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Can't record audio from front or back left/right audio channels - help :<

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When using the "red/white" audio line inputs on the front of an HP media center (xp) computer, I found that in order to record from an auxiliary source (such as cassette deck or turntable) that I had to open a program such as Media Center or Green Button (third party) or Total Media Monitor (TMmonitor 3 from arcsoft)(this is a free download and works MUCH better for my purposes than the native green button media center ap) in order to hear the sounds from the speaker. I'm sure there are other programs that will do it but this always works.
The problem is, the red/green/yellow inputs on the front of the HP are designed for TV or video input.. and in order to access them you need a TV/video monitoring program, and with the source selected as aux. 2. It will give you an error, no signal detected (picture) however you WILL have sound coming out of your speakers. Minimize the video/media center window, and open your recording software.
It's very frustrating doing it this way, but VERY cheap (no additional software or hardware required.)
Of course if you wanted to spend 100-200 there are now the "digital turntables" or even the automatic ones that are standalone or connect via usb and do most of the work for you.
Also, I found a good "cheat sheet" on how to connect audio to record in XP from a vendor who has a program designed for this. You'll notice it tells you you MUST get sound out to your speakers first before anything else. In my case, I had to do it by connecting red/white inputs on the front and THEN OPENING TM monitor,which has an input selection button right on the screen when you are on TV mode. (The program that ships with XP media center edition makes it very hard to select input source without running setup each time.)
Hope this helps all the audiophiles out there considering using this method.