MW: Creative Labs Report
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Creative Labs announced early last year their intentions to bring their Sound Blaster Live card to the Mac OS, a powerful audio solution designed to enhance games, MP3 audio and DVD audio. With simulated 3D audio, four-speaker support, and CD-quality SPDIF sound input, this is a great audio solution for the Mac - but where is it?
This card is still in development; it is due Q4 2000, the end of the Christmas season. One of the primary obstacles holding up the development of this card is the lack of an API for 3D sound on the Mac platform. The PC platform has several such APIs, including EAD and Creative's open standard, OAL (Open Audio Language.) Currently Creative is working with Apple to bring this API to the Mac OS, and it may find its way into Mac OS X and future versions of Mac OS 9 as well. This API would not affect current and past games, which won't support true 3D audio, but future games could adopt this API to use the card to full effect.
Reports from the show floor indicate a dramatic improvement in sound quality and depth in systems using the card; one other benefit of the card is that it removes some of the CPU overhead for processing sound, although this may only work with games specifically coded for it. The cards they will offer will range from $99 to $129, and may ship with a software bundle as well.
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