I think I need some hand holding.
Today, I updated Windows Media Player to 11 Beta and fired up a cd - it sounds alot better than before. Better liquidity and timbre. I'm actually a little impressed.
Then I saw the thread about sound cards.
I checked my computer control panel uunder sound devices, audio. It says I have a SoundMAX Digital Audio whatever. That's the sound card, I take it.
So the question: What am I listening to, Windows Media Player, the SoundMAX thing, or both?
Does Windows Media Player just act as a transport? Am I bypassing the SoundMAX thing by using Media Player?
If I wanted to do some Hi-Fi playing, is replacing the SoundMAX what everyone talks about when they talk sound cards? If so, what exactly does the sound card do?
The computer sound outputs go to my Marantz integrated, so the computer isn't having to drive speakers.
Again, sorry for being a dummy.