Creative caves; supports Dolby Digital, DTS in Vista driver

After nearly two years of outright lying about Vista compatibility, Creative has finally released official X-Fi drivers that add support for Dolby Digital and DTS decoding in Microsoft's newest operating system. Originally, Creative claimed that fundamental changes to the Windows sound driver model made it impossible for the company to offer certain features that were available under XP, including Dolby Digital and DTS decoding. Creative's user community wasn't happy with that answer, however, and various driver modding projects began, including one by infamous modder Daniel_K.

Daniel_K managed to restore the aforementioned capabilities to both Audigy 2 and X-Fi cards, which is when Creative stepped in early last spring, and ordered him to cease and desist from his activities. This went over extremely poorly with Creative's customers, who were of the opinion that Daniel and those like him were actually fixing broken software Creative refused to patch, in the hopes of forcing users to buy a new sound card. Creative held its stance for several days before backing down, but the damage appears to have been done—Daniel_K's software is still readily available, but the modder himself has vanished from the scene.

View: Full Article @ Ars Technica

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I'll still use Daniel_K's XP drivers until Creative gives Dolby Digital Live drivers for X-FI. Why the hell should I pay for a new X-FI card, when my hardware is already capable of doing DDL 5.1 out via digital?

its a shame that creative acts like this, but the reality is that NONE other soundcard gives you the features and support that i want for my games, and that is all i want from a soundcard, not decoding dvds or that crap, i understand that they sell the products advertising that capabilities.

i mean if im a musician or something like that no way in hell i would use a creative board, there are much better brands for that type of uses.

i want good sound in games and thats what creative boards give me, thats the reality.

i use a xfi in vista 64 for 8 months now and nothing to complain (except that the decoders dont work, but i use spdif passthrough so i dont care)

Take a look at the Asus Xonar. They even have the ability to intercept EAX 1-5 calls via driver and re-direct in to Vista's DX 10 sound AP with out the use of a stand alone program (Alchemy).

What do you need a soundcard to do? We're long past the time when EAX was virtually essential for a good sound experience - in fact I never even notice sound options myself. The only thing that is important is the quality of the hardware itself, though on-board sound have improved dramatically over the years.

I'm a musician myself and I simply use my card (EMU 1820M) for gaming and everything else; it doesn't feature anything fancy like EAX HD or whatever they call it now but it works brilliant (mainly due to the high quality of the components) - I never even give sound settings a second thought in games. The quality of headphones / speakers is FAR more important, which makes it all the more laughable that people opt for Creative cards because of their features - my Beyerdynamic studio headphones and 150W studio monitors put everything else I've come across to shame. Yes I have an above average setup but the point is you get more out of headphone / speaker quality than you do from features like EAX. Interesting to this topic is that I have a Creative Professional card, which unfortunately had a memory leak in the Vista drivers for about 6 to 9 months that would clear 2.5GB of RAM if the computer was left on.

well i mean you can bitch about creative all you like but its damn good news for those of us that own creative cards and are using vista. dont get me wrong i'm not condoning creatives actions but im pretty sure many would argue that they do make the best sound cards right now and also who wants to pay £50 for a new sound card?

also if we want to talk business ethics, i wonder how many of the above posters bashing creative own apple products... that is a company i would never ever buy a product from, ethics isnt in their vocab.

A good soundcard is as much about the drivers as it is the hardware, especially since API specific sound has largely died off. Creative fails miserably when it comes to drivers, therefore their products aren't "the best". There is good competition from Asus and Auzentech in the high-end, whereas on-board sound does great for the mid-low end.

Creative has a disgusting track record (ever since the SB!Live) and I avoid all of their consumer products like the plague.

Daniel_K's software is still readily available, but the modder himself has vanished from the scene.

Interesting. Paid off to remove himself from the scene maybe? Given a job at Creative perhaps? Murdered and dumped in a sewer somewhere by any chance?

Blaming an operating system while it is in fact their drivers that are funked. Fail anyone?

"in the hopes of forcing users to buy a new sound card." I took this literally and did buy a new sound card, not a Creative though :P

That's exactly why we're getting these drivers. The wool they failed to pull over our eyes has caused their profits and reputation to collapse in the space of months, and as a result, they've had to hold their tail between their legs and listen to the people that count... the consumer.

This is an epic win for the consumer, and yet more proof that tech corporations aren't as all-powerful as they would like to think

It means Daniel_K was making the drivers since Creative did not provide the advertised features on their products.

^I'm pretty sure GP007 was being sarcastic. Hence the goofy face.

I would agree. Creative has finally given in to the consumer after trying to act all superior through big business bull****.

I still think Creative lacks some solid competition. We need something like Nvidia - ATI or Intel - AMD in the sound card business.