filesystem image. That made it work.
So here I am with the system I thought I bought back in January??!! Now it has newer software and hardware that isn’t broken. These are not industrial systems ready to drop into your application but rather tiny, low cost computers for experimenters and educational programs. They are community supported. The factory support is minimal.
The gumstix community is pretty good…tolerant of questions at many levels of sophistication. But you have to frame your question properly and give the right error information to get a good response, something that is not easy for a newb to get right. As soon as the community identified my bad hardware, the factory kicked in and took care of me. The support system works, albeit slowly.
The audio recordings are ok but have a lot of hiss and rumble. In order to get acceptable levels all of the mixer controls have to be maxed out. I think all of this would be improved with a microphone preamp. I’ll try that next week after I get the mechanical structure stabilized. Knowing what I know now, I would probably order the newer Verdex motherboard and go with a USB microphone. Blue makes an omnidirectional USB mike called a Snowball that looks pretty good. I might try one of those someday….