XNA has been out for a few years now, and I still don't understand why people seem to dislike XACT so much. After I started working on some of the audio for an upcoming presentation, I was reminded just how powerful of a tool it is. I mean, I guess I understand the allure of the super simple audio model offered in XNA 3.0. For simple projects it's definitely a lower barrier to entry.
But here's one problem I see with it ... I can almost guarantee that very few people will use XACT once 3.0 is released. Considering that I do not see very much community involvement from the XACT team, or any individuals (where are the xact tutorials, where is the xact team blog?), I fear that an atrophying user-base will kill the project for future releases.
Much of the feedback I see about XACT seem to mimic a lot of the negative feedback of the content pipeline. Thankfully, the XNA team hasn't given in and allowed runtime loading of content files. The second they enable that is the second that 99% of people move their projects to import/loading everything at runtime (and thus, introducing longer load times into their games). By limiting that choice, I believe they've done the community a favor because at this point, lots of people are very familiar with building custom content pipeline extensions.
so I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you're an XNA developer ... fire up XACT, and give it some love :-)
ps. I suppose this would be an ironic time to announce that once I upgrade Scurvy.Media to 3.0, I'm going to experiment with automatically importing the video's audio stream using the new SoundEffect/Song APIs :-P