Creative Sparks Customer Revolt When It Tries To Silence Third-Party Programmer

Creative’s executive team will be coming in to quite a mess Monday morning, thanks to its VP of Screw Ups, Phil O’Shaughnessy. Friday morning, he posted a warning on the Creative customer forums that told programmer Daniel_K to stop writing his own drivers for their X-Fi sound cards. The cards still won’t work on Vista over a year after the OS was released, because Creative hasn’t released drivers for them—but by Mr. O’Shaughnessy’s account, Daniel_K is “stealing” from Creative by making the cards work. Then the weekend happened.

Over the weekend, Creative’s forums have exploded with posts from angry customers who have sworn to stop buying their products. There’s already a boycott site up at boycottcreative.com.

A Creative Forum poster named “youAREkidding” summed up Creative’s stupidity quite nicely:

Imagine what would happen if 10%, just 10% of the people who will read about this, be in a store somewhere, see someone about to buy a Creative Labs product, and say to that potential customer. “If you have Vista, Creative has non-functioning drivers for it, there was a guy who created a Modified driver, but Creative made him stop distributing it, and there are still no workable drivers for Vista.” Some people might laugh at him, but the majority of computer perhiperal buyers don’t know squat, and if they hear it from someone who presents themselves in a knowledgeable manner, they may actually think twice about it. Creative loses another sale.
 
So, yes, Daniel may very well have stepped on some copyright rules, and Creative had the lawful option of doing what they did. Score 100 on the law, score minus several millions for not doing the job themselves in the first place, and putting someone like Daniel in a position where he had to do what he did, just to get the customers of this company happy.

By way of comparison, another forum poster, Igor_Levicki, points out that Nvidia supports its old cards much more reliably:

Let me just remind you that for example NVIDIA still supports GeForce generations 5, 6, 7, and 8 in their latest video drivers for XP, XP64, Vista, Linux and Mac OSX. All those old cards still get performance improvements instead of being crippled.

Even more entertaining is a mysterious post that appeared on the Daniel_K thread on Sunday, supposedly from Newegg. It’s quite possibly fake, but the email address registered with the account is webmaster@newegg.com, and that address has to be verified before it can be displayed. We’ll have to wait until Newegg opens for business Monday morning (7am PST) to verify. [Update 7:42 am PST: Newegg is still selling X-Fi cards this morning, and their chat-based CSR had no information regarding the supposed embargo.]
 
[Update 8:54pm PST: It turns out that Creative’s protocol for verifying your identity is easy to get around–you can simply change the address after you publish a post, and the new, unverified address will be displayed on previous posts.]
 
In the meantime, here’s the post:The “Newegg” post is no longer relevant, but for posterity’s sake we’ll leave it below:

Newbie
Posts: 1
Registered: 03-30-2008
newegg
Message 1179 of 1,436
Viewed 2,595 times
 
To Whom it May Concern:
 
While it is not our place to condemn the decisions of Creative regarding this issue, our customers come first. That being said, it has come to our attention that many of our customers are not happy with the products Creative has released nor the support for those products. To wit, we have processed nearly 5,000 return orders within the past 48 hours. While it is not normally in our best interest to publically comment in a manufacturer’s forum, the overwhelming concensus has left us little choice. As such, effective tommorow morning newegg.com will suspend sales of the sound cards in question, particularly those indicated as “Vista compatible”, pending an investigation into the matter. Those of you whom recently ordered such a card will still recieve your product as indicated in any relevant conversations. While we regret this abrupt decision, it has been deemed neccessary to protect the interest of our consumers. We welcome contact from Creative as soon as is possible so that we may resolve this issue.
 
Thank you,
 
Newegg.com
http://www.newegg.com

Finally, here’s the infamous post that started it all, and that is going to lead to a very bad week for Creative, regardless of whether or not Newegg has gotten involved:

Daniel_K:
 
We are aware that you have been assisting owners of our Creative sound cards for some time now, by providing unofficial driver packages for Vista that deliver more of the original functionality that was found in the equivalent XP packages for those sound cards. In principle we don’t have a problem with you helping users in this way, so long as they understand that any driver packages you supply are not supported by Creative. Where we do have a problem is when technology and IP owned by Creative or other companies that Creative has licensed from, are made to run on other products for which they are not intended. We took action to remove your thread because, like you, Creative and its technology partners think it is only fair to be compensated for goods and services. The difference in this case is that we own the rights to the materials that you are distributing. By enabling our technology and IP to run on sound cards for which it was not originally offered or intended, you are in effect, stealing our goods. When you solicit donations for providing packages like this, you are profiting from something that you do not own. If we choose to develop and provide host-based processing features with certain sound cards and not others, that is a business decision that only we have the right to make.
 
Although you say you have discontinued your practice of distributing unauthorized software packages for Creative sound cards we have seen evidence of them elsewhere along with donation requests from you. We also note in a recent post of yours on these forums, that you appear to be contemplating the release of further packages. To be clear, we are asking you to respect our legal rights in this matter and cease all further unauthorized distribution of our technology and IP. In addition we request that you observe our forum rules and respect our right to enforce those rules. If you are in any doubt as to what we would consider unacceptable then please request clarification through one of our forum moderators before posting.
 
Phil O’Shaughnessy
VP Corporate Communications
Creative Labs Inc.

Rule of thumb for bad news in the mainstream media: release it Friday so it’s buried over the weekend. Rule of thumb for the web: don’t infuriate thousands of your customers right before you decide to tune out for 48 hours.
 
“Message to Daniel_K” [Creative Forums] (Thanks to everyone who sent this in!)
 
RELATED
Possibly fake Newegg response [Creative Forums]
BoycottCreative.com
(Photo: Young Frankenstein)

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. skitzogreg says:

    Creative is being rediculous. Illegal or not, Creative should provide the customers with working drivers or let the customers proved working drivers to Creative.

  2. skitzogreg says:

    provide

  3. thewriteguy says:

    I lost track of this thread as it unfolded over the weekend. Is it true that this developer was seeking donations for his work, and Creative told him to quit that, but, otherwise, the company in fact had no objection towards him making the drivers and freely distributing them?

  4. b612markt says:

    Sad, out of touch Creative.

  5. Soldier_CLE says that Hideo Kojima has to make MGS till the day he dies! says:

    It convinced me to buy Roland and Yamaha soundcards instead.

    Luckily most computers I use are laptops, so chances are, I’m not using a Creative soundcard.

    They should pray that Attack of The Show didnt catch wind yet…

    Then again, I expect it to make on this week’s “The Loop”, and maybe Webb Alert.

  6. Cyfun says:

    Creative has and always will suck ass. Having owned several products of theirs over the years, namely their Sound Blaster Live series of sound cars that had the most craptastic drivers, I vowed to never buy another of their products again long before this debacle occurred. The latest Creative mistake I made was purchasing one of their Fatal1ty 1010 Gaming Mice last year. It lasted 2 months before the left mouse button became erratic. It was RMAed, and the replacement itself lasted about two months. After the third 1010 they sent me, they started sending me the 2020 version, which is a laser mouse. I’ve found that the 2020 lasermice usually last about 2 weeks before exhibiting the same symptoms.

    Here we are, 15 months later, and they are about to send me my 11th or 12th replacement mouse (I’ve lost track). This issue has been documented all over the web, including many posts on Creative’s own boards, by a large number of users of these mice. Yet, whenever I contact them for yet another RMA, they always state that they are unaware of any design flaws, and the agent always manages to state that he actually has one of these mice at home and it has been fine for over a year. HA! Yeah right.

    Anyways, after the first RMA, Creative has been footing the bill on the return shipping labels, so I’m not out anything. I imagine they’ve spent hundreds of dollars on replacement mice and shipping costs, not to mention the labor of arguing with me and handing my returns.

    Oh well.

  7. meadandale says:

    No biggie for Phil.

    He’ll get a golden parachute and a boot in the @ss on monday morning and Creative brass will find a ‘creative’ way to spin this PR disaster.

  8. ???/??? says:

    @theriteguy

    That’s kinda the way I’m taking it. However, by the way the letter sounds, I think it’s Creative also stating that he’s including the Creative trademark in reference to his drive packages.

    There shouldn’t anything wrong with him asking for donations. It’s a package HE himself is making and updating, hell in the least Creative should HIRE this guy!

    “. If we choose to develop and provide host-based processing features with certain sound cards and not others, that is a business decision that only we have the right to make.”

    Creative their just sounds like complete d-bags! Well guess what consumers, we fully realize that we’re not supporting your card on an operating system – and that’s our decision. And we don’t care that there is a guy willing to do our dirty work for free. It’s ours!

  9. AlphaUltima says:

    bet they’ll take fan support more “seriously” by monday.

  10. FLConsumer says:

    @skitzogreg: I’m not aiming this at you… It’s just that when I read the story, then saw the glowing blue Apple logo next to your name, I couldn’t help think about the way Apple has treated iPhone users who wanted to install 3rd party apps on their iPhones.

    Re: Creative’s products, they’re terrible. I’ve yet to find any of their products which actually even come close to their published specifications, let alone actually meeting them. Sound quality’s poor at best, which is amazing considering how expensive their cards are. Then there is the issue of their software & drivers. Pure bloat.

  11. Concerned_Citizen says:

    @thewriteguy:
    As long as a donation isn’t required to download, creative cannot label the donations as profiting on their work. But that isn’t the issue here. They seem to be mad that he is providing features to older cards that they didn’t even have in the xp drivers. I do not have a creative card or vista, so I am not sure what features they are talking about. But I can guess and say that this custom driver is probably providing features from the x-fi cards to the audigy and live cards. Now creative may be right, but in the end it was their failure to provide a working vista driver that caused this guy to make this driver. So creative deserves to die over this. Consumers don’t want to throw away perfectly good cards and buy a new one just because a new version of windows came out.

  12. Draconianspark says:

    Hadn’t even heard of daniel_k’s drivers before this fiasco; and they work much better than creative’s drivers. Kinda makes you wonder what all of their R&D budget goes to.

  13. phospholipid says:

    @Concerned_Citizen:

    Agreed, being an audiophile and a user of X-Fi products [which i regret], creative has had nothing but bad support and horrible software issues. they should do what apple did, ire the guy and put him to good work. if you check any computer enthusiasts or audiophile forum, you’ll see the hate for x-fi drivers and creative. check out OCN

    [www.overclock.net]

  14. Osi says:

    This is really a cut and dry case.

    Creative have commit both state and federal crimes by claiming “vista compatible”. They can be seriously screwed and shut down.

    Two, Daniel commit no crime at all. It is not a crime to write drivers. At least, not in the US.

    This is so funny.

  15. Ariah says:

    @thewriteguy:

    Nope. Creative objects to the donations, but it also claims that by enabling this soundcard on newer systems, it is “stealing from” them. It objects to the existence of the driver itself.

  16. legwork says:

    Big surprise. Vista’s primary purpose on this world is to drive upgrades and secondary purchases. Everyone depends on this effect. MS, retailers, third-party vendors, especially those with flat or declining market share. Spotlight Creative, a poster child of bloat and decay for the over a decade. I’d cut off a toe before installing another of their train-wreck drivers on my systems.

    Love the Newegg contribution, though somehow I suspect it’s been purged by now.

  17. TechnoDestructo says:

    Phil O’Shaughnessy
    Vice President, Corporate Communications
    poshaughnessy@creativelabs.com

  18. ecwis says:

    Why would they send their C&D through a message board. This guy (Phil O’Shaughnessy) is an idiot for so many different reasons.

  19. Shevek says:

    “By enabling our technology and IP to run on sound cards for which it was not originally offered or intended, you are in effect, stealing our goods.” This sentence from the email doesn’t make sense to me. The only people for whom these drivers are valuable have already purchased the cards! So, one could buy the card, and that’s okay. But if they try to make it work on their computer system, then they’re stealing. I love it!

    Anyway, is it actually illegal to write a driver or a piece of software for hardware? I’d never given that much thought before, but it seems like an odd position.

  20. dunkinbean says:

    Not entirely surprising coming from Creative, but still awful. This just gives me further incentive to not buy their products and to pass the information of this onto my friends so they don’t give more money to another scummy company that doesn’t care about their customers.

  21. thewriteguy says:

    Thanks to everyone who summed up what was learned over the weekend about this.

    I believe Creative may be in financial trouble. Most people these days buy notebooks or desktops that have on-board sound. So Creative has to sell their boards to hard-core gamers and semi-pro musicians.

    Secondly, does anybody buy their MP3 players? I haven’t heard much about them, especially ever since Microsoft brought out the Zune.

    The company sells products that are becoming (if they are not already) irrelevant and unnecessary for the average computer user.

  22. MelL says:

    @thewriteguy: I’ve bought three of their MP3 players and love all of them. I’ve had zero issues with any of them, though my first one, a Zen Micro I think, is showing it’s age a bit and wear and tear from Afghanistan.

    Excellent little machines.

  23. TechnoDestructo says:

    @thewriteguy:
    I have a Zen Stone and it is excellent.

    I don’t think I’ll be buying another one, though.

  24. BugMeNot2 says:

    One of my mates first mp3 players was Creative. Bulky, yes but it worked fine for a number of years till mate got a iPod.

    I personally own an Audigy card that is around 4 years old. I’m still using xp, but I can definetly relate to how much bloat creative driver packages are. Support for other OS’s / ect sucks. When I was making my hackentosh I had to use my on board sound because Creative has not made any drivers for OSX in years.

    I haven’t heard of Daniel_K before but I’m definately going to track down his drivers for my card. Creative is shooting themselves not in the foot but the head. Do you see ATI/Nvidia going after the creator of Omega Drivers? No. Here is someone doing THEIR work for them and they have the audacity to threaten him legally?

    When I build my new system when Nehalem comes out I won’t bother getting a new Creative card (or even use the old one).

  25. P41 says:

    It seems pretty clear they’re accusing him of enhancing Creative’s own drivers. “youAREkidding” suggests that as well. Which if true they would be in the right legally, but definitely anti-consumer. (duh, hire the guy! Sounds like he doesn’t need need much help.) Doesn’t really sound like they’re talking patents, but vague chance.

    If the drivers are original works and don’t infringe patents, then they owe an apology.

    Oh, and I’m surprised nobody’s referenced that telling another customer how crappy a product is could get you a police escort out of the store, as we recently learned.

  26. TechnoDestructo says:

    @P41:

    They still might be able to make some kind of DMCA claim in that case, I think.

  27. TechnoDestructo says:

    @legwork:

    I don’t see any evidence of the sound cards being pulled from Newegg’s site.

  28. They should put the guy on the payroll to write Vista drivers, seeing as the entire Creative programming team can’t seem to.

    I ran into a similar problem with ATI not support old ATI FireGL video cards (I have a X1 256m FireGL that the vista drives are OWM and SUCK). I ended up going back to XP so I could use the card as it should be used.

  29. matto says:

    I had completely forgotten how much I hated Creative Labs, until this Phil O’Shaugnessy douchebag reminded me. Good job at the PR there, retard!

  30. Sifl says:

    For those whom are basically saying to avoid Creative for lack of quality product [this bonehead move aside], would you happen to be able to suggest something as a reasonable alternative? This coming from someone whom almost went and bought a CL Soundcard this weekend… since my current soundcard is about to bite the big one.

  31. trillium says:

    Looks like creative is playing the game of forced obseslesence. If they don’t go the mile to upgrade their own software for utilization under the “latest and greatest” offering of Microsoft, their hopes are that people will go running to the store shelves to buy the latest and greatest sound hardware.

    I walked away from Creative years ago when I updated to a mobo that had built in sound on the Nvidia chipset. Can’t speak for Vista compatibility, I upgraded to a mac (shameless plug).

  32. mac-phisto says:

    talk about slicing off your nose to spite your face. even if creative plans to release vista drivers today (*shake*shake*shake*outlook not so good), this seems like a really poor move.

    i took a hop over to newegg – the cards are still up so far, but it was interesting to read some of the reviews. a few users say creative is blaming nvidia for the driver issue since they make the boards. classy. nothing like playing the ownsership card on the front end & passing blame on the back end. assholes.

  33. Pro-Pain says:

    Creative is still around? I haven’t owned anything they produced since last century.

  34. BugMeNot2 says:

    This whole situation is the result of years of horrible driver support, bloated software and hardware issues with their whole line-up of currently available hardware. They’re still selling the Audigy line up of cards, so for them to purposely cripple the card in Vista as a ‘business decision’ is absolutely repulsive.

  35. dirk1965 says:

    What about the ‘legality’ of Creatives false advertisement of a product being Vista Compatible???

  36. shoegazer says:

    @mac-phisto: Yeah, Outlook IS crap. Use thunderbird instead.

    * tumbleweed *

    In Ancient times, creative was a scrappy little company pumping out good cards and equipment. Seems Phil (P.O.S? classic) wants to play tough guy and got burned on the internets. He wouldn’t be the first one.

  37. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    I work in IT support for an extremely large company. We do not use or support Vista, and I’m often asked why not. This crap is one more reason why Vista and all it touches should dry up and blow away, IMO.

  38. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    @speedwell: Oh, and “me too” on the “never buy Creative again.” And I do influence purchasing decisions on hardware.

  39. topgun says:

    Vista has probably sold more Mac’s than Apple’s advertising.
    I’m guessing someday it will make the top ten list of corporate blunders. Creative has made good products but this is pure BS.
    Typical of a Korean company.

  40. RumorsDaily says:

    NewEgg hasn’t done anything yet:

    [www.newegg.com]

  41. tz says:

    I think they are going to be told they can keep their IP. All of it including all their cards.

  42. IrisMR says:

    You can be sure I won’t buy from creative ever again.

  43. Moosehawk says:

    Creative should be on top of this shit then. It’s ridiculous that a customer that is generating no income from this (or little from donations, at least) is practically supporting an entire company’s venture in to vista.

  44. bohemian says:

    This sounds like the same purposeful obsolescence that happened when XP came out. Almost all of our peripherals and some hardware didn’t work in XP. As “good little consumers” we were supposed to run out and buy an entire new houseful of computer stuff. Instead we relied on a number of third party drivers rather than throwing everything in the trash.

    Unless the guy who wrote the third party drivers actually used to work at Creative and stole some business secret he would have had to write these based on his knowledge and reverse engineering that anyone with the intellect & skills could have done.

    Creative seems to be on a big kick of trying to force people to buy new cards. They have removed all traces of support, information and drivers for the sound blaster live cards. They are pretty old but they are a solid basic sound card. We still use them in most of our basic desktop computers at home.

    If I buy a piece of hardware it is MY decision if I want to run it with third party drivers.

  45. DCGaymer says:

    In other words Creative themselves have said, “Don’t get Creative”.

  46. backbroken says:

    Well, duh. If daniel_k is helping users to get their legacy sound cards working on Vista, then fewer people are going to buy new sound cards. That’s what’s drving this from Creative’s perspective. I’m not saying they are coming off as d’bags. They are. It’s just yet another case of some number cruncher MBA grad making a decision based off a spreadsheet without any idea how it will play in the real world.

  47. Kryndis says:

    My general experience with Creative (at least for the last 10 years or so) has been good to excellent hardware coupled with some of the absolute worst software in the business. It was always extremely frustrating to have a really nice device and then have it completely crippled by incredibly poor software support. Looks like that legacy continues.

  48. Woofer00 says:

    @topgun:
    “Typical of a Korean company.”

    Creative is based in Singapore, and has been there for over 25 years. Check your facts before making such erroneous blanket statements.

    The problem Creative faces is the problem of support and liability to the end users. While users may install the alternative drivers, they may also erroneously believe the drivers are somewhat supported or authorized by Creative. Daniel_k is doing a laudable job by creating compatibility where none previously existed, but he has also stolen Creative’s opportunity and prerogative to enter the Vista market. Daniel_k can’t independently enter the market for them and compete for them.

  49. Ragman says:

    How is it stealing from Creative when he’s making the cards run on Vista? Isn’t that just going to help sales, now that there are drivers to make the cards work??

  50. valarmorghulis says:

    hmm…did the system eat the previous post? In any case, Vista compatability doesn’t look like what Creative has a problem with.

    They seem to have a problem with his drivers openeing up functionality that has been removed/locked-down on those cards. These capabilities are reserved for more premium-priced cards, but they are all made on the same assembly line, and thus all have the same potential.

    At least, that’s what i got from the letter Phil wrote.

  51. ZekeDMS says:

    @Kryndis:
    That’s it for me too, Kryndis. I’ve always got the hardware from them anyway because it lasts forever and it’s a high quality, but the software, sheesh. I have no words for how bad the software for my Zen Touch is. And yet, the hardware is incredible. That hard drive survived a major magnet attack, the damn magnet jumped a solid foot into the air to catch my player.

    One press of the reset button later, and everything, firmware, songs, files, is back in the same shape it was before the magnet attacked.

    I really wish the software and service were nearly as great as the hardware itself.

  52. odhen says:

    I’ve had absolutely no problem with creative’s drivers for my X-fi on Vista 64.

    But it does suck that lots of people are having problems, and it sucks that over a year later Creative still hasn’t fixed the issue.

    But I’m pretty sure the bulk of Creative’s issues come from the fact Daniel_K was soliciting donations for his modification of their intellectual property. That’s a big no-no, and I don’t blame Creative for taking action on him for that. If he hadn’t been soliciting donations I don’t know if this would be as big of an issue as it is.

  53. Slick36 says:

    I’ve been following this all weekend. Creative really stepped in it, I agree. But what is all the fuss about the the XFi not working in Vista? Mine seems to be working just fine on my Vista 64 box. I must have missed something somewhere.

  54. Soldier_CLE says that Hideo Kojima has to make MGS till the day he dies! says:

    Hey consumerist, is it too late to add Creative on the bracket?

  55. Pasketti says:

    I seriously doubt that Newegg would pull something so unprofessional as to post something like that on a vendor’s forum.

  56. katylostherart says:

    Hi customer! We will tell you this works when it doesn’t! Then get pissed when you fix the problem we refuse to!

    LOVE US!!!!!!!

    dicks. hope he gets very good legal help for this. law is law, but he deserves minimal damage for this infraction.

  57. dennisinnc says:

    I operate a computer repair store in NC, I’ve been discouraging my customers from buying Creative products for several years because they think nothing of abandoning a product when a new operating system comes out. It is obviously their marketing approach to orphan cards, and we are supposed to run out and buy new Creative products for the new operating system, rather than expect them to do the right thing and release a new working driver. Over the last 5 years I’ve tossed several hundred dollars worth of Creative webcams, audio, and video cards in the garbage because they don’t support their products. My advice to all is avoid Creative products at all times.

  58. topgun says:

    @Woofer00: I stand corrected. Not enough coffee yet. My most sincere apologies to Korea, both North and South. I hope I didn’t create any problems for The State Department.

  59. GrandizerGo says:

    He should STOP selling the drivers or asking donations.
    Period.

    He should however charge for the shipping of the NEW FREE drivers over the information superhighway.

    Since he is NO LONGER charging for the drivers, he can tell Creative to shove it.

    Haven’t brought a product knowingly from them in MORE than 6 years and never will buy another Creative product again.

    Creative should stop criticizing those better than themselves.

  60. crackblind says:

    I have to say, youAREkidding did a fine job referencing Zaphod Beeblebrox.

  61. Moosehawk says:

    @Soldier_CLE: I agree.

    Although they haven’t been in the headlines much and they wouldn’t take home the trophy, they might make it through the first and second tier at least. Maybe remove a company off the east bracket that we know won’t go anywhere? Like Toyota, or Gamestop?

  62. kabes says:

    I wish Aureal had won the soundcard wars back in the day before they were destroyed by Creative. A3D was way better than EAX back then and the cards & drivers were much better.

  63. quail says:

    Darn it! I bought a Creative Soundblaster card on Monday and threw away the packaging. Wish there was some way to turn it back to them. I’m running XP but hope to upgrade once whatever replaces Vista comes along. Wonder if Creative will NOT supply drivers then too.

  64. -J- says:

    @thewriteguy:

    No, Creative wanted them to cease any and all distribution for violation of IP laws. It wasn’t just seeking donations for his time spent to put the drivers together, in fact he wasn’t seeking to charge anything for anything IP related. Just donations for his time.

  65. Topcat says:

    Yeah, they did eventually say he could distribute the package for free, so long as he wasn’t profiting from what is (in part) their work. Somewhere about page 80 in that 150+page thread…

    Still…I’ve owned countless Creative products (and have a Zen instead of an iPod, a decision I don’t regret at all), and whenever it comes to drivers and software they are god awful. Back when I was in the Vista Beta, Creative drivers were responsible for 90% of the system crashes I experienced, and they still supported almost none of the features of the card. I’ve subsequently built a PC with an Auzen card, as none of the Creative ones with S/PDIF work in Vista.

  66. Dustin says:

    I’m calling the Newegg post a fake. Do we seriously think that a post on Creative’s forums would lead to 5,000 returns in two days? This is an instance of the echo chamber overestimating their importance.

  67. ehlaren says:

    @Slick36: Mine works too. I think they’re referring to the fact that EAX doesn’t work in Vista.

  68. cerbie says:

    *thumbs-up*

    I’ve had a bad taste in my mouth from Creative ever since they tortured and gutted Aureal (and, then, how many years did they have to get SBLive! type cards working right on VIA chipsets, when VIA was doing things right?). They’ve not proved themselves to have changed since. Each former Creative customer is a <Martha>Good Thing</Martha>.

    USB DAC that works on anything from Win98SE on up FTW (not mentioning model or linking, because it’s not quite turn-key).

    Many companies don’t give full support on all platforms. However, some, like nVidia, know when to leave things well enough alone. They have lawyer issues, like everybody else, but generally stay out of the way when folks in the community are trying to do just this sort of thing: get something working that doesn’t (modded drivers for vendor mobile cards that don’t get adequate driver support, FI).

    Creative buys great technology, but such monopoly is all they’ve got.

    I like how they claim it is not proper for him to use their trademark. WTF is a trademark for, if not to identify companies and their products?

    @thewriteguy: they are becoming irrelevant to everyone. They became a monopoly on 3D audio DSP for games, yet CPUs keep getting more powerful, and are able to do the work for them. Doom 3 may not have been the greatest game to play, but there was a banshee keening at Creative HQ when it came out. Ironically, Id had to add EAX in after the fact

  69. disavow says:

    Creative is pulling an RIAA. The majority of consumers are just fine with onboard audio or an Audigy, so there’s really no broad demand for higher-grade audio unless they manufacture it via planned obsolescence. But while they could be pushing next-gen audio tech, such as the high-def formats that have sat idle for like a decade, they’d rather stick with their outmoded business model and focus on lawyers over developers, litigation over innovation.

  70. Inhocmark says:

    I was all ready to be aghast that Creative was stifling somebody who was providing support for something they’re not doing until I read that he’s asking for donations…

    Sorry, Creative have a point now, this guy is profiting (even in probably a verly limited way) from Intellectual Property that belongs to Creative.

  71. BugMeNot2 says:

    There’s a petition up now with over 1400 signatures (and getting several more every minute). It demands that Creative release quality drivers and support them, stop mislabeling products, leave independent developers alone (within reason) and provide minimal support for open source development.

    Check it out at [www.petitiononline.com]

  72. Radoman says:

    @Ragman: Creative considers it stealing to make some of their cards work at all. Bizarre, I know.

    Where as graphics card companies support their hardware for years, Creative thinks it’s OK to pull support for fairly new hardware, as well as to make claims of “Vista” compatibility for products that aren’t.

    Try to download a “legacy” driver for a slightly older soundcard like a Live or an Audigy, even for XP, from Creative’s website. You will find that Creative considers theses cards too old to even allow you to download an XP driver, let alone a Vista driver.

    That’s right. They do not even allow downloads for products they made which are a few years old or less.

    I like Creative hardware, but I stopped suggesting people buy it years ago. You should not lose complete functionality of a device from misplacing a driver CD.

    Attention Creative: Read this thread. People like your products, and hate your support of them. Fix the drivers for the new soundcards, and let us download the drivers for older cards too.

    Nvidia and ATI both have easily obtained driver software, both for older and newer cards, and I dare say it has helped their companies sales immensely.

    Technicians drive sales. Technicians are also the first to notice a complete lack of support. You cannot hope to change this, so make it work for you by supporting your products.

    Believe me, we’ll notice.

  73. etempest says:

    @Sifl: You will want to take a look at Asus Xonar an alternative. They even have EAX working via driver.

  74. nuch says:

    the overwhelming concensus has left us little choice

    Anyone else notice that “consensus” is spelled incorrectly in the allegedly-from Newegg e-mail? That makes me question its veracity.

  75. mavrc says:

    Curiously, I was just this week kicking around buying a sound card for my HTPC. I figured that I might break with half a decade worth of Creative Labs boycotting and buy an X-Fi.

    It all started back in the Sound Blaster Live days, when as a long-time creative customer I purchased an SB Live! to use in my AMD KT133 chipset motherboard. Ask any of the folks that were building systems back then know what happens next: random lockups, system instability. You could play around with drivers, which would net you a little better stability, but the ideal solution? Throw out the (very expensive, for the time) SB Live! card and buy a non-Creative replacement. As if by some sort of miracle, the lockups went away.

    Years of driver isolation after that kept me estranged. The fact that you couldn’t download a full driver installation package for a brand-new product direct from their site was utterly pathetic.

    It appears they are just as paranoid about their drivers now as they were back around 2000. That’s OK, it looks to me like the CMedia-based cards would be a better match for my HTPC anyway.

    I’d like to think they will finally learn something from this issue but their pattern so far says otherwise.

  76. UnnamedUser says:

    I’m speculating on why would Creative decide to do what it did. Of course anything I say here is pure speculation. I have no insight into their decision making process at all.

    – The lawyers run the company. The decision was driven purely by intellectual property concerns. Simply, take the C&D letter to daniel_k at face value.

    – DRM issues. Maybe the reason for the Vista drivers “failures” are really just “the drivers don’t play sound at rated fidelity when I play my pirated media” and that daniel_k’s drivers do. This reason ties directly to lawyers running the show at Creative.

    – Creative does not have the right, or enough software engineering capability to produce functional drivers. This implies that Creative is on the skids and may have to file for bankrupcy.

    Again, just me speculating. Any of the above reasons is valid reason NOT to buy Creative anything until the truth comes out and Creative files for Chapter 7.

  77. DCXC says:

    Too bad it’s fake. Newegg has not suspended sales of Creative Products, nor would corporate make such a decision on a Sunday. Creative products are still all over Newegg’s site and can be ordered. Nor have they processed 5,000 Creative returns in 48 hours. No RMA department can handle that kind of load.

    1. Returns are not processed on the weekend.
    2. It hadn’t even been 48 hours since the story broke that they were claiming they took back 5,000 products from them.

    Newegg would not risk their relationship like this.

  78. SuperJdynamite says:

    @Shevek: “Anyway, is it actually illegal to write a driver or a piece of software for hardware? I’d never given that much thought before, but it seems like an odd position.”

    Not that I’m aware of. It’s been done for Linux for over a decade. I don’t think that the VP of Communications checked in with legal before he posted this.

  79. lawnmowerdeth says:

    Just imagine if Chevy could sue you for putting a bigger carburetor on an old Corvette, or Ford could sue for you changing your own spark plugs. You’re not allowed to improve an object that you own.

  80. SuperJdynamite says:

    @Inhocmark: “Sorry, Creative have a point now, this guy is profiting (even in probably a verly limited way) from Intellectual Property that belongs to Creative.”

    I don’t see how. Creative doesn’t produce the drivers. A third party came along and filled a need. If Creative wanted that business then they’d write the drivers.

    The VP of Communications hasn’t cited any legal precedent for his ambiguous claims that the driver author is committing theft of intellectual property. I’m guessing there isn’t any.

  81. I’m a mac user, and so I don’t speak from personal experience, but everyone I know who has used Turtle Beach sound cards has raved about them. Thats the route I would go if looking for an alternative to Creative:

    [www.turtlebeach.com]

  82. dj-anakin says:

    Huh. I was going to buy a creative card for my new Vista HTPC this week. Nice going Creative. Pull your head out of your collective asses. Had you done your job in the first place and provided the software you promised, you wouldn’t be in this position. Really, we should sue you for… what? False advertisement? Breaking a contract? Too bad I can’t sue for your being a douche.

  83. dj-anakin says:

    @lawnmowerdeth: That’s a perfect analogy.

  84. (Sorry if this gets posted twice. As far as I can tell, my previous effort was eaten by the machine elves.)

    I’m a mac user, so I don’t speak from personal experience, but everyone I know that has used Turtle Beach sound cards has raved about them. If I were looking for a soundcard, thats the route I would go:

    [www.turtlebeach.com]

  85. Norskman says:

    I’ve been a Creative user for years. Back in the days I used to swear by them. The last retail card I bought was the full gold version of their Live! card. I won’t make that mistake again…

    During the early years of WinXP this card was murder to get installed and working properly. Thankfully todays drivers are working fine but I’m not using any of the “fluff” this card came with.

    For a while I was looking at the X-Fi cards thinking I could squeeze a couple of framerate increases out of an old system with their Gamer version. No stank you! I won’t be wasting any more money on their unsupported hardware. CREATIVE…Listen.. It’s all in the drivers! What gives!?

    Thankfully todays onboard sound cards have gotten very good and quality is besting many other solutions so I will stick with whatever my motherboard gives me. At least I know it will come bundled with drivers I can use!

    Bye Creative, now go away please. You’re embarassing yourself.

  86. icky2000 says:

    Creative’s mistake was openly stating their policy. This somehow led thousands of nerds to think that they are somehow different than every other audio card manufacturer. Do you really think any other company would want some dude collecting on modified versions of their drivers?

    I’m also confused about some of the responses. It makes sense to me to say you won’t buy Creative anymore but over the weekend there were a bunch of goofballs who posted pics of their already purchased Creative hardware that they had smashed up. That, of course, is dumb. It doesn’t affect Creative’s bottom line at all.

    I also wonder about the impact of all this stuff. None of my friends or family read the nerd blogs I read and will never hear about all this excitement – my suspicion is the lost sales from this PR fiasco will be so small that Creative won’t even notice (I’m assuming here that the NewEgg post is fake). Maybe I’m wrong, I dunno.

  87. rdldr1 says:

    Thank God Im sticking with XP.

  88. UNSTOPPABLE says:

    This kind of thing from Creative doesn’t shock me in the slightest.
    Almost 10 years ago I jumped on the MP3 player bandwagon WAAAAAYYY early and bought a Creative Nomad 64mb player. At the time, it was getting stellar reviews and was clearly the slickest gadget on the market. It was also $400.
    One day I bit the bullet and forked over for this thing and it was AMAZING for it’s time until I migrated to Win2k. All of a sudden the computer doesn’t see the Nomad. This is less than a year after buying it. I call Creative and get told that Win2k handles the serial port differently and that there are no drivers or planned support for Win2K. What was I told to do? Go back to Win98. After that, I never bought another Creative product again because when I said that rolling back my OS or setting up a dual boot was not an option just to sync the EXPENSIVE MP3 player that was less than a year old, I was told this little gem…

    “Technology moves quickly sir, what’s new today is old tomorrow and that there was always the option to purchase the Nomad 2 which does offer Win2k support.”

    Yeah, nice business pratices you got there.

  89. Ackdam says:

    Personally I believe they should be offering him a job instead of this mess. Anyone who can make a product work when the company itself cannot would, in most views of corporate values, be a very valuable addition to the company. If he is making the product work in ways that are not intended then this would be even further beneficial as they would be able to restrict the content via normal buisness measures rather then resorting to legal threats.

  90. lemur says:

    @icky2000: Creative A) knowingly decided not to support Vista properly and B) went after someone who produced a solution. Which other sound card company has done the same? You could claim that all card companies would do B but I’m not convinced about A.

  91. majortom1981 says:

    Speedwell. You should not be working in IT . You obviously are blaming microsoft and vista for a 3rd parties problems.

    YOu seem like you have a grudge with microsoft . Which means you cannot possibly make non biased informed descisions.

    I run vista on my machine here at work with no problems what so ever. Its actually faster and more stable on this machine then XP professional ever was.

    Also using your reasoning linux should be worse then vista because it has horrible 3rd party support right?

  92. endersshadow says:

    @lawnmowerdeth: While this is at face a good analogy, you have to take it a step further. Say after adding those improvements, you were able to copy that at will and give them away. Then you collected donations. This is what Daniel_K did.

    At any rate, the DMCA allows for reverse engineering for compatibility reasons, which is what he did. Where Daniel got into trouble was allowing support for Dolby Digital (a non-licensed technology for Creative cards) and then collecting donations. By doing those two things, he stepped outside the law. If he nixed those two things, Daniel’s a friggin hero.

    Creative should have C&D’d him taking donations and enabling Dolby Digital, not the whole kit-and-kaboodle. Doing so was a misuse of the DMCA and most likely illegal on Creative’s part.

    All those reasons, plus it’s absolutely moronic PR. I’ve never been nor will I ever be a Creative customer, anyway.

  93. BeerFox says:

    Nice to see them getting called on the carpet for this driver crap. I started my own personal Creative boycott over a year ago, when my $200 Audigy Platinum stopped working after a CPU/Motherboard upgrade. When I requested support, they said that it was driver incompatibility with the newer hardware, and that I should just go out and buy a newer Audigy Platinum.

    They *should* hire the guy, and get some decent drivers out there. Based on all the reading I did on the boards during the troubles I had, though, I’m not holding my breath.

  94. archer75 says:

    X-fi cards have always had vista drivers. Since back in beta. I don’t see what the problem is. I have an x-fi card and vista x64. I just download them and install with no problems.

  95. dmartinez says:

    I think some people here are forgetting one major part of the story.

    Cretive is freely admitting they degraded their older products (I had an Audigy and experienced this first hand) so as to force consumers to buy their newer products.

    Last time I checked isn’t it illegal to do that?

  96. MrEvil says:

    I think that’s the clincher there. The guy was adding Dolby support, which could land Creative in some hot water if they haven’t licenced the technology from Dolby labs.

    However, I’ve sworn off buying Creative Labs products. The drivers CD for a SB Audigy I had mysteriously would error out and no matter how many PCs I tried it in I could not get it to work. Fuckfaces at Creative wanted $16 to ship me a CD from their facility in OKLAHOMA to my home just 350 miles away. Not only that, the bastards shipped it in a 50 cent padded envelope via regular US Media Mail. Cost Creative a total of $2…SOBs made $14 off me. Every other hardware vendor that I’ve ever dealt with has offered nothing but full featured drivers for download. Creative offers nerfed 2.1 Channel drivers for download.

    Creative Labs has themselves confused with a software company. Why in hell would I want their bloated shitty software if I didn’t have one of their soundcards to go with it?

  97. cerbie says:

    @dj-anakin: I imagine they can sue him for distributing derived works, and probably for using others’ IP (I mean like Dobly’s, not Creative’s) without licensing it (they could try the EULA, too, but I have a hard time believing that wouldn’t be laughed out of court).

    Legally, they probably have a decent case, and they are not afraid to throw lawyers around. Morally, they are in debt up to their eyeballs.

    This somehow led thousands of nerds to think that they are somehow different than every other audio card manufacturer. Do you really think any other company would want some dude collecting on modified versions of their drivers?

    @icky2000: Why care if someone has modified versions of your drivers? Oh, let’s see: because they have intentionally disabled features that are in there!
     
    Most audio card manufacturers take reference drivers, slap a neat looking config app in, and their logo…then out the door it goes. All features are there and working. Higher end manufacturers get all available features working in their drivers. Creative has decided to advertise features, and then not enable them.

  98. lemur says:

    @MrEvil:

    I think that’s the clincher there. The guy was adding Dolby support, which could land Creative in some hot water if they haven’t licenced the technology from Dolby labs.

    If this is the problem, why is Creative involved at all? The IP belongs to Dolby Labs and it is a third party who is supposedly stealing it. Dolby would be in a position to take legal action but since creative is neither the owner of the IP, nor the one “stealing” it, what does Creative have anything to do with protecting Dolby’s IP?

  99. raskolnik says:

    Courtesy of bash.org, someone wrote a one-act internet play entitled “Creative screwed me like a bitch.” Linked, because the formatting gets severely broken by Consumerist’s parsing thing.

  100. BrockBrockman says:

    @lemur:
    “Creative A) knowingly decided not to support Vista properly and B) went after someone who produced a solution. Which other sound card company has done the same? You could claim that all card companies would do B but I’m not convinced about A.”

    We just need to keep on driving in these 2 points. I appreciate that people keep trying to make excuses for Creative’s behavior, as Creative has made good product in the past and might deserve some element of loyalty, doubt and skepticism. But it boils down to these simple facts.

    You may have every legal right to be an asshole, but that doesn’t make it good for the consumer.

  101. Inhocmark says:

    @SuperJdynamite: I know what you’re saying here, but I’m of the understanding that he isn’t building these drivers from scratch and if he is, then by all means I apologize.

    If he isn’t then he’s taking somebody elses property without permission, adding to it and then attempting to gain monetary value from modifying Creative’s product just doesn’t sit right with me.

    It’s beyond argument that Creative are doing their business a great disservice by not keeping in use products updated, but that doesn’t give somebody the right to make a profit.

  102. tinycorkscrew says:

    @Inhocmark:

    “Attempting to gain monetary value?”

    He’s received about $50 in donations. $50.

  103. Buran says:

    @한국어/조선말: That seems ridiculous to me. It’s like not being allowed to say “I have an XYZ brand TV at home and an ABC brand DVD player.” If it’s being used to factually refer to the widget an app works with, what’s the problem?

    And here I thought reverse engineering was legal, and if it’s not allowed to make our own drivers for things, then why do Sound Blaster cards work in Linux? (I assume they do, anyway)

  104. dmartinez says:

    Actually gentleman you need to realize that the legal system has already had several cases tried on issues similiar to this one. Consumers who purchase hardware that the manufacturer no longer supports or is not fully supporting have the right to make their own changes to make it compatible if they so choose as the hardware itself belonds to the consumer.

    So in Daniel_K case (which I actually have been a part of since the begining and over 6 months long and building) he built drivers for sound cards that Creative refused to release properly working drivers for and for some they even posted news claiming they will not write drivers to get them to work under Vista.

    With that statement alone Creative Labs has release any EULA they have on any of their customers who own that hardware as they are now within their legal rights to do anything within their means to get the hardware which they purchased legally to work.

    Creative is stretching their hand out here, I think their intent was to scare Daniel_K away as his drivers where catching mainstream underground Internet communities since they where the best drivers ever written for X-Fi. They never ever imagined that it would blow up into this spectacle.

  105. Shadowman615 says:

    I’ve been using an XFi card since last year with a vista system I built. Working drivers have always been available from Creative for that card. Although many of the applications that shipped with the card for XP were initially not available for Vista (and some still aren’t).

    But I haven’t had any complaints; my card has always worked fine. I’ve been to the Creative forums and have been reading some of the complaints for exactly one year now. There seems to be quite a bit of dissatisfaction there, but I still think the Newegg post is a fake.

  106. Hobart007 says:

    I can see both sides of this but in my opinion Creative could have prevented this problem by properly supporting their products in the first place as would have been the right thing to do. Whether or not one agrees with the modification of their drivers to make working ones or if one agrees with asking for donations for the work that Creative failed to do probably in order to force the purchase of newer cards, this would not have been possible had Creative not made the decision to screw its customers.

    Personally I agree with asking for donations for the work that Creative was obviously unwilling to do and believe that the only possible motive Creative could have for taking this line is to force people to upgrade their Creative hardware along with their OS so that they can cash in on Vista switchers as well. These free drivers (asking for donations is not charging) would go a long way towards thwarting any such plans by Creative and I can understand why they would try to block if this is the case.

    Honestly, I expected much more from a company like Creative and am probably never purchasing one of their products again if this is how they wish to treat their community.

  107. Fry says:

    I just recently purchased a Creative sound card ([www.futureshop.ca]) and guess what! It works perfectly fine. I don’t know where these people run into trouble with theirs, since mine has worked since day 1 (I bought it about 1.5 weeks ago, and yes, I use Vista).
    So what’s all this fuss about then, if they don’t work yet they do?

  108. DCXC says:

    @Fry: The issue is missing features claimed on the box and their advertising, such as Dolby Digital (DD) and DTS. These features work in XP. Creative claimed they couldn’t be made to work in Vista.

    Using 2 files from Dell drivers, Daniel_K enabled these two features in Vista.

    The drivers are also erratic, have cause instability, and there are many users that deal with pops and clicks, which Creative tried to blame on nForce4 chipsets for the PCI bus issues, much like they did Via many years ago with their old SoundBlaster lines, despite the fact that most of us aren’t using nVidia chipsets.

  109. spinachdip says:

    @Woofer00: Geographic confusion aside (hey, they all rook arike)*, there does seem to be a tendency with Asian tech companies to miss the forest for the trees, i.e. protecting proprietary intellectual property beyond reason, feature creep, and spec obsession (Nintendo being the obvious exception). Not that American companies are any better, but Asian companies have a way of ruining good products with crap corporate culture (as opposed to say making bad products worse).

    *I’m Asian. I’m allowed to do that.

  110. unklegwar says:

    I haven’t bought a CREATIVE (how ironic) product since they put the screws to ID software a few years ago. They are overpriced and underperforming (check the benchmarks on CPU utilization).

  111. flameboy says:

    –> The Daniel_K drivers in question are for THE AUDIGY SOUNDCARDS. <–

    Creative has working X-FI drivers for vista x32 and x64 and I have been very happy with them so far

  112. Claystil says:

    So let me get this straight. Creative taking reasonable action against someone illegally and blatantly profiting off Creative IP has brought Creative’s shitty driver support to everyone’s attention and people are now pissed? Is that an accurate summation of what’s happened here?

  113. dialing_wand says:

    Creative isn’t doing so well anyway:
    [us.creative.com]

    It’s time for a Jalopnik-style deathwatch series on the Consumerist

    First up Creative. Next… best buy? ;)

  114. atomicafro says:

    I’ve always hated Creative, especially since they bought E-Mu/Ensoniq and basically gutted these two legendary instrument companies. Hey Creative! I want my ASRs and Fizmos back!

  115. thejynxed says:

    Some alternatives to Creative:

    [www.bgears.com]
    [www.turtlebeach.com]
    [www.newegg.com]
    [www.razerzone.com]
    [www.auzentech.com]
    [www.m-audio.com]
    [www.m-audio.com]
    [www.diamondmm.com]
    [www.pricewatch.com]

    The last link will find Creative cards as well, but you can find cards in all shapes, sizes, slots, and manufacturers for sale there.

  116. ThomasD3 says:

    This is my experience with Creative Labs:

    [www.sibylleandthomas.info]

    I used to work on the same block, in Milpitas back when they were small. I don’t think they ever had talented people writing drivers. Some companies have great teams, like nVidia, some don’t. Creative and Lexmark are two of them.

  117. Soldier_CLE says that Hideo Kojima has to make MGS till the day he dies! says:

    @Claystil: That’s kinda like saying that a parent were purposely trying to look at their kids naked, when in fact they were just trying to change the diaper.

    The guy wasn’t blatantly looking to profit, since indeed it were donations optional. It’s not as if people were forced to donate, and it is both arbitrary and capricious for ANYONE to tell people who they can or can’t donate to, and the same to tell someone that they can or cannot accept donations.

    It is also UNREASONABLE for a company to advertise a product’s feature and not have it work as advertised. It is reasonable for the consumer to have disdain and distrust for a company that does not sell the product’s features as advertised, and it is UNREASONABLE for a company to cripple an otherwise capable product.

    For these reasons and others, it is indeed REASONABLE for consumers to view Creative unfavorably, and furthermore REASONABLE for consumers to decide to not buy their products if they so choose.

  118. @Big Flicker: Word. Hire him and fire your current programmers.

  119. Anticitizen says:

    @thejynxed: Last I heard, Auzentech was using Creative chipsets in it’s cards, so I’d say avoid them as well.

  120. DCXC says:

    @flameboy:
    They do? Since when?

    I’m still getting popping and hiss, and for some reason I don’t have Dolby Digital or DTS with their drivers.

  121. Claystil says:

    @Soldier_CLE: I mean, it seems like he was asking for donations rather than pay simply to cover his ass. This strategy is not uncommon.

    To the rest of you post, absolutely, it would be unreasonable to claim otherwise. I suppose my summation was accurate.

  122. ivealwaysgotmail10 says:

    I will explain to anyone willing to dig through the comments exactly what creative did,
    I have the original X-fi Card, that was included with my xps 600, Since i booted vista 32 bit on my XPS 600, Random, EXTREMELY LOUD Static will play through my speakers with absolutely no relation to anything i am doing, I tried driver after driver and nothing. So i called dell, They sent me a new card, exact same thing happened,
    Baffled, i tried more drivers, (all from creatives site) to no avail. This was getting VERY ANNOYING, i have surround sound so the Static is amplified 10x and easily could have blown my speakers, I (concerned for my speakers) seriously considered going out and buying another card, (much newer but close to 0 increase in capability!). I then realized that i could just Remove the card, and hook my surround sound up to the integrated audio controller, I did, And guess what? no static at all..

    Its been close to a year since vista and much more than that since Vista Beta, Its just so ridiculously obvious, (especially considering that this ONE GUY fixed EVERY DRIVER in much less time than creative has had to fix them without even a promise of being paid) That creative DOESNT WANT ITS OLD CARDS TO BE VISTA COMPATIBLE! Because then we all wouldnt go out and buy new cards because we are tired of hearing static/no sound at all/ or horrible sound from our computers!

    I emailed them Expressing my utter outrage, And i am currently pondering a creative way to destroy my X-FI card on You-tube.

    Any Suggestions?

  123. thejynxed says:

    @Anticitizen: That is true, but they have working drivers, unlike Creative. They just license the chips, and personally, I think they make a superior sounding product.

    For the record, I use a Turtle Beach Riviera Wave. Suits my purposes just fine, as my computer sits in a small room. I get 5.1 surround sound, etc. Works a treat.

  124. thejynxed says:

    Forget destroying it, sell it to someone who uses XP still and get yourself a better card using the proceeds of the sale.

  125. Wynner3 says:

    I stopped using Creative crap years ago. I have been using Turtle Beach sound cards and have been happier, much happier. I used to have driver issues all the time with creative cards but with Turtle Beach, none. Before I was using Turtle Beach and XP, I was using A3D cards.

  126. Ayanamifan says:

    He reverse engineered Creatives drivers to create his. I think it would be a lot different if he just coded his own.

  127. ldavis480 says:

    Ah, you gotta love the Streisand effect! I would’ve never heard of this since I’m not a Windows user (die-hard Linux user since 1994), however given a choice I will probably avoid Creative Labs’ products due to their poor treatment of a fellow developer.

    I did own a Creative Labs Sound Blaster a long time ago and as I recall their drivers always did suck.

    Cheers

  128. Inhocmark says:

    @tinycorkscrew: $50 is still $50 and he’s still soliciting donations for something that’s ultimately not his to sell.

    I understand the benefit of what the creator is doing here…I had an old unsupported Voodoo GFX card way back when that was supported for a long time on the hard work that others did to keep tweaking the card to keep it running. Beyond that, I’ve seen modders add their own value to games and volunteers release unsportted patches for games that publishers will no longer work on, even with game crippling issues.

    But none of those folks ever tried to ask for money.

    That’s the only thing about this that bothers me about this. It’s not about how much money he has made, it’s the principal of charging for something that doesn’t entirely belong to you.

  129. adam_h says:

    Add me to the ‘never buying anything creative ever again’ list.

  130. FullFlava says:

    @Cyfun:

    The latest Creative mistake I made was purchasing one of their Fatal1ty 1010 Gaming Mice last year.

    If you buy anything with Fatal-one-ty’s name on it you deserve every problem you get.

  131. justdan says:

    Consider me one of the 10% who no longer uses Creative cards. Not that I had any luck with them in the past to compel me to overlook this issue.

  132. RvLeshrac says:

    I’ve been looking for this for days:

    “Not entirely. You pay for updates to your operating system, you pay for updates to application software. It wouldn’t be all that unusual to levy charges for major updates to driver software at some point. Don’t anyone freak out now, I’m just thinking out loud. I don’t know of any plans to start charging for driver updates. — Harvey Fong Technical Marketing Specialist Audio Products Creative Labs Inc.”

    March 27, 2001

  133. Buran says:

    @FLConsumer: But they haven’t been threatened with lawsuits or received nastygrams. They just don’t get support.

  134. Canoehead says:

    If they had two neurons to rub togethey they would just hire the guy (Daniel_k I mean).

  135. KJones says:

    UnCreative is selling something, falsely claiming it does what it cannot do, and that is not “stealing” in their eyes? While a customer making their product work is “stealing”?

    Those dumb fucks are too stupid to realize Daniel_K is doing them a BIG favour.

    Just imagine Ford trying to make it illegal for people to modify the cars they buy, or running the cars on fuel other than commercial gasoline. They would be in the same financial mess as GM.

  136. Ausoleil says:

    Creative has backed down….

    From their announcement:

    “We have read the strong feedback about Creative’s forum post regarding driver development by daniel_k and other outside parties.
    Creative’s message tried to address our concern about the improper distribution of certain software, which is the property of other companies. However, we did not make it as clear as we would have liked that we do support driver development by independent third parties.

    The huge task of developing driver updates to accommodate the many changes in the Vista operating system and the extensive testing required, including the lengthy Vista certification requirements for audio, makes it very difficult for Creative to develop updates for all past products.

    Outside developers have been very helpful to Creative and our customers by developing updates for many of our Sound Blaster products, and we do support and appreciate these efforts. This however does not extend to the unauthorized distribution of other companies’ property.

    We hope to work out a mutually agreeable method for working with daniel_k in supporting his efforts in driver development. Going forward, we are committed to doing a better job of working more closely with third parties to support their development for our products and our customers.”

  137. RvLeshrac says:

    @Ausoleil:

    That’s not even remotely close to “backing down.”

    Obviously, it wasn’t a “huge task” to develop updated drivers, since it took a single person a minor amount of time to fix them.

    Obviously they weren’t “accomodat(ing) the many changes in the Vista operating system,” since they spent *additional* time *removing* features that *workd perfectly well* in Vista.

    Creative’s driver development team is an icon… of why Vista isn’t working properly. Lazy software developers and companies who are seeking purely to profit from the ignorance of their customers.

    If Creative spent more time *FIXING* the drivers instead of spending time *REMOVING FEATURES* from the drivers, the X-Fi, Audigy, and Live Vista drivers would be flawless, and they would still have a customer base.

  138. Buckus says:

    Creative’s drivers are crap and their business plan is crap. They need to focus on putting out good drivers rather than suing people for trying to make something work. I am thankful everyday for integrated sound, because I don’t have to install crap-ola Creative drivers.

  139. Buckus says:

    Reverse engineering is not illegal – just ask the original Compaq development team. The problem is, you need at least two engineers who don’t know each other to reverse-engineer something…

  140. Kay Bee says:

    creative: jerks.

  141. Anonymous says:

    Creative sold me a soundcard which worked fine in Vista. Then they advised me to download the new drivers. Then it stopped working and they refuse to communicate, telling me that since the warranty period is up, they will not communicate unless I give them $13. When I tried that, they told me that the features I had are no longer available. They have no live support and cannot be reached by phone. These people ruined a sound card that DID work and now refuse to communicate honestly. I will never go near their products again. They are clearly dishonest. Their communication policies alone are proof of that.