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Creative Labs makes ALchemy Audigy Edition available for $9.99

Creative Labs has officially released the Creative ALchemy Audigy Edition software package. The software package sells for $9.99 from the company’s online store. The Creative ALchemy Audigy Edition software package enables users of Sound Blaster Audigy sound cards to take advantage of hardware-accelerated DirectSound3D and EAX audio under Windows Vista operating systems.

Additionally, the ALchemy Audigy Edition enables sample rate conversion and hardware audio mixing. The software also features an update feature that downloads lists of the latest games supported by ALchemy. Creative Labs currently supports 104 legacy game titles with ALchemy. Supported titles include Command & Conquer 3, F.E.A.R., Far Cry, Guild Wars, Oblivion, World of Warcraft and others.

Creative Labs supports the following Audigy sound cards with ALchemy:
  • Sound Blaster Audigy 4
  • Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro
  • Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Platinum
  • Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS notebook
  • Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS
  • Sound Blaster Audigy 2 SE
  • Sound Blaster Audigy 2 Platinum Ex
  • Sound Blaster Audigy 2 Platinum
  • Sound Blaster Audigy 2
  • Sound Blaster Audigy 2 Value
  • Sound Blaster Audigy Platinum Ex
  • Sound Blaster Audigy Platinum
  • Sound Blaster Audigy
Windows Vista Audigy users can purchase ALchemy Audigy Edition from the Creative Labs online store for Windows Vista 32-bit and 64-bit.

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By Gul Westfale on 7/4/2007 1:02:43 PM , Rating: 2
in essence they are charging people 10 bucks for what amounts to simply being a vista driver. i know that they never claimed that they would support any of those cards under any future operating system, but when you buy hardware it is commonly accepted that the company that sold you the hardware will support its own products, and therefore, its own customers, with the necessary updates.

with this move creative may have made a few bucks in the short run, but in the long run this will certainly cost them dearly as the importance of discrete soundcards seems to be waning. i myself have use both an x-fi and an integrated realtek chipset (in my laptop), and i can assure you that he difference in sound quality (through sennheiser headphones) is nothing to write home about.

add to this the fact that a lot of game engines these days handle their sound effects over the main processor (like the half-life 2 engine), and the future does not look bright for add-in sound cards.

so one really wonders why creative is sticking it to their customers now, shouldn't they rather be extra nice to us?

RE: stupid
By Dactyl on 7/4/2007 3:27:09 PM , Rating: 2
But Vista drivers are a pain (especially audio, because of the unnecessary junk MSFT put into their architecture to support DRM).

Creative had no obligation to make their old products support this particular OS.

By creating a money incentive for itself, the company was able to justify spending huge amounts of money on research & development for an old product. If you can afford Vista, and you want to keep your old sound card, you can afford $10.

Plus, the download is actually free if you are marginally competent. That is not an accident. That is so tech-savvy users can get the upgrade for free without bitching, while everyone else can pay for it. So don't feel guilty when you do install it for free (and don't think you're sticking it to them).

That's the same reason companies charge $400 to put a second 1GB stick of DDR2 in new laptops. If you're skilled enough to install a stick on your own, you can ignore the high price, and if not, you're probably not too upset about paying it (you probably don't even know you're being ripped off).

RE: stupid
By omnicronx on 7/4/2007 3:38:08 PM , Rating: 2
Creative had no obligation to make their old products support this particular OS.

creative is a monopoly in the sound card business, they must have a good 90% of all soundcards sold (estimating). so you are telling me essentially the biggest soundcard company with essentially no competition has no obligation whatsoever to make their 1-4 year old products support a new o/s that was being developed for 5? if they were not a monopoly this would have never happened, plain and simple.

i know as you said anyone can get it by bittorrent etc etc..
but just the fact they are taking advantage of those who dont know is just wrong, just to make a few more bucks in a market you already dominate

RE: stupid
By nemrod on 7/4/2007 7:58:51 PM , Rating: 2
creative is a monopoly? I believe most of users never buy sound card but just on board audio...
That about the same thing to say than most of graphic device come from Nvidia and ATI... In fact first seller is Intel...

RE: stupid
By Gul Westfale on 7/4/2007 4:10:38 PM , Rating: 1
That is so tech-savvy users can get the upgrade for free without bitching, while everyone else can pay for it.

so you are saying that those who are clueless when it comes to computers (98% of PC owners) should be the suckers who foot the bill? and then we should be happy about it? and how hard can it be to make drivers? we're not talking millions of dollars here. also, the audigy2/4 series isn't that old (by soundcard standards), and for along time it was the de-facto standard in a gaming PC- so creative knows very well that there are a lot of people out there that have these things and may want to actually use them under vista.

as for myself, i am tech-savvy and that is why i have not upgraded to vista, and i won't , in teh near future. but that's another story.

"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton
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