[wdmaudiodev] Re: Why would you want USB Audio 2.0 in Windows?

  • From: Jerry Evans <jerry@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: wdmaudiodev@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 22 Oct 2009 19:39:42 +0100

In a nutshell: yes, yes and yes!. Having actually worked on firmware and drivers for a (never shipped) USB 2 audio device I know this would be a huge driver (groan) for USB 2 development.

*Please* make sure the driver plays nice with exclusive mode WASAPI . Giving any Windows audio application a low latency, reliable, high bandwidth USB2 connection OOB would be splendid.

Icing on the cake would be to have driver clients be able to sink signals to the USB2 microframe rate. This would make it *much* simpler to properly synch multiple USB audio sources. An advanced scenario perhaps but one that would reinforce the notion that Windows 7+ was the right platform for quality audio work.

Thanks for asking.


David A. Hoatson wrote:
Thank you for asking! As Danijel mentioned USB Audio 2.0 support is important for higher sample rate / higher bit-depth / higher channel count hardware. If the hardware does 24-bit 192kHz then USB Audio 1.0 cannot even do 2 channels. Even with the more widely used 24-bit 96kHz, then channel count is limited to stereo. If someone wants to just use 24-bit 96kHz for 5.1 playback, this simply isn't possible with USB Audio 1.0. Now that there are more USB Audio 2.0 solutions coming to market, each company is having to develop it's own driver... and of course each will have varying degrees of success. Audio driver development is generally not the core competence for a chip-set company so they end up having a 3rd party company develop the driver. OEMs end up with the "not our fault" situation where the chip-set company blames the driver company and the driver company isn't being paid to fix bugs. The end result is products that don't work very well on Windows but work better on OS X. As it is now, all of the USB Audio 2.0 solutions are having to be qualified on OS X 10.6 (which does support USB Audio 2.0). I think the key issue is market acceptance. Microsoft never supported audio on FireWire in the OS, and I would say there are fewer FireWire audio devices on the market as a result. If Microsoft supports USB Audio 2.0 in Windows 7 SP1, I think you will see many USB Audio 2.0 devices hit the market. Thank you, David A. Hoatson
Lynx Studio Technology, Inc.
www.lynxstudio.com <http://www.lynxstudio.com/>
    *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


    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers
    no rights.

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