"For years, only Microsoft Windows users could truly benefit
from the wide assortment of USB devices on the market. The average
Linux user probably thinks that USB devices are keyboards, mice,
joysticks and webcams, perhaps nothing to get too excited about.
What many people may not know is that the 2.4 kernel adds support
for more interesting devices, like USB Audio. This article
describes my experience with Linux and a set of Microsoft USB
"USB Audio is very consumer oriented ... the ultimate form of
Plug and Play. Anybody who has ever worked technical support can
understand the perils of walking an average "home computer user"
through any hardware installation. Computer manufacturers worship
any technology that can be installed without the user actually
having to open their computer case, because it greatly reduces the
amount of technical support the company has to provide to its
customers. As long as the operating system has good USB support,
installation is a snap for any level of user."
"Assuming the operating system supports USB Audio, installation
involves plugging a small rectangle into another small rectangle,
pretty darn brainless. Easy to install and they sound good. The
audio stays digital all the way down the USB cable, which cuts down
on the noise found in an analog signal."