Hi Frank, I speak as a sleeping member of this group, with a lot of customers from the consumer side - and a lot of sound card (driver) related support. USB audio is very popular among consumers who use Audiolense, and also among consumer who uses for audio without Audiolense. But I generally advice against it because of the limitations that have already been brought to the table - and because we have experienced a lot of driver problems with usb cards. The consumer business case is simple: Everyone have at least one computer. Many of these are laptops and neither built nor purchased for audio playback. A usb soud card / usb dac can be plugged into any PC. Not so with a PCI card. And firewire is only provided by the pro/prosumer manufacturers and is a dying specie anyway. The threshold of replacing the old CD player with PC-based playback becomes very low for the users who find an appropriate usb sound card. And many are intrigued by this proposition. For some strange reason (I guess it must be the long cable J) the consumer tends to think that the audioprocessing becomes more sonically detatched from the PC with a usb card than with an embedded or PCI card. They perceive that as a good thing because they perceive the computer to be a very noisy environment (electrically) for audio processing. Our customers are basically consumers who are conscious about sound quality. Their audio investment budgets vary from minimum to several hundred thousand Euros. The standard usb implementation is not good for audio. The limitations are not simply about channel count and bit debt. And driver problems. It is also about the protocol used to transmit the data. It is basically an SPDIF-equivalent protocol where the clock on the transmitter (the computer) puts a signature on the sound. SPDIF is an inferior protocol to begin with. Add to that some added challenges with USB and it stands out as the worst alternative. Some of the jitter out of the PC will manifest itself in the analog waveform regardless of how the receiver side works. A couple of consumer/prosumer manufacturers have developed usb interfaces with asyncron audio transmission. I don?t know the details but I assume it is equivalent to block processing or callback based buffer filling where the clock in the dac is the only one that matters. USB has the potential to provide bit perfect transmission. As it is today, a high quality non-usb sound card is required for top quality audio rendering. USB sound cards with multichannel / bitdebth capability that reflects the new waveformextensible standards with regards to channel count and bit debth would be a huge selling point to the masses. Callback-based audio streaming would be an added bonus that would bring USB into the picture also amongst those who pay whatever it takes to get the best possible sound quality. Computer based hifi has so much going for it, and a good usb audio solution would lower the threshold of entry significantly. Best Regards Bernt Ronningsbakk <http://www.juicehifi.com/> Juice Hifi - the home of Audiolense juice_logo 200 audiolense_logo 200 From: wdmaudiodev-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:wdmaudiodev-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Frank Yerrace Sent: 17. november 2009 22:42 To: wdmaudiodev@xxxxxxxxxxxxx Subject: [wdmaudiodev] Re: Why would you want USB Audio 2.0 in Windows? Thank you everyone that responded to my question both on the mailing list and directly to me. The two primary benefits that most everyone mentioned were higher formats (sample rate and/or channels) and control notification (e.g. volume control change notification to host, removing the need to use HID control and rely on host support). I have some follow up questions. It seems most of the responses were in the context of pro or ?prosumer? products. What other classes of product have strong need for this? Is lack of a built-in Windows driver for USB Audio 2.0 inhibiting development of products that would appear on the shelves of retail stores (e.g. desktop speaker systems for the average consumer)? What is the typical business model for getting Windows drivers developed for USB Audio 2.0 products that exist today? And why is that model not sufficient to allow USB Audio 2.0 to thrive? On your list of gripes or wishes regarding the Windows Vista and Windows 7 audio system, where does this lie? Near the top? Middle? Bottom? I encourage open responses to the list but feel free to respond directly to me if you would rather. And as always, thanks very much for your feedback. Frank Yerrace Microsoft This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights. From: wdmaudiodev-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:wdmaudiodev-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Frank Yerrace Sent: Tuesday, October 20, 2009 6:24 PM To: wdmaudiodev@xxxxxxxxxxxxx Subject: [wdmaudiodev] Why would you want USB Audio 2.0 in Windows? There are occasional questions on this list about USB Audio 2.0 support in Windows. We (the Windows sound team) are curious to hear specific reasons- scenarios, business, features, etc.- that would be enabled if USB Audio 2.0 support was included in Windows. Are any of you willing to share this? The more specific you can be, the better. If you do not want to share with the entire list then feel free to send a message to me directly. Frank Yerrace Microsoft This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.