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ALSA Driver For The Creative X-Fi Appears

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  • ALSA Driver For The Creative X-Fi Appears

    Phoronix: ALSA Driver For The Creative X-Fi Appears

    Just a few hours after publishing A Year Later, X-Fi Drivers Still Horrific for Linux, believe it or not but we have a new Creative X-Fi driver. ALSA, the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture, now has an experimental Creative X-Fi driver...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=Njc3NQ

  • #2
    "Furthermore, Takashi doesn't have an X-Fi sound card"

    this article really made me have a nice morning laugh

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    • #3
      This is really great news and there is already someone who's contributing to the sbxfi alsa driver =)

      A lock up bug has already been fixed.

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      • #4
        Nothing to see here, folks. Move along!

        Originally posted by bulletxt View Post
        this article really made me have a nice morning laugh
        Ditto. This even trumps EPIC's UT3 status (I, personally, love EPIC Games, by the way). But, like "Source(TM) on Linux," I hope I'm proven very wrong and everything falls into place.

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        • #5
          If it starts working once upon time it would be fine. Would allow me to develop some 3D audio under Linux using OAL :P ... not that I lack sound... there's onboard... but so far I used this card only for sound deving under XP.

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          • #6
            I got sick of waiting a year ago and bought an M-Audio Revolution 5.1. That driver's issues with one channel off on reboot has been fixed so it is unlikely I will ever bother with X-Fi now - too little too late. Good news for those stuck with an X-Fi though. Creative need all the market they can get these days, you would think they would have been more helpful.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by grege View Post
              Creative need all the market they can get these days, you would think they would have been more helpful.
              Their days are numbered anyways with them going broke fast.

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              • #8
                Creative's probably not going away anytime soon because there are a bunch of clueless consumers that keep buying their cards no matter how terrible their drivers are. Even if Creative goes bankrupt and ceases production, its lawyers (which have always been the company's greatest asset) will troll patents for years to come.

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                • #9
                  Couldn't agree with you guys more. I gave up hoping on [ALSA] X-Fi drivers a long time ago. Though, I will say that when I saw "ALSA Driver for the Creative X-Fi" my interest was peaked simply because the hardware is still installed on my box. Since I'm replacing hardware and this (few year long) indecent happened, it's now their problem, not mine.

                  OTH, my HD3870X2 just started working with the Catalyst 8.9 driver. Sure, it was 9 damn months later, but only one month after CrossFire support was released. All of this would be and should be considered ridiculous by Windows users... but I digress, this is not an ATi thread.

                  By the time the X-Fi works (if ever), I'll prolly have a new sound card. Or of given up on Linux. One or the other

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DanL View Post
                    Creative's probably not going away anytime soon because there are a bunch of clueless consumers that keep buying their cards no matter how terrible their drivers are. Even if Creative goes bankrupt and ceases production, its lawyers (which have always been the company's greatest asset) will troll patents for years to come.
                    When companies start selling off their HQ's to lease them back in an attempt to get some free capitol, it's a good indicator that financial hardship is upon them. Small companies like creative can't continue to take quarter after quarter of 20+% losses and hope to be around long.

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                    • #11
                      Creative and Midi

                      In a small defence of Creative and Linux their older boards are fantastic if you use the likes of Ubuntu Studio. This is not Creative's doing, but the ALSA team make using the onboard hardware synth on an SB Live etc simple and satisfying. Using a midi keyboard with hardware synth is a snap.

                      So, if these drivers mature, I might be able to use an X-Fi to replace the SB Live in my daughter's music creation monster. I have a slight concern that the Live will eventually die and there will not be a viable alternative, apart from trawling computer markets for old Creative boards. Most of the other modern sound card makers don't think hardware synth is important. Timidity software synth just isn't the same IMHO.

                      I had a CMS board (Creative and the first computer sound card) in the 80s, then SB, SB16, SB32, SB64, SB128, followed by Audigy 1 and 4, but never an X-Fi because for the first time there were no Linux drivers. The M-Audio 5.1 mentioned in my previous post is my first non-Creative card since a PAS16 in the 90s.

                      The reality is that most good motherboards have an HDA chip that makes the addition of a sound card not worth the cost or effort unless you have a niche need, like midi, or truly Hi-Fi music tastes. Creative must get out of the sound card business - there is no real market any more.

                      So, to the ALSA team, this is good news and I still might pick up a cheap X-Fi at a market and wait!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The problem with on-board HDA chips.

                        Originally posted by grege View Post
                        The reality is that most good motherboards have an HDA chip that makes the addition of a sound card not worth the cost or effort unless you have a niche need, like midi, or truly Hi-Fi music tastes. Creative must get out of the sound card business - there is no real market any more.
                        I bought a new laptop last year, and it had an Intel HDA on-board sound chip. I thought this was fine until I realised that it had only one hardware PCM channel (if that's the right term) and so needed to use software mixing if two applications wanted to use the sound card at the same time. So I bought a PCMCIA Audigy 2 card.

                        What are the mainstream sound cards that support hardware mixing these days, if Creative is on the way out?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by chrisr View Post
                          I bought a new laptop last year, and it had an Intel HDA on-board sound chip. I thought this was fine until I realised that it had only one hardware PCM channel (if that's the right term) and so needed to use software mixing if two applications wanted to use the sound card at the same time. So I bought a PCMCIA Audigy 2 card.

                          What are the mainstream sound cards that support hardware mixing these days, if Creative is on the way out?
                          I agree that not all onboard sound is able to cope with complex tasks. Unfortunately not all HDA chips are created equal, it is a fairly loose standard. This is why I (and you) use add-on sound cards. BUT for 95% of the computers used software mixing is fine - most people do not care. Serious high end gamers are another market for Creative, but they are only a small segment. The ALC889A chip is good enough for most people with reasonable SNR and capabilities, however cheaper motherboards use cheaper sound chips that are still labelled HDA. But then, people with cheaper motherboards probably do not want a high end sound card anyway.

                          All this rambling is just saying that add-on sound is an ever shrinking market. There will always be a need for high end add-ons for a very small number of users, but that market will now be forever small. I hope that good sound cards and Linux drivers will always be available for those who need them.

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                          • #14
                            The best solution for those users would by buying a soundsystem with digital input (thru spdif), then the analog parts of the soundcard does not matter at all and there is absolutely no need for buying extra cards. Digitally all soundcards produce the same output.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Kano View Post
                              The best solution for those users would by buying a soundsystem with digital input (thru spdif), then the analog parts of the soundcard does not matter at all and there is absolutely no need for buying extra cards. Digitally all soundcards produce the same output.
                              While you take the analogue component of the soundcard out of the equation going this route you put yourself into another hole. The quality of digital to analogue circuitry greatly differs in consumer audio receivers (especially in the computer speakers that feature digital decoding) and compared to a higher end sound card can actually sound worse. Plus you also give up the capability of 3+ multichannel output solution for any other source other then a dolby digital / dts unless a software re-encoding solution is used which may degrade the original source (the one exception to this was the Nforce 2 Ultra which had this capability utilizing it's hardware DSP).

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