Open-Source Creative X-Fi Support
Phoronix: Open-Source Creative X-Fi Support
Last Friday 4Front Technologies had released the binaries and source-code to OSS 4.0 Build 1013. This new build of the Open Sound System brings two major changes, which include the full source code now being available for the M-Audio Revolution and Delta sound card drivers, and a beta driver for the Sound Blast X-Fi series from Creative Labs. While earlier Sound Blaster generations have worked quite well with ALSA and OSS, the Creative X-Fi series is a black sheep under Linux. The X-Fi support that Creative Labs has provided to the Linux community has been abominable and support via ALSA (the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture) has yet to go anywhere while support for the complete X-Fi series via OSS is just starting to emerge. Interestingly though, Creative had provided the register documentation and other code to 4Front Technologies for this new "sbxfi" driver.
Where'd they get the code from?
So, OSS is using copyrighted Creative Labs code in their open-source driver? I wonder where they got it from.
Seems likely that they somehow got their hands on the code of the binary beta driver that Creative released in September. I hope Creative doesn't ask for it back.
If Creative did hand over the code/specs to OSS, that's definitely a good thing, and a very useful way for companies to contribute to the open-source community, I will definitely support Creative for doing something like that.
I do wonder though, what issues may arise since it wasn't handed over by Creative as GPL.
Originally Posted by phoronix
Yes, they are using copyrighted code from Creative Labs in their OSS driver.
I'd expect 4Front got it legally. So far Creative has yet to respond.
This makes me quite joyous. I hope that the recording support will continue to improve--it's the only thing keeping me from getting the XtremeGamer version with the $20 off coupon in the Bioshock box.
Awesome. Can Linux finally get rid of ALSA and go back to OSS? I know the developers would certainly be a lot happier since it's a lot easier to code for OSS than ALSA.
Does this mean Creative is readying a new generation release? Up until now I only knew the X-Fi like that "X-Fi", today I learnt that its actual name was Emu20K1 (makes sense as the Live! generation and its offspring was Emu10K1 [Live!] and Emu10K2 [Audigy]).
I certainly hope Creative will eventually actually release documentation (maybe inspired in so doing by AMD and Intel?) for Open Source developers (not only 4Front, or even if they are using 4Front as proxy) for their products. And not only that, but it would be awesome if they did indeed Open Sourced EAX, who knows? maybe even make it part of OpenAL (one can dream, can't one?) and also make available documentation for stuff like 96KHz and 24-bit sound on the Emu10K2 (Audigy) parts, as well as other "goodies" (I know Dolby Digital and DTS hardware decoding couldn't be disclosed, but if they could at least provide binary plugins for ALSA it would be swell [yes, another dream moment]), like maybe full capture capabilities, post-processing effects, etc...
*sigh* One can only wish, I know...
BTW, does anyone know if any of the other high end cards support hardware mixing in ALSA? That's actually very important to me, and the primary reason why I hold to this ancient Live! Value card of mine.
I might need a sound card for one of my computers. Whenever I pause video (for e.g., playing a DVD), I can hear buzzing whenever using my earphones.
Anyway, my question is, with this info, can I finally consider Sound Blaster X-Fi cards? Or should I stick with M-Audio or Delta cards? The latter are often expensive but I guess not all the cards are. I was looking at M-Audio Audiophile 2496, Revolution 5.1 (any reason to consider 7.1?) and any cheap Delta card (probably harder for me to find). Of course, the X-Fi cards are easiest to find but I read that they're only supported in Linux if using a 64-bit distro and by "support", who knows what that means.
On the alsa mailing list I saw some interesting information:
Originally Posted by Michael
To make it short, James Courtier-Dutton mention that he will receive datasheets "in the next week or so" from Creative and after that he might be able to shade some light on licensing of the current driver.
ALSA can emulate OSS, what's the big deal?
Originally Posted by DanL