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Creative does an about face; Daniel_K issues a formal response to original comments

In a show of flexibility, Creative did an about face this week, posting on its forums that it did, in fact, support third-party drivers.  After previously having said that the implementation of unintended IP functionality through third party drivers was tantamount to "stealing," Creative faced a massive public outcry. 

Many people came to the support of the drivers' programmer, Daniel_K, whom Creative's original post lashed out at.

In response, Creative has reevaluated its opinion slightly.  Creative states in a follow up post:

We have read the strong feedback about Creative's forum post regarding driver development by Daniel_k and other outside parties.  Creative's message posted on our behalf by our Company spokesperson tried to address our concern about the improper distribution of certain software which is the property of other companies.  However, we did not make it as clear as we would have liked that we do support driver development by independent third parties. 

The huge task of developing driver updates to accommodate the many changes in the Vista operating system and the extensive testing required, including the lengthy Vista certification requirements for audio, makes it very difficult for Creative to develop updates for all past products.  Outside developers have been very helpful to Creative and our customers by developing updates for many of our Sound Blaster products, and we do support and appreciate these efforts.  This however does not extend to the unauthorized distribution of other companies' property. 

We hope to work out a mutually agreeable method for working with Daniel_k in supporting his efforts in driver development.  Going forward, we are committed to doing a better job of working more closely with third parties to support their development for our products and our customers.

Creative's response comes just hours after Wired posted a response they received from Daniel_K, in their blog.  In the response, the driver maker states, "My name is Daniel Kawakami and I'm Brazilian.  I'm NOT a cracker, a hacker, just an enthusiast modder with basic assembly knowledge and very persistent."

Kawakami stated that his intent was only to re-enable functionality that he feels that Creative intentionally disabled in Vista to make money.  He takes issue to the fact that Creative sells the ALchemy X-Fi, which he feels should be offered free of charge, particularly since its built on glitchy drivers.  He states, "I was really mad at them, they didn't release a new Audigy driver and were charging Audigy owners for a software that runs on top of bugged drivers? What is the point of that?"

In his creation process of his custom Audigy drivers he states, that he discovered that "Creative purposely modified the Audigy drivers to disable some features when Vista is detected and also purposely introduced some bugs to prevent some XP utilities from running.”

In all, Kawakami added the following features crippled or absent in Creative's Audigy drivers for Vista:  Dolby/DTS decoding, CMSS, CMSS2 and Stereo Surround, Advanced EQ and Special FX presets, DVD Audio, and the Equalizer.  He also added two new features, a Hardware MIDI synthesizer and support for WaveRT.

It appears that now Creative may be reaching out to Daniel_K and the pair may finally be collaborating agreeably.  One can only hope that both parties are sincerely committed to helping the customer. If so, this surely is welcome news to the many owners of Sound Blaster cards.

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Audio API
By MPE on 4/2/2008 10:46:03 AM , Rating: 5
I really hope game makers would stop supporting EAX and move to a another API. It is this dumb EAX that gives creative this much power in the audio board market. Sad part is, their technology is really mediocre at best.

RE: Audio API
By GoodBytes on 4/2/2008 10:59:18 AM , Rating: 2
It's is Creative that pays game makers a lot of money, to make the game use only EAX.

RE: Audio API
By EidolWays on 4/2/2008 11:07:08 AM , Rating: 5
Makes you long for the good ol' days when Aureal and its A3D were still around, doesn't it?

Then again, had they persisted, we'd probably be buying sound cards like we do video cards. The processors on their audio cards were ridiculous for the day. If I recall correctly, unlike Creative's products which did, and still do, use fancy echo effects, Aureal's cards would actually calculate reflections for a more realistic soundscape. They'd also use HRTF's for positional audio from just two speakers, and they did a better job than other gimmicky cards of the time.

RE: Audio API
By Proteusza on 4/2/2008 11:23:02 AM , Rating: 5
Oh yeah, but then Creative competed the best way they could - they bought them out and continued to produce inferior products.

Hopefully Microsoft's new XAudio2 renders things like EAX completely obsolete.

RE: Audio API
By dice1111 on 4/2/2008 12:08:00 PM , Rating: 3
Aureal and A3D rocked the show. It was the only reason I got so good at the original Counter Strike. I could litterally hear the location of people around me and how far away they were. It worked so well it was scary. Loved it!!!

RE: Audio API
By AlexWade on 4/2/2008 1:10:22 PM , Rating: 2
Oh back in the day playing Half-Life with my A3D card. I would be walking Gordon and hear the Vorticon say "weak" behind me. And then it would jump out and scare me. Good times. Sadly, my A3D card died. 3D sounds for games are dead.

RE: Audio API
By SilentSin on 4/2/2008 2:57:45 PM , Rating: 5
When I learned that Creative had no intentions of using Aureal's far superior designs that was when I refused to buy another CL product ever again. Why they would be so stubborn as to not admit that there was a better solution than EAX is beyond me. They now had the rights to Aureal's processor designs so lack of computational power wasn't an excuse, and every direction that EAX was headed seemed to be trying to mimic what A3D2.0 managed to do already.

I too remember the glory days of running around CS with a pair of cans on feeling almost like it was cheating, the audio positioning was just that good. The actual sound quality of my SQ2500 Vortex2 might not have been spectacular for other tasks and it sure ate up CPU cycles, but that was a compromise I was willing to make. FPS games were the killer app for A3D, I think CoD4 or BioShock, even as far back as Doom3, could have absolutely blown people away with more than just visuals. Creative's HRTF solution just never seemed up to par with Aureal's methods for computing where sounds are coming from in 3D space, what materials they hit, and delegating what speakers at what levels to send them to (even if it was just the front speakers IIRC, headphones ftw). I've considered reinstalling the card in my WinXP PC just to run those binaural sound demos that were in the control panel because they blew my mind back in the day, and I think they probably still would.

You mentioned that if Aureal was still around then we'd be buying sound cards almost as often as video cards...what's wrong with that? If there's actual advancement in audio rendering I feel that it's just as important as advances in visuals. Creative hasn't made any real advancement in audio processing in for-ev-er. All they've managed to do is expand feature sets, and mainly through software (ie- hueg drivars). I was so ready to shell out the cash for an SQ3500 card which seemed right around the corner, until Creative destroyed my dreams and crapped on the debris.

Creative's lack of innovation and extremely proprietary mentality has come back to bite them in the ass financially. The stagnant sound cards they try to hock have been nearly eclipsed by hardware you can get built into your motherboard. Hell the only reason they probably HAVEN'T been eclipsed is because they refuse to license out the newer EAX technologies. Maybe if they had chosen to spend some money on R+D instead of gold plating a 5 year old card and calling it new they'd be in a different place right now.

RE: Audio API
By JS on 4/2/2008 7:02:28 PM , Rating: 2
I completely agree with you. I find the audio as important as the graphics when gaming, and A3D 2.0 was unbeatable (and still hasn't been bested for gaming).

I would gladly spend two hundred bucks on audio hardware every two or three years if it meant progress on the same level as graphics cards.

RE: Audio API
By ViroMan on 4/3/2008 5:22:50 AM , Rating: 2
Seriously, I wish I could vote you up to 5 but I don't have the button for that for some reason. So instead... Kudo's dude.

RE: Audio API
By RedStar on 4/2/2008 12:51:57 PM , Rating: 2
this point grows moot as more adopt vista.

There is no place for EAX in Vista.

RE: Audio API
By omnicronx on 4/2/2008 1:22:50 PM , Rating: 2
OpenAL is far superior anyways.. too bad its run by creative..

RE: Audio API
By keitaro on 4/2/2008 7:41:01 PM , Rating: 2
OpenAL is an open specification 3D audio API and open source, so it's not entirely run by Creative themselves.

RE: Audio API
By eye smite on 4/2/2008 8:08:27 PM , Rating: 2
I still like the fact that Creative had to eat crow on this one. Shouldn't let stupid people run companies.

Dear Nvidia
By phatboye on 4/2/2008 11:36:17 AM , Rating: 5
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Dear NVidia

I am writing this letter to ask that you resurrect the Soundstorm integrated sound processing on NVidia based chipsets and that you consider the development of discrete sound processing units as it looks like Creative Labs will soon be going under we are going to need a company like NVidia to produce sound cards.


RE: Dear Nvidia
By FITCamaro on 4/2/2008 11:57:04 AM , Rating: 2
Ditto. Soundstorm was good enough to make it into the Xbox so that's saying something. I never understood why they killed it.

RE: Dear Nvidia
By omnicronx on 4/2/2008 1:04:07 PM , Rating: 4
They killed it for a few reasons:
#1 Mass confusion, very few people knew that the soundstorm component was limited to only digital connections.

#2 At the time, barely anything made use of it . To this day, a 5.1 realtime encoder is not needed to listen dolby digital, or DTS tracks. Any spdif connection can passthough the signal to your receiver (so pretty much any mobo sold today). So as a home theatre PC, it really is not needed at all. Furthermore, unless you used a program like foobar2000 with special 5.1 transcoding component to listen to music, sound would only come out in 2.1 form, or 4.1 form if you turn on the duplicate the front channels option.

#3. At the time, most people just plain didnt have a receiver to use with their computer. Even today the digital soundcard users are dwarfed by the use of analogue soundcards. It was not until HTPC's started to become popular that soundcard companies finally start to hear our cries.

I personally loved soundstorm, I actually waited until a real time encoding card came out to buy a new computer as nothing could match it if you knew how to set it up right. The ability to play any game in 5.1 (even though it was limited to EAX 2) was great too..

but in the end, it was customer confusion and probably the high cost of a component most people ended up not using that ended soundstorms run..

RE: Dear Nvidia
By lagitup on 4/2/2008 12:09:55 PM , Rating: 2
Someone should start an e-petition xD

RE: Dear Nvidia
By gundar on 4/2/2008 12:35:41 PM , Rating: 4
Creative screwed us there too!

They bought out Sensaura which made the software to run the SoundStorm. It was also used on the fantastic Turtle Beach Santa Cruz if memory servers. How much do you think Creative would charge Nvidia for a license now?

RE: Dear Nvidia
By omnicronx on 4/2/2008 1:40:28 PM , Rating: 2
I dont think they own the name soundstorm, nor do they own the rights to either DTS:i or Dolby Digital Live..

If Nvidia wanted, they could easily ressurect the soundstorm line. They probably just cant use the same technology used in the original soundstorm/nforce2(i.e the sound chip itself).. As auzentech has shown, it is possible.

I could be wrong, as I am not aware of all the licenses Sensaura offers/offered but unless they are somehow tied to the current line of cmedia chips, the revival of soundstorm should be more than possible

RE: Dear Nvidia
By Spivonious on 4/2/2008 12:38:54 PM , Rating: 4
Speaking of bad drivers...

I'm just curious how me makes the drivers?
By BigToque on 4/2/2008 12:29:13 PM , Rating: 2
Is he modifying the drivers supplied by Creative?

I'm not questioning his motives, but perhaps he is going about this the wrong way.

By Spivonious on 4/2/2008 12:41:22 PM , Rating: 2

RE: I'm just curious how me makes the drivers?
By chizow on 4/2/2008 12:42:48 PM , Rating: 2
Not really, there's not much original contribution, he's really just re-enabling some disabled features.

Its a tough situation, technically Creative is right about the "stealing". I think this is largely due to him 1) soliciting contributions and 2) re-enabling features like DD/DTS decoding. Now as to 1) I think Creative should've just given the guy a job and called it a day as he really has been doing the community a service with Audigy driver support in Vista. As for 2), most people are up in arms over a feature that is largely useless by itself and enabled anyways in the software packages that are able to use them (softDVD players). My guess is that Creative used the Vista transition to quietly let their DD/DTS licenses expire, so enabling them in Vista might very well be a licensing issue.

Another poster also commented that this whole Vista mess is probably due to Creative wanting to sell new cards. That much is obvious. I'm sorry, but I'm not of the opinion that everything you buy ever for the PC should be supported ad infinitum. It simply will not happen that way and expecting such of Creative is unrealistic. Typically major hardware or OS changes signal when your products fall out of support. In the case of the Audigy series, none of them from what I understand say they support Vista, as they pre-date Vista. On the other hand, the X-Fi line was the relevant part during the transition and later retail versions said they supported Vista. While I don't fully agree with Creative's decision to lag on Audigy support in Vista, its completely understandable and common business practice.

Anyways, take what I've said knowing I'm an admitted fan of Creative products. They've produced the best consumer-level gaming sound products for the PC for as long as I've been playing PC games, all the way back to my original ISA Sound Blaster. It can be a pain sometimes to get their cards to work, but when they work coupled with a decent sound system and games that support EAX, there's simply no better alternative.

RE: I'm just curious how me makes the drivers?
By RedStar on 4/2/2008 12:56:23 PM , Rating: 2
Everyone forgets the Adlib sound card :(

Sure wish i still had mine. It will be a very good collector's item one day.

RE: I'm just curious how me makes the drivers?
By jajig on 4/2/2008 7:46:30 PM , Rating: 2
I still have mine with 5.25" floppy and all. It made playing Sierra adventure games a lot more fun.

By Basilisk on 4/3/2008 12:23:37 PM , Rating: 2
Fortunately I -don't- still have my 8" floppy drive... it made -nothing- fun. :) 80 KB & slow... those weren't the days, but fortunately there was so little to load or store! What a relief when the 5 & 10 MB HD's arrived on the scene! :) Hmmm now that I think about it, I carry vastly more RAM on my key-chain than all my University's computers, combined, had when I started -- probably much more than all their disk and drum storage units as well. :P [Sorry, more than a little OT.]

Back OT: I think that those of us who emailed CL's PR staff helped grind the point home that CL was shooting itself in the foot when it was already down to one leg.

By Suomynona on 4/2/2008 2:26:05 PM , Rating: 2
Another poster also commented that this whole Vista mess is probably due to Creative wanting to sell new cards. That much is obvious. I'm sorry, but I'm not of the opinion that everything you buy ever for the PC should be supported ad infinitum. It simply will not happen that way and expecting such of Creative is unrealistic.

Of course not every company will support their products forever, but there's a difference between a transition that happens due to technical reasons, and ones that happen due to "business decisions". It's understandable that your ISA cards aren't going to be supported anymore, or even that products that were released pre-Vista won't have official drivers released for them.

The problem is when you intentionally disable features in your new Vista drivers in order to force people to upgrade. Of course it makes sense from a business perspective, but I honestly could give a crap how much profit Creative is making. Customers expect to be treated fairly. And even if this is because of some sort of licensing issue, Creative should have thought ahead and licensed the technology for Vista too if they were going to release drivers for those cards.

Customers don't care about a company's reasons for screwing them over. Maybe the stockholders like it, but it's not going to help them sell more soundcards.

By mikefarinha on 4/2/2008 7:36:12 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sorry, but I'm not of the opinion that everything you buy ever for the PC should be supported ad infinitum. It simply will not happen that way and expecting such of Creative is unrealistic. Typically major hardware or OS changes signal when your products fall out of support.

Just because your car goes out of warranty doesn't mean the car manufacture can or should prevent you from performing repairs yourself to extend the life of your purchase.

So done with Creative
By Richlet on 4/2/2008 11:29:37 AM , Rating: 2
I'm so done with Creative. I might get a slightly slower framerates in games, but I don't mind that for better sound and better drivers. This is just the last straw for me. The list of companies making better sounding cards is endless. And usually for cheaper. Creative's 4-jack cards are a joke, trying to force you to buy their front-panel. And don't even try having a mic *and* a tv card installed at the same time with JUST a soundcard... it's mic or line in, not both! For 80 bucks!

RE: So done with Creative
By MrBlastman on 4/2/08, Rating: 0
RE: So done with Creative
By NINaudio on 4/2/2008 11:49:14 AM , Rating: 2
Many sets of speakers now have volume control as well as headphone jacks built right into them. Having it twice for me was always an added cost and redundancy that wasn't needed. I wonder how many people without the front panel can change their in game volume without opening up the game menu?

RE: So done with Creative
By MrBlastman on 4/2/08, Rating: 0
RE: So done with Creative
By FITCamaro on 4/2/2008 11:53:50 AM , Rating: 1
Optical out should be on the back of the card though with how prevalent a standard it is.

RE: So done with Creative
By dice1111 on 4/2/2008 12:05:16 PM , Rating: 2
Totally agree! I tried in vain to use the front mic port already built into my case, and a creative card. Was even considering moding the card so make it work but it would have been too much of a hack job. There are no provisions for 3rd party case ports like most other integrated mobo solution and card has. A money grab at it's best.

Creative, you will never see my money again, and I feel terrible that I wasted any on you in the first place.

RE: So done with Creative
By raghavny80 on 4/4/2008 6:50:51 AM , Rating: 2
I have already disposed off my creative webcam and old Palm PDA to some XP user. I will never buy another creative product and intend to stay away from all manufacturers who do not supply 64 bit vista drivers (though I am using only 32 bit today).

This pisses me off on so many levels
By arazok on 4/2/2008 12:26:47 PM , Rating: 2
As an Audigy owner burnt by the bad driver support, this whole fiasco makes my blood boil. It was bad enough when they were slow to release an 'official' driver (made available in March 07). It was infuriating that that official driver was actually the beta driver with a new name. It was insulting when they released Alchemy and demanded I pay $10 for it (I pirated it), and it still doesn't work. The fact that it's now April 08 and there still isn't a working driver, or even an update, just makes my want to drive a truck

It's so obvious that they are just trying to get people to buckle and shell out for a new card. I can't believe that they are still telling people that Vista has so many changes that they are having difficulty getting drivers out. It's been over a year! Will you have them done when Windows 7 comes out? Just tell people you aren't working on them, and they need to buy a new card for Vista support.

I've had a Sound Blaster in every machine since my 486. It was automatic. As of now, I will NEVER buy a CL product again, and I am actively shopping for a replacement to my Audigy 2.

RE: This pisses me off on so many levels
By arazok on 4/2/2008 12:28:30 PM , Rating: 2
lol. Cut off a sentence. "just makes my want to drive a truck" should have said "or even an update, just makes my want to drive a truck through their front lobby"

By DASQ on 4/2/2008 1:07:24 PM , Rating: 2
I read that and thought "well, maybe driving a truck really lets off steam".

You're not crazy, everyone else is.

By Wellsoul2 on 4/2/2008 3:29:14 PM , Rating: 2
I've had a Sound Blaster in every machine since my 486. It was automatic. As of now, I will NEVER buy a CL product again, and I am actively shopping for a replacement to my Audigy 2.

Ditto. I bought many Creative products. Won't again.
All because they lied, delayed and crippled Vista support
for Audigy. I spent many hours in creative's forum hoping they would eventually relent. Then spent $10 for crappy
EAX in Vista, expecting this would fix my other features
that were gone as well. Still sounds like crap in Vista.
No features.
I'd bought the board the year before for $80.

Creative is either incompetent, greedy or some of both.
They ruined the goodwill they had from many people buying
their stuff for years. I guarantee they lost more NOT
supporting Audigy for the future.

Chapter 11 wont be soon enough.
By UppityMatt on 4/2/2008 11:40:37 AM , Rating: 5
I think most of the readers here at Dailytech will agree with me that i use to be a big fan of Creative (Audigy 2 was awesome). But there new current driver issues and shody support has made me a consumer that will not buy any of their products. The last card i purchased was an X-FI about 2 years ago and i have had nothing but issues with it, to the point that i now just use my 7.1 onboard audio. Its sad because i have a long history with this company and Im willing to believe Daniel K over the company when he claims that they are purposefully disabling features on these boards to spur sales. I am more inclined to believe an individual who spends his time re-enabling features so that the consumer can continue to use an older card with a new operating system. Shame on you creative, and i look forward to the day that your damned company files Chapter 11.

By Chudilo on 4/2/2008 2:48:08 PM , Rating: 2
I am also stuck with their webcams that are not supported on Vista or Linux.
I am getting rid of both as fast as I can and replaceing them with pructs from a company their stay behind their products for as long as they are relevant. (I don't expect them to support ISA cards anymore, but everything since then should have fresh drivers).
If any company thinks that their drivers are good enough not to update drivers for a product that was released and sold well less then 2 years ago, then they are not looking hard enough.
This is not Apple hardware, we can actually tell if we are being screwed. People don't blindly follow anyone. Those expectations will not stand in the PC world. This is a competition. If you let yourself go you WILL fail.

Its too late to apologize!
By catalysts17az on 4/2/08, Rating: 0
RE: Its too late to apologize!
By stmok on 4/2/2008 11:53:19 AM , Rating: 2
For Linux, XiFi is not supported under ALSA (Advanced Linux Sound Architecture), but has beta support under OSS (Open Sound System).

Regardless, I suggest picking an audio card with C-Media based chip. (Not sure about Vista support though)

Otherwise, go with onboard audio (Realtek, Analog Devices, etc), if that's acceptable to you.

RE: Its too late to apologize!
By VashHT on 4/2/2008 12:40:59 PM , Rating: 2
I'm using a HT Omega Claro(uses a C-media chip) in Vista 64, the drivers are fantastic now. The first ones were a little buggy, but their support is extremely helpful and they actually asked me to give them as much info as possible so they could try to reproduce the problems and try to fix them. The newest drivers have been perfect so far, everything works great.

RE: Its too late to apologize!
By omnicronx on 4/2/2008 2:06:33 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure about the cmedia oxygen chip by my x-plosion(CMI8770) only supports 2 channel PCM via OSS.

There really is no digital multichannel soundcard for use in linux. You can passthrough Dolby/DTS signals, but thats about it, and that can be done on pretty much any card that has spdif.

Even my CMI8770 card was a pain the ass to set up correctly

By thesafetyisoff on 4/2/2008 9:08:21 PM , Rating: 3
I wish that magazines and websites like PC Gamer, Maximum PC etc. would stop hyping Creative's X-Fi cards in light of this situation. Sure, the card's better than the competition - but it also represents everything that's wrong with hardware monopolies.

How easily writers forget that Creative killed A3D in favor of EAX, a crime which obviously has not been forgotten nor forgiven amongst gamers. I wonder how much better 3D sound would be today if Aureal had survived and game developers had embraced A3D.

I suppose encoding multichannel audio in real time is great, but I'd really rather hear exactly where the shots are coming from.


By Kazairl2 on 4/3/2008 12:35:38 AM , Rating: 2
It wasn't just the magazines. Back when there was a choice between SB Live and the Vortex 2, I remember a lot of the recommended builds on Anandtech picking the SB Live and making snide comments about the Vortex 2 being a CPU hog. It didn't seem to matter that A3D was much better at positional audio than EAX . The Vortex 2 was also great because it even had SBPro compatibility in DOS if I wanted to revisit old favorites like Wing Commander 3. My Diamond MX300 even had a Waveblaster connector I stuck my old MediaVision Korg upgrade on for extra midi voices in Windows and hardware GM capability for DOS. I finally gave up changed out my Vortex 2 for an Santa Cruz when I changed to XP and Aureal died without ever writing an official XP driver. I still have it in my spare parts drawer.

I did get an X-Fi Fatal1ty (complete with drive bay) a couple of years ago because the local Fry's had them on sale for $129. I haven't had any of the hissing/popping noises either with the nForce4 mainboard or under Vista, but I have a couple of games than won't let me use EAX even AFTER downloading the Creative patch. After hearing how Creative reacted to Daniel's patching their driver, I was ready to decide not to buy anything from them again.

Hopefully, this experience has taught the top brass at Creative Labs a lesson. Since on-board audio is good enough for the average home or business user, their add-on card sales are extremely dependendent on their reputation in the enthusiast community. Their treatment of Daniel_K managed to trash that reputation in a single day....

By kextyn on 4/2/2008 11:15:50 AM , Rating: 2
In the article you said he took issue to the fact that Creative was selling aLchemy X-fi. I believe the X-fi version is/was free and it was the aLchemy Audigy that they charged for.

Even with their new opinion on this matter I still refuse to buy their products. I've had too much trouble with their drivers in the past (XP, not Vista.)

RE: Correction
By neothe0ne on 4/3/2008 10:01:17 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, there's a mistake in the article. The X-Fi ALchemy is free, but the Audigy ALchemy is $10, which is why so many customers were pissed in the first place.

By omnicronx on 4/2/2008 12:35:24 PM , Rating: 2
The huge task of developing driver updates to accommodate the many changes in the Vista operating system and the extensive testing required, including the lengthy Vista certification requirements for audio, makes it very difficult for Creative to develop updates for all past products.
All of its products? Creative has yet to release any driver for any card that is not a workaround. How on earth have other soundcard companies like auzentech managed to put out 3 vista driver revisions for 3 different chipsets.

Of course their job was easier as creative's EAX makes full use of directsound3d, which has no hardware acceleration in Vista. But still, these changes have been been made well known by Microsoft long before vista was even a working operating system.

I am still not realy sure if Creative is just trying to get as much out of EAX before their cashcow is gone, or if they really thought they could pull all of these moves and expect to their customers to lie down.

Either way Thank god for web2.0, where even the little guy has a say! ;)

RE: ha
By werepossum on 4/2/2008 6:14:01 PM , Rating: 2
I am still not realy sure if Creative is just trying to get as much out of EAX before their cashcow is gone, or if they really thought they could pull all of these moves and expect to their customers to lie down.

I think after this that cash cow is pretty much gone. EAX sound cards are by definition enthusiast products, and enthusiasts tend to pay attention to things like this. It was bad enough when we thought Creative Labs was merely borderline incompetant; to find out they are intentionally providing crippled drivers is beyond the pale. Couple this with their threats against a man servicing their customers, CL's increasing irrelvance with Vista, and CL's market and sales losses over the last few years, and they are pretty much done. As Neil Boortz said about Hillary the other day, CL has so many forks sticking in it that it looks like a metal porcupine.

I too have been a regular user of CL products in the past, including optical drives and even a video card, and I too wrote Creative to let them know they have lost another customer. I was trying to decide whether to move my Audigy to the rig I'm building now or to purchase an X-FI. This kerfuffle has shown me that the correct decision is neither.

best soundcard
By mrgq912 on 4/2/2008 5:42:24 PM , Rating: 2
A) HT Omega Claro Plus

B) Auzentech 7.1 prelude (X-fi) chip

They are both the same price, which one should i get.

Another thought is since Microsoft vista handles sound differently is their any sound card out their or will be released that handles the new requirements at the hardware level instead of a driver workaround like x-fi.

RE: best soundcard
By Mr Roboto on 4/3/2008 5:40:56 AM , Rating: 2
If Creative is still actively selling sound cards like the Audigy and Live! then you expect them to support them with new drivers and function like they always have. No less! That's the bottom line. The greed of this company is the reason stock will tank (Even more) and it will be bought out by ASUS in six months time. F*** Y** Creative Labs!

By Polynikes on 4/2/2008 12:24:47 PM , Rating: 3
Daniel_K, don't team up with them. Don't let them buy you out. Stay independent and keep fixing and improving their drivers. Or work for one of their competitors or something. Just don't give in. You're right, they're wrong.

Creative dug their own grave...
By Proteusza on 4/2/2008 11:04:25 AM , Rating: 2
Funny how Creative only changed their opinion when they realized their greed might actually cost them money. Too bad Creative Execs - your greed and love of money has resulted in a massive loss of goodwill towards your company, which will hopefully result in a loss of business.

Really, what did you expect? You dont support your old hardware, and you purposefully gimp it in Vista to promote the X-Fi. You should be ashamed! Look at AMD and Nvidia. They support old hardware, they even support old hardware in new operating systems. They are quite happy to allow third party drivers, and they never threatened to sue the people who made the 9500 Pro -> 9700 Pro mod, or the Geforce -> Quadro mod. And funnily enough, Nvidia and AMD have been a little more succesful than you have.

Anyway, I've already emailed Creative, and I'm glad to see that this uproar has happened. I'm glad that Creative's dishonest tactics have been exposed, and the company should be able to measure a loss of profit due to it. Maybe next time you should actually write drivers?

Creative's honesty is suspect
By MrBlastman on 4/2/2008 11:08:06 AM , Rating: 2
Looks like a CYA move more than anything else. Their wording is very... "Creative" ;)

Notice how they say they intend to work with him to provide clarity in the matter, rather than outright absolution.

It took a community backlash to cause them to reverse their stance, just like it took overwhelming bad press to force Wal-Mart to drop their absurd suit on a poor woman who was injured in a car accident.

There is no honest intent here - it is purely that of desperation to reprieve their smitten image.

But - it is at least something. I don't think they've learned their lesson, yet.

This Doesn't Absolve Creative For its Sins
By mikefarinha on 4/2/2008 11:17:01 AM , Rating: 3
In it's first response Creative likened these hobby-ware drivers as stealing. Their follow-up response doesn't contradict this sentiment, it just elaborates on what they feel isn't stealing.

Is there doubt?
By mattclary on 4/2/2008 1:22:31 PM , Rating: 2
One can only hope that both parties are sincerely committed to helping the customer.

Is there any doubt that Daniel is in it to help Creative's customers? I think he takes "donations", but doesn't sound to me like he is in it for the money.

How is it stealing?
By JMichaels on 4/3/2008 9:35:47 AM , Rating: 2
Correct me if I am wrong, but here is my understanding of what happened. When people originally bought these cards, they included all these features in question when run under XP. Then, when they upgrade to Vista, those features are lost because they are not included in the Vista drivers, becasue Creative choose to disable them. Doesn't that sound like it was Creative stealing those features from users who had already paid for them, and Daniel was only attempted to give them back to those who already rightfully should have had them?

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer

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