Frankly I have no idea what I'm talking about in this area, so here we go...
Anyways, I was recently messing around with Timidity in Windows XP and found some good General MIDI soundfonts to really improve things beyond the generic Microsoft Wavetable you usually have to deal with nowadays. While Timidity is very cool in what it does with the little resources it uses (compared to other solutions I've found, at least), I can't help but feel I'm missing out by not being able to have this functionality at a hardware level.
I'm completely vague on this, but from the little I'm familiar with it seems there are some older (and hopefully newer) soundcards that supported soundfonts and would of course take in all of that work at a hardware level.
So I'd like to know:
-Are these kinds of cards still sold?
-What kind of prices do they fetch?
-Can they load .SF2 soundfont files or is there a much more complicated procedure?
-Is there a much better soundfont MIDI wrapper/driver for Windows XP that I've ignored (something better than Timidity, that is)?
Any information you can provide on this to clue me in would be great, I feel kind of lost with all the terminology and I can only hope someone here is a little more familiar than I am. Thanks in advance for any contribution!