So want to recant my recommendation to turn "allow programs exclusive mode.. blah blah"
option off in the windows sound panel settings.
I wasnt getting any sound and my videos were stuttering an insane amount in XBMC. So i figured the only thing I changed was this option, so I turned it back on and everything was fine again. So I did a little more digging into what this option actually does since it seems nobody had a real answer, just theories.
As it turns out, it seems this option is what Microsoft included starting in Vista to allow applications to be able to use WASAPI exclusive mode.(WASAPI shared mode is basically where all application audio streams check in first before being mixed together) For those of you who didnt know, WASAPI(Windows Audio Session API) exclusive mode is what allows an application to bypass the windows mixer and send audio straight to a device or endpoint. This ofcourse benefits in super low latencies and no downmixing/upmixing artifacts that happen when you have your output set to a certain bit depth/sampling frequency but your source media is a different one(Reason why I set mine at 48/16 to eliminate this). This is the same as ASIO however WASAPI exclusive is native to the windows sound stack and doesnt require extra drivers or specific version of ASIO for certain audio devices.
I use WASAPI exclusive mode in FUBAR2000 and in XBMC so as to stream audio right to my receiver via HDMI and bypassing the windows mixer. Makes sense that it wouldnt work if turning that option off right?
And also because I was getting less crackles and pops with this option off I went and tested some games with it back on and ofcourse there was no difference. Just timing in certain game areas and a placebo effect most likely.
The option for "Exclusive mode applications priority..."
just means the app that uses WASAPI exclusive mode will always come first in the audio queue.
So there you have it. Shed some light on that mysterious option, should be ok to leave it on as it doesnt take effect unless an app running in wasapi exclusive mode calls for it. Lol I guess some capture/recording software/voice chat does this slopely instead of using shared mode the way it should.
Not sure if you guys give a crap or not, just the findings of a sound nut who likes to educate/share the knowledge UPDATE:
Did some more digging on why people have always said to turn these options off. It seems that some voice/chat apps would cause issues when mixed with some games and cause skipping and crackling and popping. However this isnt logical to me since if these apps went into exclusive mode, you wouldnt hear the game audio at all, only the chat audio. But I have never experienced this in W7/8 and these options have always been checked for me. Strange as hell. I would love to hear from you guys on your experiences with this..Edited by djinferno806 - 9/17/13 at 3:44am