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Unfortunately Captivate is known for having issues with the RealTek brand of audio. Assuming you wish to continue using the same PC with Captivate, your other best option will be to record audio separately to create the desired clips, then add them to your Captivate projects after you record them.
Another thing I would suggest is to advise the Captivate Developers of the issue by completing a Bug Report. You may do this by Clicking here.
I do have Audacity.
Is there any way to tell Captivate to use that instead of the Realtek when I record.
OR . . . if I purchase other recording software, can I tell Captivate to look for and use that when I record?
I think you are confusing things a bit. Audacity is an audio editing and recording software. Yes, Captivate is as well. But Captivate uses something internally to do its job. RealTek is the brand of Audio hardware and drivers used. So Audacity or Captivate would rely on the RealTek hardware and drivers to do the recording.
Unfortunately there is no way I'm aware of to force Captivate to use different recording software when you are recording your audio. The only thing that comes close is if you have Captivate 2. In Captivate 2, you have the ability to right-click audio items in the new Library and edit them with any software you like. Including Audacity. But this would also be dependent on having the audio recorded to begin with. And as I understand it, you aren't even getting this far. So again, the recommendation is to use something like Audacity (external to Captivate) to record audio, then import the clips into Captivate.
If I were to delete the Realtek software from my computer, is there also a hardware issue (like a card or something) I'd have to take out of the CPU?
If it were possible to get rid of the software, what other software is good with Captivate that I can purchase that could be loaded to my computer that will do what Realtek does?
I don't want to believe that only Realtek can be used on my computer.
I'm not quite sure how to put this in terms you will fully understand, but I'll try.
When computers are manufactured, there are certain pieces of hardware that perform the tasks we ask of them. This hardware is supplied by different manufacturers. For example, you are using a Gateway brand computer, but the inner circuitry and devices are all provided by different manufacturers. So Gateway purchases components from all over the place. And in this case, the manufacturer of the audio component is named RealTek. The audio hardware may be hard wired directly into the motherboard or it could be a separate and external expansion card that connects to the motherboard via some slot.
Any hardware component normally requires a special software component called a "driver" to help the operating system (Windows) understand how to work with the hardware. The driver may also reside in a few different places. It may be supplied on a chip found on the motherboard or the expansion card, or it may also exist as a file that is installed in the Operating System. Or it could be a combination of both.
Soooo, in this case, RealTek is the manufacturer of a specific type of audio hardware. Unfortunately, no existing version of Captivate understands how to work with hardware provided by this manufacturer. The really unfortunate part of all this is that while Captivate has issues with it, other software merrily works just dandy and doesn't complain a bit.
So the answer to part of your question is that if you were to delete any aspect of your RealTek software, you would also probably kill any audio capabilities for your computer. This means no sound would work in Windows or any other software. As for installing other software that would work, you would be looking at possibly purchasing an additional audio card. Disabling the RealTek hardware and installing the new card and its associated drivers. And even then, there's no guarantee it would work with Captivate or even Windows. (My son chased his tail for literally weeks on end trying to make a sound card work in an older PC)
As you can see, taking that approach is far more cumbersome and involved than it would be to simply launch perhaps Windows Sound Recorder or Audacity, record your audio clip and save it. Then within Captivate, import it into the project.
Is it a pain that you would have to work this way? You betcha. But until the developers can sort why some hardware works and some doesn't, this is what we have to deal with. For what it's worth, we see a similar issue with Captivate not reliably detecting and working with a Headset Microphone that connects via the USB port.
Hopefully this was helpful... Rick