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Native USB class 2.0 audio driver support in windows


phunge
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https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/matthew_van_eerde/2016/09/15/installing-the-microsoft-class-drivers-for-usb-audio-devices/

 

Latest windows 10 preview release now has a native driver:

 

Native support for USB Audio 2.0: We now have native support for USB Audio 2.0 devices with an inbox class driver! This is an early version of the driver that does not have all features enabled, for e.g.: only playback (render) is supported with this version. Recording (capture) support is scheduled to arrive in later iterations. We encourage you to play with the driver and let us know what you think (using the Feedback app). If you already have third party drivers for your USB Audio 2.0 device installed, follow instructions in this blog post to switch to using the inbox class driver.

Read more at https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2016/09/21/announcing-windows-10-insider-preview-build-14931-for-pc/#mkVdxTDIXslv3rSD.99

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well... after more extensive testing I have to report that this driver is not yet ready for prime-time (which is fine, given that it's an early 'beta' release). I cannot get it to work properly in exclusive event-driven mode from Roon. It plays the first few seconds of a track, then stutters and quits.

 

Hopefully Microsoft can get this driver polished in time for the next mainstream windows release!

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Thanks for the report @phunge

 

This is a cool development. I'm surprised more people aren't talking about it yet.

 

Indeed, I have seen much criticism against Microsoft for not including a native USB Class 2.0 audio driver when Linux and Max have supported this for so long.

 

It's unrealistic to expect a boutique manufacturer of a high-end USB DAC to support the development and delivery of something as complex as a windows audio driver and keep it up to date for each new OS release. I have always been worried that I might one day get stranded with a very expensive piece of equipment that I cannot use because of not having a driver available. As a windows guy, I am happy to finally see Microsoft investing resources into building this into the OS directly.

 

This also opens up additional possibilities, as Microsoft will support this driver on both ARM and Intel platforms. I dream of a day I could run a stripped down version of windows 10 (like the many Linux audio focused variants) as a Roon endpoint on lightweight arm based hardware (e.g. raspberry PI with windows 10 IOT). This gets me one step closer.

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Excuse me while I yawn, and perhaps I am foolish to do so. But, I have a perfectly good manufacturer's ASIO driver for my DAC that runs just fine on my Win7 platform. What am I missing sonically by not being on Win 10? Why should I care about Microsoft support for USB Class 2?

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Excuse me while I yawn, and perhaps I am foolish to do so. But, I have a perfectly good manufacturer's ASIO driver for my DAC that runs just fine on my Win7 platform. What am I missing sonically by not being on Win 10? Why should I care about Microsoft support for USB Class 2?

If nothing ever changes, you will be totally fine.

 

However, some people have hardware that doesn't support another version of Windows or some people like Windows 10. Also, support from high end audio manufacturers for USB drivers has historically been less than stellar. The fact that someone now can purchase a USB class 2 compliant DAC and plug it right into a Windows 10 machine and have it work is a great thing.

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Unfortunately this is nothing more than a step for relentless push for upcoming USB Audio Class 3.0, which is basically for cooperating HDCP DRM into audio stream.

 

For long, I even made a thread for venting frustrations toward Microsoft for not supporting industry-standard driver. But clearly where all of these 'industry standard' are going deep into heavy DRM territories, now I hoped Microsoft for not supporting this as long as possible. But again, it seems they are gearing up to put audio into DRM madness just like video contents are.

 

As that idiotic 'adviser' from Microsoft said in several years ago, there is a zero benefit for them to implement this driver when the demand for USB Audio Class 2.0 is 'low.' It's all about DRM and Microsoft does not want to be get behind by Apple's moves.

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