Thread: OpenAL Support
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Old 8th January 2008, 17:30   #23
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 3
Thanks for the reply on this topic, Benski. I've been browsing now for a few weeks about the lack of 5.1 sound when playing mp3's in Windows Vista when you're using a Creative X-FI card.

Now, i know its not really a problem the winamp devs should be responsible to fix, but as far as i see it, creative kicked the ball back into your laps. They're saying that OpenAL is the only way, next to ASIO, to directly access the hardware, circumventing the terrible windows vista directsound emulation (which consequently poops up the way surround sound is handled)

To help us all clear some stuff up:
1) it doesn't support 24bit output.
To be completely honest, i'd rather have to be able to use ALL my speakers and then lack 24bit output. For me, that would be acceptable. Are you mentioning this because no 24 bits would decrease the normal output as well? IE. if we'd use 16 bits, we would get a lower bitrate because of the lack of 24 bits support?

2) Multi-channel playback is not supported.
Last thing i've read on the OpenAL website SDK parts, it is not the plugin that should deliver the stream as a multi-channel, but the native openal X-FI driver should take care of it. However, i couldnt see in the SDK explanation how that stream should be transmitted to the driver in the first place. Also, a snippet from the openal site:

The Summer 2007 OpenAL SDK is now available. The SDK includes the X-RAM Extension, the Effect Extension (EFX), Multi-Channel Buffer playback extension, and a new Device Enumeration extension that allows AL to be rendered on any installed soundcard / audio end-point.
3) I couldn't decide if it would be better to use the lower-level WASAPI audio sdk.
Wouldnt a lower level api just put us back in the same place that we are now? If i have to believe the chart on the creative site, it seems that, apart from openal and asio, any other wasapi would end up in the mixer APO, who would just bug us back to 2.0, because of driver problems.
Windows Vista audio architecture by Creative img

I'm not a coder or anything, i'm just trying to keep the conversation going with valid facts, so all you people that wanna debate my actions, please PM me and dont mess up the topic for the people that really DO want answers.

EDIT: removed the IMG tags to stop messing up the forum borders.
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