The Ots Labs StablePipe™ low-latency audio subsystem is another Ots first!
When Ots Labs released their first playout product in 1999 the concept of having high-quality audio streaming out of a Windows-based PC which did not skip, pop or break up—even while other apps were being used, windows minimized/maximized, etc—and which reacted instantly when controls were used without any hint of latency was an entirely novel concept indeed. It simply had not been done!
Ots Labs engineers pioneered a new approach to interfacing with the Windows audio subsystem—very necessary back in those Windows 95/98 days in order to reach the levels of performance and stability that Ots Labs was demanding of itself.
In a practical sense, what StablePipe™ means is that anything which results in a manipulation of the realtime-generated audio stream—scratching, altering levels, faders, pitch, tempo, direction, EQ, Dynamics Processing, etc—will occur (be heard) instantly while still retaining total audio stability and immunity to the typical system operations and conditions which are prone to causing glitches. Most applications have to make a trade-off between latency and stability... Ots let's you have your cake and eat it too!
Although newer generations of operating systems have gotten better, the audio latency and stability issue is still a factor even today. There are still many things from an engineering standpoint which must be done correctly or a certain way in order to gain the utmost in audio stability when a low level of latency is also a desired or necessary outcome. It's still not hard to break most audio apps—apps which normally work okay, but under various scenarios such as running other programs simultaneously or even just moving/minimizing/maximizing windows on the desktop, will exhibit glitches of some form, minor or significant.
Given that Windows is a preemptive multitasking environment and that users can run anything they want, it's not possible to completely rule out audio interruptions under all circumstances, however normal use of the computer should not result in audio issues and unfortunately this is not the case with many of our competitors—especially on lower-end machines or when certain hardware is being used. Ots Labs is renown for its low latency in combination with total audio stability, and StablePipe™ and the various engineering feats behind it are what makes this possible.