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  • Creative X-Fi Linux Driver Coming Soon

    Phoronix: Creative X-Fi Linux Driver Coming Soon

    The X-Fi family of sound cards from Creative Labs has been around for over two years but through this time there has been no Linux support officially from Creative or from the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA). Among the Creative X-Fi solutions are the X-Fi XtremeGamer, X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Pro, X-Fi Platinum Fatal1ty Champion Series, and the X-Fi Elite Pro. However, Creative Labs is on the heals of finally releasing a new audio Linux driver that supports the X-Fi family. The driver that will be released any day now is considered beta software, but worst of all is that this sound driver will be closed-source.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=11126

  • #2
    Why can't they do the "right thing™" like what they did with Live! and Emu10K1/2 series? Why can't they release the specs? (unless they have relied heavily on third party and stuff this time around)

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    • #3
      A beta closed source driver after two years. Djee thanks.

      That's a bit like getting the steering wheel shipped for your new Porsche after two years. And it comes with this ugly steering lock. You know you'll be able to drive, but the first bend over 20 will make you crash into somebodies living room.
      :-D

      Well I'm not really one to criticize here, who am I to talk about how companies treat their "IP" and customers when I'm not one of them.

      But needless to say I don't like the sound of that. One more device range to avoid when buying a new machine

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      • #4
        I wonder though, they claim to support full EAX (and openAL) how many other soundcards can claim that with open drivers? I don't think any soundcard is hardware accelerated at the moment under linux, and this would be a first. Though, yes, it does suck extremly hard that it'll be a closed driver. ATi/AMD's is my only closed one on my desktop, on my laptop add the Atheros HAL driver to that mix, now we get a Soundcard driver. Soon all drivers will be closed :/

        Ironically, AMD want's it to go the other way, or so it seems. With them releasing all those specs, it would surly make you hope ...

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        • #5
          Originally posted by oliver View Post
          I don't think any soundcard is hardware accelerated at the moment under linux
          The Nvidia Soundstorm found on the NF2 was using their binaries.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by deanjo View Post
            The Nvidia Soundstorm found on the NF2 was using their binaries.
            Not all Soundstrom boards supported those features neither in ALSA, nor in the proprietary driver (only the ones with DD demuxer, AFAIK)

            At any rate, the X-Fi and the Soundstorm wouldn't be the only ones supporting HW acceleration. There is the infrastructure in ALSA to support it in the EMU10K1 driver for Live!/Adudigy/Audigy2 cards. However, you do require a specially built OpenAL to take advantage of it, or so it used to be. There was one such library circling around back when UT2004 first appeared and people were having all sorts of problems with OpenAL and what not, a guy made it so that EMU10K1 hardware were able to accelerate OpenAL. Never actually tested if it was the case, though it did get rid of some sound artifacts in UT2K4.

            Creative should do the same as they did with EMU10K's. I know they can't provide DTS and DD decoding in ALSA (due to patents and whatnot), but they could implement all the other *important* stuff. Heck, even hardware which is non Creative implements in hardware at least EAX2.0, so them opening up the specs wouldn't mean that all other cards will automagically get EAX 4 and 5 support, if the hardware only supports 2.0... Also since Creative now owns Aureal3D IP, it would be incredible if they'd also opened up those specs (yeah, one can dream, can't I?)

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            • #7
              It would be nice indeed if Creative can at least open the register specs so that the ALSA devs can write the driver (and save the support headaches). Granted that Creative can't disclose the 3rd party stuff, but at least they should open the specs to allow replacements for the 3rd party code to be written.

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              • #8
                you can download linux beta driver now

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                • #9
                  Creative put the "open" in OpenAL

                  err....anyone one know what the "open" in OpenAL stands for?

                  Reading the documentation suggests to me that it is based upon Loki's open source software...

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                  • #10
                    OpenAL was indeed created by Loki (AFAIK). It aims at being for audio the equivalent of OpenGL, OpenAL simply implies Open Audio Library, just like OpenGL stands for Open Graphics Library. I believe it was made so that it would be extensible just like OpenGL, with a set of core defined functions.

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                    • #11
                      So...is this driver going to be released in 64-bit as well? 'Cause that's really the only issue that's keeping me stuck from migrating to GNU/Linux.
                      Last edited by 1c3d0g; 09-24-2007, 06:31 PM.

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                      • #12
                        It is currently only available in 64-bit.

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                        • #13
                          Yeah, thanks for the info. I found everything I've wanted to know here:
                          http://connect.creativelabs.com/linux/default.aspx

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                          • #14
                            When Creative was assuring us of a Linux driver for the X-Fi sound cards, I included a X-Fi Fatality with the media bay when I dropped $3000 on my computer. However, as soon as Creative announced that the Linux driver would be delayed indefinitely due to Vista, I took the proper way out: I sold the X-Fi.

                            The Linux driver has been "Coming Soon" for a long time and I am not going to hold my breath waiting for support. I won't buy another X-Fi product and I will stick to the products that DO work under Linux. Intel has supported Linux wonderfully and their onboard sound works great for most things. If I need a better card, I'll invariably go with a mfg that <3s Linux as much as I do.

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